Environment, Photography

Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Recycling

Japan is a very clean country. You won’t see or find litter in the streets. Why?

Several years ago in Japan, a bomb placed in a busy commuter station waste bin exploded and this on top of a 1995 domestic terrorist attack using deadly Sarin Gas also in a garbage bin, led to the removal of most bins, from public spaces, in Japan.

Japanese Garbage Disposal

Since then, the Japanese people have been responsible for the disposal of their own rubbish. Most carry a bag and take their trash home with them when they are out and about. Consequently, you will see nothing but a clean streetscape without litter of any kind. And if you do find a public bin, it will be separated into recyclables and combustible garbage all ready for recycling.

Despite the huge population, you won’t find trash anywhere on the streets of Tokyo or Kyoto.

Not even at Shibuya, the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world.

Nor will you find any rubbish or litter in Arashiyama, Nara or at the steps of Mt Fuji.

Recycling Garbage in Australia

Australians are fairly new to the waste recycling game with only a small portion of the 70 million tonnes of waste we produce, being recycled. The rest ends up as landfill or is shipped to willing countries, usually in the third world in exchange for hard currency! Surprising? It is true and as an Australian, somewhat shameful.

Think New Product, Not Waste

Think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.

www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-27/other-ways-to-dispose-of-recycling-besides-putting-it-in-bin/11350488

There are many things that might be recycled if we considered them a resource for the development of new products, rather than waste.

Paper, cardboard and plastics can be, and are, upcycled to new products; food and garden waste biodegrades in backyard compost heaps/bins; books are re-used, via book exchanges or free services such as Bookmooch.

Even Second-hand clothing can be recycled via thrift store donation bins or increasingly refashioned into new clothing and other items. Clothing giant, H& M are transforming old clothes into new items by recapturing the raw materials and spinning the fibres into new yarn so that something old can become new again, but importantly – without the added environmental cost.  

A suburban street was recently resurfaced by recycling old car tyres, saving on carbon emissions and toxic landfill space. It was a delight to drive on.

Australian street re surfaced with recycled car tyres
A road resurfaced with used car tyres in Clontarf, Australia

It’s estimated about 130,000 tonnes of Australian plastic ends up in waterways and oceans each year through littering. Especially problematic are products like wet wipes are being flushed and plastic flying away from landfill processing. 130,000 tonnes! No wonder the oceans are dying.

Do you know what happens to the waste you dispose of, in your country?

Global Recycling Day is observed around the world on 18th March each year, and thus the theme for the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge is:

RECYCLING

Up until Thursday 25th March, the challenge is to share photographs, a story or a blog post about what recycling means to you, on a circular economy, or what is happening in your local area?

Instructions on how to participate.

Include a comment below, tag your post Friendly Friday Recycling and pingback myself and Sandy, who will host the next challenge on Friday 26th March.

Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.

https://www.globalrecyclingday.com/about/
Photo credit: Facebook
Australia, Environment

More Environmental Initatives for Recycling

In my locale, over 22,000 used tyres have been recycled into a new product, called Carbonfelt, to resurface700 metres of road that would normally be dumped in a toxic landfill.

In the process, 93,000 kgs of carbon have been drawn up and saved from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Racing champion, Paul Morris, says Austek’s new product, ‘Carbonfelt,’ is durable, absorbs road-noise, cost is no different and grips in the wet. “This should be everywhere.”

I love hearing stories like this.

https://fb.watch/3ZqVKuxkIo/

More about waste-education in our area.

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Community

Plastic Free July

Following are some simply ideas on how I reduce my plastic use.

This re-blogged post gives some concerning and encouraging news on the serious and cataclysmic effects of continual plastic use on our environment.
Some Easy way to reduce plastic use:
* Take a re-fillable water bottle whenever you leave the house – your kidneys and the environment will thank you.
* Take a reuseable naturally sourced bag with you for consumables
* Leave some re-useable bags in your car for groceries
* If you can sew, make up some carry and tote bags ( there is a guide here) from fabric scraps or that fabric stash you have in your cupboard that is rarely used. Find a tutorial here: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/scrap-bags-a-girl-can-never-have-enough-bags/
* Refuse a bag for single purchases of bread, fruit, small items
* Boycott products such as commercial biscuits that have double layers of plastic packaging
* Reuse any unavoidable plastics as rubbish bags and dispose of thoughtfully. They can be reused in a variety of ways. Plastic bread bags can even be knitted into coat-hanger covers and Christmas decorations!! Who would have thought?
* Take home your rubbish when out, if rubbish receptacles near beaches are full
* Use a re-usable coffee cup if you like takeaway coffee
* Use glass jars or tins to store flour, biscuits (cookies), or baking ingredients in your pantry or fridge
* Wrap vegetables like celery in damp cloth tea-towels in the fridge
* Display fresh fruit in a bowl rather than in a thin, soft plastic bag in the fridge
* Grate and cut your own vegetables – who needs to buy grated carrot and cheese for goodness sake? It takes but five seconds to grate, literally!
* Buy whole fruit and cut at home, rather than purchase cut rock melon, pumpkin or pineapple, or carrots in polystyrene trays covered with glad wrap
* Write or tell your local supermarket and ask them to stop packaging items like carrots and apples in plastic bags or glad wrap
* Shop for vegetables at a local green grocer for fresh individual fruit and vege
* Save plastic use for toxic items that can’t be disposed of any other way
* Place recyclable plastic in correct Council bins for re-purposing
*Use rubber gloves instead of single use disposable plastic gloves where you can

Make these practices become a habit.

Green Life Blue Water

Okay, so I know the month is halfway over, but even a plastic free day is a plus, eh?  Have a look at this guest post by my sister, environmentalist, educator extraordinaire, yoga instructor, dog rescuer, and now, advocate for a plastic-free world.  Read on and remember, taking even one less plastic bag is a start!

Plastic Free July!

As the forefathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, the unalienable rights endowed to men (and women) of this country are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Fast forward 242 years and we are seriously messing with those rights as we clamor for a faster, more convenient lifestyle, adding up to a seemingly disposable endgame for all. From our food system to our thirst to develop everything (land and products) deemed profitable, we are creating a world where the pursuit of happiness will be so much harder to attain because…

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