Environment

Simple Sustainable SOLUTIONS to Reduce Waste and Plastic

According to the [U.S.] EPA, the average person produces approximately 4.9 pounds of “solid waste” or trash per day. Thankfully, you can recycle many everyday household items to help promote a cleaner, greener environment.

porch.com

It really isn’t that hard to Reduce your waste and Recycle. But rather than focus on the problems, spreading the word about easy solutions is more palatable for me.

Waste Solutions

No doubt you have heard it all before and you may have already adopted some measures. You don’t need to be a hard-core zero waste advocate. Start with a minor changes and add one more each week.

Get your friends on board. You can set the example for your family, friends and workplace because we need to do better than the following graph indicates.

Simple Waste Solutions

Take Care or Take your Trash Home

• Eliminate your need for bins in forest areas. Birds and animals may spread litter from public trash cans around and it ends up contaminating waterways. When you visit a park or beach, remember to take your trash with you. Keep trash and recyclables in a bag or backpack until you can put them in a proper receptacle.

Public refuse bins in Japan are almost non-existent. You won’t see any trash in Japanese streets either. Japanese citizens take their rubbish home so it can be sorted to Recyclables, compostables and refuse.

• Keep a Litter bag in your car. Be like the Japanese people.

street in Tokyo with umbrella

Choose Re-usable and Compostable Packaging

• Carry your own Re-usable stainless steel straws or decorative re-usable Water Bottle and Travel mug instead of buying bottled water or coffee in polystyrene cups.

• Avoid one-use plastics – they can’t be refilled unless you are happy to swallow micro-plastic.

• Use Beeswax Wraps instead of Plastic wrap – or make your own Beeswax Wrap

• Polystyrene litter such as disposable coffee cups or packing materials can be eaten by animals who mistake it for food. Polystyrene can poison and/or clog stomachs leading to death by either toxicity or starvation.

Once released into the environment, polystyrene products does not decompose to a non-recognizable form.

Reduce Litter at Home

Keep backyards clean and free of things that can blow into the street and become litter.

Tie up garbage and recycling bags securely so loose papers and other items cannot fall out and become litter.

Avoid overfilling your bins and ensure the lid is properly closed after depositing your trash or recycling inside, preventing accidental spills and overflows contaminating local waterways – endangering wildlife.

Recycling in the Kitchen

Cloth napkins and kitchen towel, for spills and cleaning, rather than paper disposables. They are much more absorbent and easily washed out for re-use many times over.

• Compost food scraps

Start a Worm Farm for food scraps and cardboard packaging. My worms love devouring cardboard. Break it up and wet it. A cardboard box is a good alternative to buying worm blankets.

• Use your consumer power to influence choice: Avoid buying food or ancillary items with excess packaging when you shop. This will decrease litter from the start.

Plastic shopping bags take between 10-20 years to decompose.

Wildlife such as Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them causing suffocation, drowning and gut obstruction. Do not accept plastic bags for items you purchase, if you can carry your purchase without them.

Alternatives to Plastic Carry Bags

Refashion the scrap fabrics into re-usable bags or use natural canvas or fibre bags for your groceries and errands. Keep several reusable bags handy, in your car or handbag/backpack, so that they are always handy whenever you might need them.

Plastic beer can holders or bags can entangle an animal swimming. It may suffocate or drown. Six packs rings causing 6 million sea bird deaths a year and over 100,000 marine mammal deaths.

• Support companies who promote bio-degradable and compostable packaging. Peanut’s shell was constricted for six years before it was found.

www.customearthpromos.com/eco-blog/eco-six-pack-rings

Eco Six Pack Rings, started in 2017 by three different groups, are made with all-natural ingredients. These include both straw and wheat fiber. While sturdy enough to hold six full-size cans, Eco Six Pack Rings are intended to fall apart if accidentally littered. This prevents them from creating the same environmental damage their plastic forefathers did. According to the company, “the product will degrade in less than 200 days (depending on the ecosystem).”

www.customearthpromos.com/eco-blog/eco-six-pack-ringss
whale choking on plastic

Plastics used in six pack drink rings takes 450 years to decompose!

Re-purpose and Recycle fabric, Towels or Sheets

• Repurpose adult clothing into clothes for children

• Up-cycle a Used Towel into an apron and a hooded towel for bathing baby

• Turn pretty squares of fabric into Beeswax wraps

Sustainable solutions

If you are in USA, and you are into visual learning, here are heaps of solutions. I especially noted the online shipping options: who knew Amazon/online options were so wasteful? Choose slower shipping to save cardboard.

Smoking in the Workplace

Cigarette butts, are made of a form of plastic and can persist in the environment for 10-12 years! 4.5 trillion non-biodegradable cigarette butts are littered worldwide.

• Do you have a “no smoking” policy at your house or workplace? Containing cigarette butt litter is facilitated by requiring smokers to use only designated areas or not smoking at all.

• Do not dump anything toxic down a storm drain.

Marketing Flyers and Advertising Leaflets

• Remove flyers or take-out menus promptly from your post box/front door or windscreen before they are blown away and become litter.

• You can stop litter at the source. Reduce your junk mail by writing to Direct Marketing companies to request no junk mail to be sent to your address.

• Participate and promote local recycling programs such as kerbside cleanup (Australia).

Here are some more ideas on reducing and recycling waste:

Metal: Old forks and spoons, as well as cans, are perfect for making a variety of unique items like a custom key holder, beautiful jewelry, or a fun mirror. Old cans make excellent cookie cutters, too.

Clothing and bedding: Get creative and use an old pair of jeans to make a funky “jeans chair.” Old bedding can be torn or cut into smaller pieces and used for cleaning rags. Any type of fabric is also great for reupholstering furniture if you’re really feeling crafty.

Coffee grounds and tea bags: You can use coffee grounds as fertilizer or dried coffee grounds or tea bags [plastic free tea bags, of course], in the freezer as a deodorizer, too.

How to recycle

Do it Right – Dispose of rubbish properly


Talk to your family and friends about recycling to reduce the amount of material you throw away. Spread the word, and not the litter.

This is not hard to do at all! Tell your family and friends about recycling and what you are doing to reduce the amount of material you throw away.

This may influence them to adopt more sustainable practices. It is vitally important. Our planet depends on it.

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.

stpa logo
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…

View original post 591 more words