Waste Reduction

by Matthill31 on November 2, 2017 - 3:07pm

Matthew Hill, Umrick Singh, Luka Guenette-Larocque & Nicolas Curotte

Waste Reduction

Every year, millions of pounds of trash are produced in America alone. This is due to to humans wasting materials that can still be used for various reasons as well as putting things in the garbage that should be recycled. This all together polltes our planet, especially oceans where habitats are destroyed. There are many ways to stop or to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Small actions like remembering to recycle plastic bottles and cans can make a difference towards being able to re use certain products rather than having them go to waste.

To put into perspective how high our amount of waste is, in the US alone, 2.3 billion pounds of waste are produced every day, coming out to 4.6 pounds per person per day. The world is estimated to produce 2.6 trillion pounds of waste in 2018, Americans' waste per day totals will go up to 7.1 pounds. The amount of fossil fuels we use also accounts for a tremendous amount of waste. Simply leaving the lights on when you leave a room can use up electricity for no reason which just lets out carbon dioxide that could've been avoided. This is just a small example. Using your car to go to a nearby depanneur can be replaced by walking or taking a bycicle. Cycling over driving should be better promoted because it really does make a difference. Not only is it eco friendly but it's also healthier. Sometimes taking a bike to work can be unrealistic due to long distances. A solution to this would be public transit. Taking your car is an inefficient method of transportation as it takes 900kg of metal to move 90kg of human, uses up a large amount of fossil fuel and emits far too many grennhouse gases per person. Food waste has become a grossing problem. Today, 45% of food produced and sent to supermarkets ends up in the trash. 95% of food we put in the trash goes to landfills or combustion facilities. 38 million tons of food waste were produced in the US in 2014. 20% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from landfills packed with waste. To help reduce your waste of food, you can plan a list of the exact amount of food you actually eat per week to stop buying excess you won't eat and will end up throwing out. Reducing your consumption of red meat would also help the environment. The animals treated for our red meat produce enormous amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas which warms even more than carbon dioxide. Benefits of paying attention to reducing your food waste can include saving money and conserving energy that is used on manufacturing food that goes to waste.

We can go on and on about the endless amount of ways we produce waste. Our food and carbon dioxide waste from overusing vehicles is a main factor to the warming of our planet and the destruction of habitats for animals all over the world. The positive part is that there are realistic solutions to all our waste related issues. From paying attention to shutting off lights and computers after use, to biking and using public transit over driving, to planning out your grocery list every week to avoid wasting. Each person can easily make these changes to help the planet and help our future generations from having to clean up the mess we've made.

 

Sources:

"Just Cool It" by David Suzuki & Ian Hannington

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-wasted-food-home

https://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2015/10/10/david-suzuki-v-ecolo...

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/26-trillion-pounds-of-garbage-where-does-the-worlds-trash-go/258234/