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Ordinary People Doing Small Things Make A Difference

Change is rarely achieved in a single, dramatic action. Change occurs because, little by little, people of goodwill … act.

U.S. Senator Paul Simon

I find these words encouraging as I think about the magnitude of the environmental and justice issues facing us today.

Every new way of living begins the same way … with awareness of the need to change, the intention to change, and the first small step, followed by the next small step. This year’s challenge was recycling while traveling.  Recycling at home has become a habit. Our local community makes it easy. The large recycling bin sits outside the door — rinse, toss, forget. I take that simple action for granted.  Not every community, hotel, or living situation makes it easy.

This year, while away from home, we packed and hauled our recyclables. This packing and hauling created a deeper awareness of how much two people can keep out of our landfills. According to a 2018 EPA report, recycling just 10 plastic bottles save enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours. Sometimes, the effort to pack and haul the recycling didn’t feel like enough, yet change occurs “little by little,” and this effort was our little part. As Simon also said, “Ordinary people doing small things can make a big difference.”

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