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“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Steve Jobs
When I saw the plaque pictured here in a catalogue recently, I knew I had to have it. This quote by Steve Jobs spoke to me. As I stepped back to decide if I had chosen the right spot to hang my new plaque, I felt inspired to share with you what this quote means to me.
Each and every one of us can have a positive impact on the environment and other people’s lives, but not everyone realizes this. People who think they can make a big difference in the world are often seen as crazy, but if we all acted with the thought that we can change the world, now that would make a world of difference. Think It’s a Wonderful Life and Schindler’s List. One story real and the other not, but both send the message that your choices CAN profoundly affect others.
When it comes to environmental protection, I wish everyone realized that they can have a big impact by considering the environment as they go through their day. It does make a positive impact when you choose not to idle your car, run the dishwasher only when its full, avoid disposable products, hold onto that empty bottle until you find a recycling bin.
Fixing a faucet with a slow leak matters. According to the USGS, a faucet dripping just 10 drips a minute, wastes almost 350 gallons of water a year. Did you know that if every American replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star certified bulb, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars?
You may or may not be crazy, but you can certainly change the world.
Have you ever heard Jerry Seinfeld perform his bit about the fact that light bulbs are sold with barely any packaging around them while other far less fragile items are sold with much more packaging than they need? As always, this Seinfeld joke is hysterical when he delivers it. It is also so true. If light bulbs can survive with that thin cardboard and two open ends, why must so many other items be drowning in packaging?
This very week, I was astonished at the unnecessary amount of packaging on two boxes that I received. They are both pictured here. These photos were taken after I opened the boxes and before I removed the contents. As you can see, they are both small items that arrived in large boxes with much padding.
First I received the box you see with the smaller box inside, which was delivered by a mail service. The item being shipped to me was not even breakable. The smaller box could have been shipped completely on its own and the item inside of it would have been fine.
Yesterday, I received the second box, which contained only a plastic cup filled with chocolate covered pretzels that I had ordered from a fundraiser at my child’s school. This box was handed to my son at school to carry home. An unfortunate side effect of this distribution method is the lesson all the children involved have learned, which is that extra packaging doesn’t matter.
Waste prevention DOES matter – a lot! Extra packaging wastes resources and creates trash. Even if you recycle the packaging, the recycling process has an unnecessary environmental impact by using energy and water and creating emissions. Now that I’m stuck with the extra packaging from the two boxes, the best thing I can do is to try to reuse it. Perhaps even more important is that I showed my children and spoke with them about how and why the unnecessary waste could have been avoided.