We all grew up hearing the words reduce, reuse, recycle, and while that was just a fun alliteration that seemed void of any meaning at the time, it is now more important than ever that we understand these words.
The general population is producing more waste then ever before. As you can see below both the U.S. and Canada are within the top 5 waste producers in the world.
What does this mean?
All that waste has to go somewhere and that somewhere is a landfill.
Landfills have a severe impact on the environment. Whether it be the air pollution created through decaying landfill material, or the water that passes through the decomposing waste called leachate, which has the potential of polluting ground water and other larger body of waters, landfills are environmental hazards.
Landfill Gas (LFG), a byproduct of decomposing organic products in landfills, is composed of 50% methane gas, and 50% Carbon dioxide. These gasses are responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere and are a huge contributor of global warming.
What can you do?
The biggest way to lower landfill contributions is to reduce our waste, reuse what we can, and recycle what we can’t. Going completely litterless is difficult. But we have a few tips to try and help you reduce your waste!
1. Use reusable bags when you shop: This seems so simple, but there are 1 trillion plastic bags that are used and discarded every year.
2. Plan ahead with your grocery shopping and go to places like Bulk Barn when you can: Did you know that in North America bulk barn has an ecobag that can be recycled after you carry your products home? When in doubt bring your own jars!
3. Set up composting in your home.
4. Stop buying bottled water. Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest contributors to landfills. By the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean then there are fish.
5. And of course, car pool!