The state of the climate hasn’t improved much over the last few years. Although more businesses are switching to a more eco-friendly practice, or individuals are starting to adopt more sustainable habits – actions that are highly encouraged – in the bigger scheme of things, climate change is yet to be tackled.
The coronavirus pandemic has indeed put a stop to many activities and caused social and economic disruption. So, as a result of nationwide lockdowns, air quality improved due to no traffic or business practices being shut down or moved online. Even though pollution diminished, it was temporary as a direct result of restrictions, and the truth is that more permanent solutions are needed.
The reality is that people can no longer go back to when they didn’t drive cars or when there wasn’t so much consumption. For this reason, it is crucial to educate and implement sustainable living. Whether you have a business or you simply wish to learn how to dispose of your household waste sustainably, there are some ways in which you can accomplish this.
Reduce the use
Sustainable development is a forward-thinking idea of putting in practice eco-friendly activities that do not compromise the quality of life or the ability to fulfill the needs of future generations. Ultimately, this means that a balance between an individual’s daily activities – so socio-economic sustainability – and the environment is prioritized. This won’t be achieved easily at a higher level, as the concept of sustainable development is under constant debate. However, one thing is sure: until then, individuals and businesses need to take matters into their own hands. Managing waste more responsibly is the first step.
To begin with, before you start looking for eco-friendly methods of disposing of waste, it is vital you try to reduce consumption as much as possible. Indeed, this might seem like a challenge. However, what seems like a minor action can actually have a significant impact on a positive note. For instance, you can start by heavily reducing single-use objects or goods, like plastic cutlery or takeaway coffee cups. Individuals cannot use such things more than once, and as a result, they end up in landfills or oceans. To put it in perspective, consumers use 500 billion disposable plastic cups every year. However, people have started using reusable coffee cups or water bottles, which is an alternative to reducing waste.
Recycling the recyclables
Consumption is still very much flourishing, and sometimes individuals find it challenging to reduce the use of specific objects. In this case, recycling is the efficient option of waste management. It is vital to know that some products and packaging cannot be recycled due to a mixture of materials in its composition that make it difficult to break down and recycle. Therefore, a combination of reducing waste or opting for products that come in recyclable materials with practicing recycling is a first step in managing and disposing of your waste more sustainably.
When it comes to your household waste, you might have to divide the waste in its classification by materials, such as glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal. Depending on your location, you might not have allocated bins for every household. In this case, what you could do is to sort and gather your recyclable materials, which you can then dispose of at a recycling center. There are waste disposal compactors and balers, like Mil-tek ones, that can properly recycle materials for small and medium-sized businesses and larger companies. So, no matter the amount of waste volume you have, there is an option to suit your business needs.
Food waste is one of the most significant components of waste, and its consequence on the environment is tremendous. Thrown food winds up landfills, and part of its chemical breaking down process means that CO2 and methane are released into the air, polluting it. Hence, food waste is a contributor to global warming. Almost 40% of the food supply is wasted in America, amounting to 161 billion dollars per year. This is happening while around 35 million U.S. citizens experience food insecurity.
For this reason, more individuals should consider composting food when it becomes inedible. Although it is one of the oldest waste management methods, many people are reluctant or have little information on how to do it properly. Not only is this an effective way of disposing of food waste and, hence decreasing the negative impact on the environment, but it can also represent nourishment for plants. In case you don’t have a backyard or garden, you can still practice this. You can either find a compost service, add it to your indoor plants – if you have any – or donate it to a community garden.
E-waste can be recycled
Whether you have a business and plan on adopting greener alternatives, or you are an individual who wishes to learn more sustainable actions, it will be good to know that your electronics can also be recycled. E-waste is the irresponsible disposal of electronic devices. Given that such devices contain all kinds of chemicals and toxic metal when electronics reach landfills. This means that the soil, air, and water can be contaminated when these substances are released.
Therefore, sustainably disposing of electronic waste is of the utmost importance. With so many people acquiring all types of devices for personal use, as well as businesses being dependent on them, reducing them is a challenge, to say the least. Although individuals can re-evaluate the need for an additional device, companies might not be able to, as electronics such as laptops and computers are crucial in achieving high performance. In this case, it is possible to recycle electronics either at a store or with your electronics provider.
Energy recovery from waste
Besides waste that is eligible for recycling or reusing, you are left with waste that can be used to produce energy. The process involves the incarceration and pyrolization of waste, which then produces combustible gases. This type of waste disposal is not a preferable option, with many disapproving it. However, although it might not be the best alternative, it is still a method that reduces the amount of waste reaching landfills.
What’s more, the fact that it is possible to recover energy from waste means that it can replace energy produced from fossil fuels. Indeed, it is a compromise that might not be considered entirely sustainable, but out of the two, energy recovery is a “lesser evil” and can reduce waste disposed of irresponsibly.