There is no doubt that waste accumulation is increasing at an alarming rate, and the day is not far when the entire land space and clean water bodies will be covered with waste.
Waste generation is inevitable because all our activities produce waste. Yes, even our bodies do the same. How does a person, who has never been diagnosed with a severe illness die?
The human cellular regeneration enables the entire body’s cells to die and regrow; making the body new every seven years (approximately). However, the process is not 100% efficient, which prevents the body to detoxify perfectly.
The waste accumulation inside the body increases year by year, and the body dies out eventually. Similarly, due to the inefficient waste management and disposal, it is getting accumulated in the environment, and leading to the death of Mother Nature, as we know it.
Understanding the Need of Waste Management
Now that you have understood the severity of the situation, are you wondering what you can do to prevent the worst from happening? Do you wish to do your bit for the environment and encourage your peers for the same?
The journey towards change starts from your own home. Yes, you need to improve your lifestyle to make sure that you don’t become the reason for the extinction of the world’s species.
Read ahead to learn about some crucial waste management tips for your home, summarized by TDS Safeguard environmental experts:
Paper vs. plastic
The debate, ‘Paper is preferable over plastic’, is quite an endless one, due to the fact that improper disposal of either of them is injurious to the health of the environment. Reprocessing paper consumes an incredible amount of resources, like water, power, and manpower, etcetera, which has raised question against the use and repurpose of paper products; from packaging material to stationery. Some paper waste related facts are more horrifying that you can imagine.
On the other hand, disposal of plastic is discouraged because not only does it take hundreds of years to decompose but it also spreads poisonous chemicals in the soil, leading to soil erosion. We use plastic and paper for packaging, stationery, to carry products and whatnot. However, this can be lowered if you reuse those bags and containers for other purposes, which will reduce the demand for both these materials.
As already mentioned above, lightweight plastic bags are used to carry products around, and a hard plastic material is used to package a variety of products; from baby products to cosmetics. Yes, the consumption cannot be lowered significantly if only one person takes the initiative; however, what if that one person starts a global movement?
Why can’t you carry old plastic, paper or cloth bags to the grocery stores to reduce your packaging consumption? Why can’t you carry plastic/steel containers to restaurants to get your food packed, instead of using new containers?
Questions like these will help you identify the various avenues where you use resources unnecessarily. All of this can be lowered significantly if you are ready to take that first step. Don’t think you are alone in this movement because it takes only one leader to guide the way and help millions walk the right path.
Know your chemicals
What type of cleaning chemicals do you use to clean your drains, clothes, floors, windows and upholstery, etcetera? Yes, you may know the name of all the popular brands, but do you know which one is causing the most harm to the environment after getting discharged from your home? These chemicals may not only be responsible for severe infections and allergies to your loved ones but also spread poison in the environment; affecting the marine ecosystem adversely.
You must know everything about the chemicals you purchase for various purposes to make sure that apart from understanding the correct way of using them, you also know how to discharge them. The right method of disposing of chemical water is essential to keep your loved ones and your surroundings healthy. Don’t release all the chemical water through the drain; know if you have to dilute it or use another solvent to prevent severe consequences from it.
All you need to know about the carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide that is released in the atmosphere due to our various activities; from breathing to disposing of waste. Efficient waste management will not only lower your carbon footprint but will also help you live a healthier lifestyle.
There are many lifestyle choices, which can help us reduce our carbon footprint, like walking/cycling and encouraging the use of public transport. If we focus on lowering our carbon footprint, our waste generation and disposal will also decrease incredibly.
Accept digitization with open arms
The advent of digitization has been a boon for humankind. Apart from penetrating the business industry, it has also helped in the reduction of waste generation and disposal. The need for stationery, letters, applications and various other avenues of communications have been lowered notably.
We need to accept digitization with open arms to keep a check on our waste generation and disposal. If all of us stop using paper for such purposes entirely, then hundreds of tonnes of waste generation can be prevented with ease. Use the digital media to communicate, and go paperless right now!
Waste disposal methods
The right technique to manage household waste is to dispose of everything correctly. The following are conventional methods that can be used by everyone to ensure efficient waste management and disposal:
The waste needs to be segregated according to certain norms to make sure that it can be disposed of correctly. The categories can be biodegradable, non-biodegradable and radioactive, plastic, paper and metal or wet and dry waste. This will help you understand how to and where to dump what type of garbage to minimize severe consequences.
Dumping at the right place
You also need to find the proper dumping ground. The smaller waste that you generate can be disposed of in your bins; however, what about the e-waste or larger waste, like old cars and bikes? You must contact the authorities in your way to identify dumping grounds, and accordingly, dispose of your trash.
Recycling and reuse
It is believed that 75% of American waste is recyclable. In 2016, the domestic recycling rate was only 21%, which proves that much difference can be made if we recycled more. You must encourage the idea of recycling and reusing all the possible products in your house, like clothes, gadgets, paper/plastic bags and whatnot. Instead of disposing of old products, donate them to make sure your carbon footprint is lowered significantly.
Repurposing is the process of modifying old products to make them reusable; e.g., converting old test papers to blank sheets with the help of a chemical treatment that can be used for newspaper printing.
Repurposing can be practiced when recycling and reusing is no longer an option. What you can do to contribute to this particular aspect is to identify the products that can be repurposed and dispose of them in the right places to make sure that they are repurposed.
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Apart from saving your surroundings, you will also be able to save quite a few bucks because when the demand is reduced, the consumption will be lowered, which will lessen your expenses and save you a tremendous amount of money. A win-win situation for both!
The Zero Waste Philosophy
The Zero Waste philosophy encourages the idea of reusing all the resources by redesigning them. It can be defined as the conservation of all resources that we use by ensuring responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials; without burning them, and without dumping them on land, water, or air to prevent any threat to the environment or the human health.
The idea is straightforward because the population is aware of the severity of the situation, and if everyone tries to follow the zero waste philosophy, then it will reduce the waste disposal significantly. Not just that, it will also improve the waste management techniques that we follow; ensuring a notable reduction in the carbon footprint of every being.
other valuable readings:
It is never too late to learn and change; improvement is the key to success. We need to understand that the environment will help us survive only if we don’t murder it first. Somethings might seem harsh at the moment; however, we need to believe in ourselves, and walk toward a sustainable lifestyle to enhance the GREEN around us in the future.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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- Recycling bin imprinted with the universal recycling symbol
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Last update on 2019-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API