Take a look at all the waste around you. Do you wish you could do something about it? But you feel like your contribution would be too small? No. It’s not. It’s important to start taking small steps to minimize the waste you produce. Creating no trash at all can feel impossible, but when you choose a zero waste life style you pay more attention to how your habits impact the environment. Then we commit to reducing what we need and reuse as much as we can.
Zero waste life style addresses the entire system of our stuff and reduces climate emissions by changing what and how much we buy and throw away.
We use a lot of energy to transport ourselves and to make stuff. Energy went into making everything we have ever bought, used or thrown away. All that energy emits a lot of greenhouse gases, contributing to our climate change problem. The more we buy and throw away stuff, the more energy it takes to make new stuff accelerates faster climate change.
The immediate climate savings from zero waste come in large part from the energy savings from recycling. Using recycled materials to make new products requires less energy than making products from trees, fossil fuels or metal ores. It means we burn fewer fossil fuels including oil, natural gas and coal and produce lower greenhouse emissions.
The more we consume the more waste needs to be sent to landfills. Landfills are a big contribution to the pollution and they produce methane. That’s because there is no oxygen in the landfills. That makes landfills a leading source of methane emissions. Methane traps more heat in our atmosphere and that can be really caused the global warming.
So we should definitely reduce and reuse our consumption. Try to consume less, if you really don’t need don’t buy it, use what you have, choose reusable stuffs, eliminate single use and take reusable bags for groceries.
It’s important we each start doing our part to save the environment.
Faculty of Engineering
University of Peradeniya