Craig Scott is the editor at Green & Growing. He loves to spend all the time he can outdoors and find every excuse to leave his house. He writes about everything from backyard DIY projects to what solar panel is most efficient. If you can't get a hold of him, he’s probably on a trail or a boat. You can check out Green & Growing on FaceBook.
Using valuable land as a waste management dumping zone is becoming a serious environmental problem. The build up and release of greenhouse gases from land waste poses a serious environmental impact risk that could lead to a dangerous shift in ecological balances and adversely effect human health. Changing our current course in waste management toward more practical, sustainable solutions is the only logical step forward if we hope to combat the effects our waste is having. The question is, how? How do we reduce the amount of land we use for waste? It turns out there are a couple of things that anyone and everyone can do in order to shrink the amount of land we are wasting and destroying with our toxic garbage.
REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF OVERALL WASTE YOU PRODUCE
This one seems like a common sense, no-brainer. You won’t have to worry so much about where your garbage is going if there is less garbage to worry about. Choosing to forego the convenience of disposable options in favor of sustainable alternatives may take some getting use to. Particularly when your family or coworkers are use to more wasteful product options. It can be difficult to adjust to having to wash something you were use to throwing away, or getting use to a different version of something. However, eliminating waste is by far the most effective way to manage it. The land is not in danger of being poisoned by garbage if we don’t create the garbage.
Reducing the amount of waste we create also includes the reducing the amount of food and food product waste we create, which is an area too often overlooked. Being conscious of food packaging and making an effort to choose no packaging or bio-degradable packaging when it is available can take time. The same goes for reducing the amount of actual food you throw out. Creating environmentally positive habits when it comes to your food and what it comes in can take time, but it is one of the responsible steps necessary to wasting less land on our waste.
CUT BACK ON PLASTICS
Plastic is a material that has become a part of our daily lives. If you were to consciously keep a count of all the plastic items you used in a day, the finally tally might shock you. While plastic might be convenient and durable, it is a serious problem when it comes to our land waste situation. Plastic releases horrible toxins into the ground and never fully decomposes. This means, essentially, that plastic waste is permanently taking up valuable land space that could be used for any number of other, more helpful and useful purposes.
RECYCLE:PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY
Participating in your local waste management’s recycling program seems obvious. Professional recycling programs are an environmental necessity that have an under appreciated impact on keeping us safe and healthy. However, we often overlook opportunities to recycle our waste by using it ourselves, in a new way. Planting in old coffee cans and using paper and cardboard waste as insulation on building and remodeling projects are just a couple of examples of ways that we can recycle our own waste.
CONVINCE CORPORATIONS TO REDUCE WASTE
Production and manufacturing companies are enormous contributors to environmental pollution. Their impacts on land waste is no exception. Getting them to reduce that impact by mitigating their waste is no easy task. Convincing these companies to change the materials they make their products with and the way they make them is much easier said than done. It is often not profitable for companies to be sustainable, at least in the beginning. But industry and business are the most significant contributors to land waste. So, if we hope to truly make an change in the amount of land we use for waste, corporate and production change has got to become a part of that.
The amount of waste we create is appalling, and the fact that we are contaminating the earth around us with that waste is equally shocking. While alternative waste management solutions such as composting certainly have a positive environmental effect, they can only do so much when it comes to decreasing the amount of land space occupied by our garbage. Ultimately, it will be the severe reduction, and eventual elimination of waste that will have the most drastic effects.