It′s a new day. I brush my teeth with my tooth paste and I have yogurt from a plastic cup for breakfast. I am in hurry to go to work. I quickly grab some napkins and a cold drink to refresh. On my way I get a coffee to go and then I finally reach the office. I have just figured out that there are useless files which I throw into the trash bin. For Lunch I order food which is nicely packed. After lunch I continue with my work, but I am already thinking about my shopping after work. I have to buy new cloths for my friend′s marriage, a present and then I also have to buy some groceries for the house…
Of course, we are buying because we simply have needs. We also produce waste material. If we just go through one day and try to count what all we have thrown away in a single day we can imagine probably one full trash bin. Now let′s multiply this quantity with 365 days in the year. And then, multiply it with 7 billion people in the whole world. Can you imagine how much waste is that? Can you imagine how much waste we produce?
People have knowledge about waste problem and they are also aware of the recycling process.” My trash is collected every day by the “garbage man”, so it is their responsibility to segregate it and recycle. After all, we have proofed methods and we are already solving a problem of waste. It seems that it is so easy to agree with that statement. But the truth about recycling is different. A simple segregation is based on plastic, paper, organic waste, wood, glass…Most of our products are out of plastic. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, toys, some furniture, cosmetics – we can recycle them one, two, three times, but after that the plastic is so used that it ends up on the big trash hill as a waste which we cannot recycle or use anymore. That doesn’t mean that recycling is not a solution and a way to deal with the waste. However, unfortunately it is not enough. Wood, glass, paper waste we can recycle again and again. These natural resources are renewable but limited and extremely important for our existence on the Earth and that is why it is very important to conserve them. Our industry is growing faster and faster. We are using our resources in unbelievable dimensions and it seems like, we are not aware of the fact that they are limited.
Recycling is a solution to manage the garbage which is already generated. But more importantly, we will have to start to think about different ways to reduce waste in the first place. That can be done by purchasing materials with less packing, reusing materials as many times as possible and not buying unnecessary items. We have to save resources for a better life not just for the future generations but for ourselves as well. We have to change the way we are thinking.
We need changes on political level, in economy and in our daily life style. Changes will not come immediately but slowly step by step. Here are some tips how you, as an individual can contribute with small changes in your daily life:
- Buy what you need, use what you buy
- Donate old useful items to charitable groups
- Rent, lend, and borrow instead of buying new
- Use reusable furnace and air conditioner filters
- Replace disposable alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries
- Repair and refurbish well-used furniture
- Borrow books from the library
- Don′t use paper towel ; use cloth and sponges
- Print and copy on both sides of the paper
- Use refillables in lotions, soaps, and cleaning products
- Make your own cosmetic products
- Bring a “no garbage” lunch to work or school, using reusable containers, bags, and a thermos
- Buy cool drink in glass bottle instead in the plastic one
- Use reusable bottle for water or juice
- Take lunch box everywhere with you, you can always take food from the street and refuse the plastic emblaze
- Refuse plastic bags for vegetable and fruit
- Take a re-usable bag for shopping
- Buy products with minimal packaging
- Take the bus
- Add your own ideas in the comments
- Pass this list on to someone else
We have to put some effort to change our habits. But after a while, you will notice that it is very easy to do all these small steps and make a huge impact on the Earth. It’s worth. Don’t forget – everyone counts!
Member of Vatavaran team