Go Zero Waste This Summer! by Harnoor Gill

Apr 18th, 2013 | By | Category: Youth Blog
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Youth Blogger and Founder of Peace Welcome Club, Harnoor Gill (Photo credit: H. Gill)

Zero waste can be viewed as direct action against global climate change, habitat destruction and over consumption.

Did you know that an average Ontarian in Canada produces approximately 385 kilograms (nearly 849 pounds) of waste per year? In this article, you will explore the depths of Zero Waste, the benefits of keeping stuff out of the landfill, and what you can do to contribute to this futuristic practice. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

According to Wikipedia, “Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. Any trash sent to landfills is minimal. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.” Zero Waste is a simple concept that encompasses waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and rethinking our consumption and disposal. I definitely believe that Zero Waste is the wave of the future, but it sounds difficult to produce no waste knowing how much waste is generated in my home province of Ontario. This may sound somewhat bizarre to you, but imagine all the things we waste every second of our lives which can be reused, refurbished, recycled, or composted…old electronics, outgrown clothes, food leftovers, and antiques of all types.

The benefits of Zero Waste efforts are endless. Zero Waste helps the environment, helps people spend less money, and helps support local businesses (like buying fresh produce at farmer’s markets). Zero waste is really about making good choices that benefit the environment and the local community. Supporting local dairy farmers by buying milk produced in your community helps support local jobs and gives your family healthy food from a known source. Reducing our consumption and waste production has far reaching effects in reducing poverty and hunger worldwide by keeping resources locally-based, and not taking them from other communities. While helping the environment you are also helping your community build a healthy lifestyle for your own, and future, generations.

Every time you throw something into the landfill, it generates a greenhouse gas called methane that is 23 times more damaging than the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by cars, so just keeping something out of the landfill reduces your impact. Not buying things you don’t need and recycling and reusing things you do consume really makes a difference, and it’s easy! When you go to buy something, just ask yourself: “Do I really need this? Will I use this? Is it a single -use, disposable item or can I choose to buy something that will last?” It’s as easy as just stopping to think before you buy. Remember you will have to deal with the waste and it costs you money (money you earned!) to buy things. Why spend money on things you don’t need that also make unnecessary waste?

The best way to help is to learn more about what you can do to reduce your waste in your hometown. One of the many ways you can easily do that is by networking with others about Zero Waste so they are aware of things that they can do. Give them some fun facts about it and sure enough, they will definitely want to help you knowing that it’s for the good of our only planet. I am making a difference by letting you, the reader, know about this cause and hopefully you will share this information with other keen readers as well.

In conclusion, I would like to state that Zero Waste is a great cause. You can learn more by viewing the Story of Stuff videos in the links below and learning about matters that affect the environment like this. These videos are a fun way to learn more.

 
Check it out:

http://www.storyofstuff.org/
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-electronics/
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-bottled-water/
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

Zero Waste Links:

Grass Roots Recycling Network  http://www.grrn.org/home
Sierra Club  http://www.sierraclub.org/committees/zerowaste/
Eco-cycle  http://www.ecocycle.org/zerowaste/

By Harnoor Gill, Volunteer Youth Blogger

 

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