The reality of waste

Our lives are consumed by things…some we love, some we need, some we use, but many end up taking physical space. As consumers, we have come to rely on possessing things to make us feel better and provide us with notions of comfort. We are bombarded by social media selling us products which make us believe we will be happy.  Momentarily they may, but do they last? 

When disposing of unwanted items, out of sight means out of mind. But how does our waste contribute to someone else’s lives, causing disease, pollution to land in another part of our planet?

 

Can we buy less and concentrate on a fewer things that are meaningful to our lives.

 

But how much does it cost us?  Does it make sense to be spending hard-earned money on goods that end up in landfills, causing the pollution that is detrimental to our longer-term well-being? 

How can we apply many of the 9 R's to reducing our waste?

Image by Brendan O'Donnell

Cutting air pollution

Future Cities and communities are about creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable environments.  The last is an important component to build in measures that limit the negative impact on our citiies.  

 

Air pollution has a range of adverse effects on quality of life such as our health and productivity.  

Minimising land waste

Don’t be daunted by what’s happening on a global scale…We can take action and contribute in whatever way we can to become part of the solution.  If millions of total strangers take one small actions to change our own lives this is a giant step to tackling global waste.

 

Ways to reduce our Waste….

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Environment Pollution

Preventing water loss

Water is the source for all living things on our planet.  Water accounts for 60% content of our bodies.

 

So if we need safe clean water, accessible to all of us, then why are we polluting our water supply with toxins?

Disposing other waste

safely

Do you know what Hazardous waste you have in your home?

Look around and see what toxic waste you have hiding or in plain sight!

 

There are many everyday items used that we are unaware of, or don't know how to dispose of them safely. These should not be mixed with municipal garbage.

Metal waste, batteries, and "E-waste" from electronic goods shroud be disposed off carefully.

 

The most common metal we all tend to recycle are aluminium cans.  But this material is also used in other manufacturing particularly the car industry, electronics, and building materials.  The production of aluminium is energy intensive, using hydropower which means building of dams and mining. Both have a damaging effect on the land, habitats, depletes natural resources, and emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere causing acid rain.  

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Clothing Boutique

Clothing waste 

There is increasing evidence and awareness of how “Fast Fashion” and synthetic fabrics cause long term damage to the environment.  

 

It is estimated that in terms of climate change, clothing waste could contribute 25% of all global emissions by 2050.  

 

The average consumer buys 60% more clothing than 15 years ago, but only 1% of the material used in clothing can be recycled into new clothes.

Plastic waste

Globally, only 9% of the plastic we've ever produced has been recycled.

The other 91% has ended up in landfills or incinerated causing air pollution, or scattered throughout the environment, including in huge floating islands in the ocean partly composed of plastic byproducts from the manufacturing process.  

Girls Carrying a Recycling Bin
Domestic Waste Bin

Food waste

Around one-third of the world’s food is lost to waste or 1.3 billion tons per year.
In micro terms, roughly 1,000 tons of food is wasted every minute.

 

It is estimated that up to 50% of food is lost at the production stage alone.
In real terms, that’s about 1.6 billion tons of raw food products never turned to consumable food to feed the hungry.

Saving even just a fourth of the total global food waste volume can feed all the world’s hungry.