Globally, we humans produce a lot of waste. When considering our waste, we need to think about the long term impact on the planet. It is very easy to buy a bottle of water, drink it and then toss it in the garbage can. But where does that go? Chances are it goes into the ocean or into a landfill. It goes into a landfill where it will not decompose for 500 years. The shipping to the landfill, the creation of some useable space atop that landfill, and all the other logistical implications will waste much energy. Not to mention the energy needed to create that bottle of water. In turn, the water bottle turns into something much more than a convenience at that moment, it is really a sore on our earth.
Waste is something that we really need to be conscious of when we are making consumer decisions. We have the power to force companies to create products with less waste. Bringing your lunch in tupperware instead of in plastic bags, choosing items that are bulk instead of single serving packages, all of these things can make an impact in our food system. If we are not conscious and careful the impact on the earth will be great. Currently there is a crisis with the amount of plastic floating in our oceans and waterways (National Geographic mapped the plastic – here’s an interesting map of it). Reducing our consumption of packaging and other disposable goods, recycling what we cannot avoid, composting what is biodegradable, and repurposing things that can be used again are all excellent ways to be considerate of our earth – and our future here.
Here are some great innovations happening in Europe –
- A supermarket dreamed up by two young German women who have thought about unnecessary packaging:
- An initiative in France to reduce food waste and expose customers to less than perfectly shaped produce