Here's How Much Trash We’re Producing, and Why It Matters
In 2014, more than 4.4 billion metric tons of plastic was produced globally. That’s enough plastic to wrap around the equator four times or encircle the Earth more than 16 times.
Much of that plastic ends up as trash in oceans, which pose a serious threat to marine life.
There are many things we can do to help reduce the waste in our own homes.
Here's what we personally do every day of the week to try and reduce our waste as much as possible.
Monday: We have a cat and when I fed him this morning it struck me that we don’t really think about how much waste she produces and where it should go. She has dried food, but also a pouch every day and I’ve never once thought about whether that can be recycled or not, as they have a metallic looking inside. I need to investigate more…
Tuesday: We do try to be as green as possible, and today I am making sure that everything goes in its correct place. For example, if I take any plastic wrapping off anything, I’m ensuring nothing that is non-recyclable goes into the recyclable bin and that all food waste goes into the caddy.
Wednesday: It’s day three and I’m already spotting how much we throw out – canned tomatoes, juice boxes, plastic and glass bottles, crisps, cat litter… I know it can sometimes look more than it is, especially with recycling, as it’s hard to fold down, but it’s still amazing how much we get through even though we try hard to be green.
Thursday: We run two businesses and one is a subscription service called A Gran Smile, which people use to send gift boxes to their elderly loved ones. It means we tend to have quite a bit of inventory arrive in cardboard boxes and I’m realising now how much paper and cardboard is a culprit in our waste levels. I know it’s recyclable but we could still probably cut down on how much we use.
Friday: We like cooking food from scratch, which means our kitchen waste mainly constitutes cans, cooking oil bottles, plastic packaging and food peelings. However, on a Friday we do like to get the odd takeaway, which I know generates cardboard and plastic waste.
Saturday: Today is ‘big shop’ day and a real eye-opener into how much plastic supermarkets and suppliers use. From plastic-wrapped grapes and plums to the little bit used to seal top of bottles and containers, like ketchup or mayo. There’s just no need.
Sunday: Having three children means we do create a fair bit of rubbish. There’s lots of cleaning always to be done, which doesn’t always include eco-friendly products, and now they’re older I’m noticing the kids don’t always recycle as much as they could – I sometimes find the odd crisp bag and yoghurt pot in the bins in their rooms.
Conclusion: Keeping track of our rubbish has made me realise the huge amount of waste that is being brought back from supermarkets and shops. I never appreciated just how much there is that is non-recyclable as it usually just goes in the bag without me noticing the quantity.
Our Favourite tips for saving the planet are:
Start a compost heap to reduce the waste you send to landfill sites.
Choose energy-efficient appliances when you replace old ones.
Buy local, or better still, grow your own food, so energy is not wasted on transportation.
Give your garden a good breakfast; coffee grounds and eggshells are ideal for composting.
Refuse plastic carrier bags, or at least reuse them. Cloth bags are better.
Soak up the sun; even in Britain, solar panels can produce a surprising amount of energy.