Document Your Life #106 – Drowning in Garbage

I came across an article in the Washington Post with the title Drowning in Garbage a subject that is right up my alley these days.

It’s a dirty subject that we may not really consider in our daily lives where we’re busy with work, school, kids, etc., etc., and maybe don’t really have time to think about the amount of garbage that we produce. But I’m becoming more and more convinced that we should and must think about this.

Why? Because we are quite literally drowning in garbage. I see it more and more where I live and also when I travel.

The world produces more than 3.5 million tons of garbage a day — and that figure is growing.

Of course, we should recycle (if we can). But more importantly, we should reduce, reuse and not be so quick to throw things away. I think, however, that reducing is key in this scenario. Living a minimalist lifestyle and adopting a zero waste lifestyle is the way to go…

The world produces over 300 million tons of plastic each year, of which only a small fraction is recycled.

By 2050, there will be so much plastic floating in the ocean it will outweigh the fish, according to a study issued by the World Economic Forum. Scientists estimate that there are at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles — weighing nearly 270,000 tons — floating in the oceans right now.

I am constantly amazed and fascinated by people who live a “hardcore” zero waste lifestyle like Bea Johnson, Lauren Singer, and many more. There are actually people living in this world who can fit all of their trash from an entire year in a mason jar! I personally don’t know how they do it, but I am in complete awe of these women. Especially when knowing that..

On average, a person in the United States or Western Europe uses about 220 pounds of plastic per year, according to the Worldwatch Institute, a research organization.

Lauren Singer lives in New York City, a city which produced 33 million TONS of garbage a year:

The New York metropolitan area produces 33 million tons of garbage per year, according to a group of global scientists that calculated all the trash being tossed out by the city and its sprawling suburbs and exurbs. That puts it well ahead of the rest of the world’s major mega-cities, according to the researchers.

The United States is one of the planet’s biggest generators of waste, and New York presents a particular challenge because it is so densely populated. In most parts of the world, growing wealth is associated with an increased output of trash. But in the United States, the poorer population also contributes a considerable amount of garbage, much of it fast-food packaging. Food waste is also a huge issue, in New York and the rest of the country.

There are many ways to fight waste, which I think we have to start considering seriously – sooner rather than later. The whole subject is just amazing and I feel more and more motivated to follow other people (mostly on social media) who are committing to a zero waste lifestyle in order to live like this myself.

Well, as much as I can because some places are not set up for this way of living.

Read the article from The Washington Post HERE.

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