Truth from the Mouths of Babes

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

The other day I was running some errands with my 7 year old daughter. As we approached the car, she noticed some litter scattered around and said spontaneously “Littering is bad because it’s mean to the Earth. We should protect it.” I was speechless. I was impressed with her insight, but at the same time sad that we are being “mean” to Planet Earth with the senseless things we often do-like generating so much trash in the first place.

While in my family, we try our best to live by the three R’s —reduce, reuse and recycle—I must confess that the hardest R seems to be reducing waste from the outset of any activity. In our daily lives, there are so many things that generate waste like excessive packaging, fast food wrappings, disposable products, to name a few. With some planning, we can reduce the trash even before it’s created.

Here are some suggestions:

There are numerous possibilities if we put our mind to it. These are just some consumer tips that can be easily used at home for waste prevention. I also highly recommend my colleague’s blog with an extensive list of habit-changing tips.

If our children can take care of Mother Earth at an early age, why can’t we?

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.