The Beauty of Recycling Series: 6 ways to take control of waste in our lives

Rather than hide our waste or send it far away, we need to be conscious of our actions and find a way of managing it. Right here. Right now.


BeautyOfRecycling_Landfill

BeautyOfRecycling_Landfill

The phrase ‘Not in my backyard’ originated in the 1950’s when the West was just beginning to recognize the harmful effects of different aspects of development. It is pejorative and connotes that the person using it recognizes that something needs to be done but he doesn’t want it to be done next to him.

Where does all our waste go? Where can it go? Usually cities dispose of solid waste in landfills outside the city limits. Not all cities though are able to locate lands that are uninhabited and this invariably means that our city waste lands up in somebody’s backyard.

Most of us in the city have no clue as to where our waste goes – very few of us question where the garbage truck takes all our waste to and even fewer have taken the time to see what happens to the place where it all gets dumped eventually. Just as many children are unaware of the origin of food, most of us don’t know where our waste goes.

The solution starts at home. It starts from each one of us looking at our own waste and taking ownership for it. It starts from reducing our waste to a minimum and using objects and products consciously knowing the waste they will create. From our home to our society to our neighbourhood and city, we need to all be unafraid of owning our waste and taking responsibility for its disposal.

6 ways to take control of waste in our lives

Via flickr jaygalvin

Via flickr jaygalvin

1. Watch what you throw – do a waste audit and keep track of where the bulk of your waste is coming from.

Courtesy: compareyourwaste.com

Courtesy: compareyourwaste.com

2. Compost wet waste and use it for plants at home. Treat kitchen waste as a precious resource.

Composting

Composting

3. Start to make your children conscious at a young age.

Making children conscious at a young age.

Making children conscious at a young age.

4. Initiate a compost pit in your society.

courtesy: finegardening.com

courtesy: finegardening.com

5. Carry a cloth shopping bag with you at all times.

via flickr Edinburgh Greens

via flickr Edinburgh Greens

6. Follow the rag pickers one day and track where your waste goes and visit the nearest municipal waste segregation center.

via Flickr streetwrk.com

via Flickr streetwrk.com

The planet has no backyard and it would be unreal to think of sending our waste to the moon. The only way out of this mess is to redesign our world and lifestyles so we don’t have a mountain of waste to dispose off. Rather than hide something in the ground or send it far away we need to look at it right when we drop it into the bin and find a way of managing it right here.

Feature Image via flickr torbakhopper

These articles form a series in our Green Idea campaign called The Beauty of Recycling conducted by eCoexist and Studio Alternatives and sponsored by the Government of Maharashtra, Environment Department. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the aesthetic and financial potential of recycling. Read more articles from the series here


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Manisha SG is the founder of eCoexist, a social enterprise based in Pune. She is an architect by education, an environmentalist by passion and an artist at heart. Her focus at work, and in life, is to understand the deep inner connectivity in all of Nature. more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Manisha SG is the founder of eCoexist, a social enterprise based in Pune. She is an architect by education, an environmentalist by passion and an artist at heart. Her focus at work, and in life, is to understand the deep inner connectivity in all of Nature. more

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