Reducing the waste created in our homes, work places and public areas helps to keep our environment clean and reduces the amount of waste put into landfills. Our water ways, food supply and ecosystems benefit from a community which manages waste wisely. Our everyday waste stream, such as plastic/paper/metal is easily seen, however the waste also breaks down over time and releases invisible chemicals into the soil, water and food supply via plants, animals, fish and other marine life. The large quantity of waste dispersed into our waterways and the ocean is disruptive to this vital and naturally pristine resource. Billions of tonnes of plastic waste can be found in our oceans stemming from corporate and individual lack of awareness, and complacency.
Having assessed some 40 landfill sites in Australia, I have witnessed the prevalence of plastic waste (bottles, bags, packaging) and cardboard/paper in our landfills and oceans, which is alarming. Millions of tonnes of waste is created every year in Australia, whilst millions of tonnes of waste is washed into the ocean every year around the world. Why is there so much waste created everyday in our community, and what are the consequences for our future?
We all depend on the earth for our survival.
We are not separate from our environment – from the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food provided by plants and animals. The more harmonious our connection with the environment, the more sustainable and balanced our lives can become.
Maintaining the purity of our soil, water and air is vital for our future.
With over 25 years of environmental consulting experience on about 1000 contaminated sites in Australia, I see the need for us to work together to remediate the damaging affects of individual and corporate choices to restore and protect our environment. Quite simply, we all need to take responsibility for keeping our land and water clean, for this generation and the generations to come.
We have the technology and knowledge to do something about our degrading environmental health.
We make individual choices every day that make a difference:
- with each piece of rubbish we don’t generate – but pick up off the street, park or water way.
- with each animal or tree species we save or protect from extinction.
- with each stream we keep free of pollution.
- with every bit of soil we use and keep free of toxins and waste.
- with each day we reduce the vehicle fumes, vapours, or use of chemical sprays.
- with each purchasing decision we make to create less waste.
Many simple waste reduction strategies are available to us. We can:
- avoid waste generation by using multi-use carry bags and water bottles instead of disposable types.
- minimise or reduce the amount of waste generated by re-cycling and re-using (e.g. multi-use coffee cups).
- reduce harmful by-products and natural resources associated with production and manufacturing.
- using eco-friendly products to reduce impact to the environment (e.g. biodegradable products).
- ensure correct disposal of waste (e.g. recycling bins, composting).
We are all stewards for our environment. With each step we take together to remove the burden of pollution from where we live, work and visit, we create together a cleaner and healthier planet.
An earth without clean soil, water and air is a world without a vision or a future.
Author: Dino Parisotto (Director of Earth2Water Pty Ltd)
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