The rising waste problem could have serious impacts on us and our environment if care is not taken. Cancer, low birth rate, water and soil pollution are some examples of what could occur if waste is poorly managed.
Reducing waste until we get to a point where little or no waste is generated would be ideal…for us, our children and grandchildren. This is only attainable if we make little changes gradually.
Whether in our homes, at work or school we need to strive to continue doing our part. The ideal thing is getting to the point of ‘zero waste’.
What does zero waste mean?
….very little or no waste generated!
In order to get to a point where little or no waste is generated, we need to address the 3 major municipal waste problems.
What exactly are these problems?
Packaging refers to materials used to wrap items in order to protect them. Packaging is usually in form of paper, cardboard, plastic, foam, steel or a combination of any of the materials mentioned. Most products come with several layers of packaging and in most cases, this is highly unnecessary.
These days a lot of packaging are made out of plastic which ends up in the landfill. The sad thing is that packaging most especially plastic packaging make their way into the ocean and become a huge threat to wildlife!
So what should you do if you’ve got packaging waste lying around?
Before throwing out any form of packaging, see if you can reuse them; if not, check with your municipality or contact the supplier and see if they would be able to take them back for reuse or recycling.
2. Food waste
Food contributes significantly to the waste problem. The amount of food waste thrown out on a daily basis cannot be underestimated!
A great way to manage food at home would be to eat up leftovers within a day or two to minimise the food waste problem or freeze them and have them later or better still, why not take them to work the next day?
Do you shop on impulse?
When you go grocery shopping, remember to buy only what you need and not what you ‘think’ you might need. This would help reduce food wastage. Make a grocery list ahead to prevent shopping on impulse.
Can we reduce food waste?
Yes we can. There are so many people out there looking for food daily. Why not consider helping a family in need by giving them food or inviting them to have lunch or dinner with you in your home. Last but not the least, don’t forget to donate those canned foods in your cabinet to charity before they expire!
3. Landfilled waste
Americans generate a great deal of waste daily. According to EPA, an individual produces 4.4 pounds waste a day and majority of this waste still ends up in landfill!
Well, it’s not as if nothing is being done to reduce this waste problem. Waste is just something that won’t go away unless we do something about it!
Here are the solutions to your waste problems!
The 3Rs! Reduce Reuse Recycle will help us a great deal if we can cultivate the habit of applying them daily.
Reduce means eliminating the waste we produce by doing without certain things. Such as making use of cleaning cloth instead of disposable wipes.
Reuse means to use something again and again. For example, a jam jar can be used again to store nuts.
Recycle means making something new from something that has been used. For example plastic bottles are recycled into clothes.
Other smart ways to reduce the problem including composting and recovery.
Only you and I can address these waste problems, if we can take one step at a time. The time to start is now!
Here is an infographic on waste facts. You can print it out and share this with your friends.
Are you doing your own part to reduce the waste problem? If so, what are you doing?