Monday, October 17, 2011

Waste Reduction Week

 -- Quote of the Day --

Here's something to lighten up your day :)

"Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up."

~ Author Unknown

 -- Conscious Living Event --

This week - Oct 17-23 - is Waste Reduction Week !

is a good time to reflect on how we, as individuals, can participate in waste management. Because some people are so overwhelmed with Earth’s problems, they feel that their contributions have no real consequence in the end. For others, social barriers can be an issue. A lady we once knew confessed that she did not want to be seen buying used items or being concerned with power use. She was worried people would see her as cheap – a scrooge – when the family was so affluent. Yet, she was very careful to be seen with recycling bins out on the curb on pick-up day, because THAT was thought to be the thing to do socially. WRW is a good time to put an end to these negative thoughts and feelings of false pride. Waste reduction is not about ego - it is about the health of the planet and of our nation.

Keeping organic waste out of the trash can be considered on of the most important steps we can make. When organic waste is covered in the landfill, it is deprived of oxygen, which creates an anaerobic environment that reacts with other waste materials, producing leachate and methane - a threat to ground water and a producer of greenhouse gases. Start a compost or worm bin to convert organics into nutrient rich compost instead. 
People will find that they do not have to put the trash out as often, because both the odors and volume are greatly decreased. Many garbage collection companies offer discounts to homes with reduced waste as a fiscal incentive. Businesses, such as restaurants and coffee shops could reduce their waste removal costs by a huge amount simply by recycling their organic waste.

We can also help the waste management industry run more efficiently. For instance, when only full garbage bags and Blue or Green boxes are put out on the curb, the garbage truck does not have to stop as often and waste fossil fuels inefficiently while idling. (Incidentally, vehicle idling is responsible for 3% of the air pollution problem.) Similarly, by collapsing items like cardboard and paperboard (cereal or pet food) boxes before recycling we are ensuring that space is used more efficiently - thereby reducing the number of bins needed for transporting materials.

Did you know that recycling alone, has a huge impact on the environment? Studies have shown that if 100 apartment units practiced maximum recycling, it would save 21.93 thirty-foot trees, 26.86 cubic yards of landfill space, 8,389 kilowatts of electricity, and 77.4 pounds of air pollution in just one year!

So you see, these seemingly small choices and efforts towards waste management really do make a difference.

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