How to Reduce Your Trash
To reduce consumption and reduce your trash is more effective than to recycle, when it comes to protecting the earth’s environment and conserving resources.
Always think twice before you buy. Do you really need that new computer, hifi-set or car?
What difference can you as ONE consumer make?
When we purchase much more than we actually need, each and every one of us accumulatively feed the culture of consumerism. This in turn fuels the driving force for manufacturers to produce more and more, ie. use more resources and create more waste.
The video "Story of Stuff" explains what impact our pattern of consumption has on the world, the environment and the human society. And it does it in a simple yet clear manner.
Reduce your trash
The more we use, the more waste we create.
The amount of rubbish we are creating is increasing rapidly for several reasons.
The increasing population all over the world means that there are more people on the planet to consume and waste.
With increasing affluence (especially in developed countries) and mass production, people have more spending power and they can buy many things at a cheaper price. As such, people are buying more and more products, including things they may not need, or things they discard after using only a few times.
With the development of new packaging (eg. fast-food packaging) and technological products (better cell phones), more and more non-biodegredable products are being produced, consumed and discarded to the landfills and incinerators.
As the human race, we need to do something to reduce our consumption and waste, least we pollute the earth beyond repair.
And you can play a part. Here are some ways you can reduce your trash:
- Use products that can be used again and again (eg. cloth napkins or towels, refillable pens), instead of disposable ones (eg. paper napkins).
- Purchase durable and long-lasting goods, to lessen the need to replace them. In this way, you can reduce waste.
- Purchase products with minimal packaging, or purchase items in bulk or in concentrated form, so as to make the most of the packaging and reduce your trash.
- Make use of donated stuff rather than purchasing brand new ones.
- Innovate when reusing! Minimize the need to make purchases, by meeting needs with what you already have (eg. refill bottles instead of buying new ones, turn empty jars into containers for leftover food instead of purchasing new containers, etc). This saves you money too!
- And if you are into redesigning, you can even redesign products to use less raw materials in production, have a longer life, or be used again after its original use.
- On a somewhat related note, seek products and packaging that are as free of toxics as possible. So at least when there is a need to dispose of items, you can have a better peace of mind that these items have less harm to the environment.
Besides reducing, there are two other components in the “Reduce Reuse Recycle” Waste Hierarchy, namely “reusing” and “recycling”. All these three components are crucial if we seek to conserve resources and produce less waste.
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