On Easter Sunday this year 2015, a young woman asked me, “what are the greatest threats to our environment?”. I told her I’d talk about it after dinner, giving me a chance to think about. I could fill a book regarding the issues that ran through my brain, such as war (do you know what war is doing to our environment?), fossil fuels, fracking, etc… I chose the four that follow and will go into detail about each one.
1. Bottled Water. Bottled water is a threat to our environment on multiple levels. The waste of the resource, water, is just the tip of the iceberg. The waste of natural gas and fossil fuels to create the bottles, the packaging, poor recycle quality, and how “aged” water is disposed.
2. What We Flush. I am not talking about our bodily wastes, I am talking about the various luxury items we’ve added to our toiletries that the manufacturer states is disposable through our waste water systems, but in fact, is not. This would also cover the various food wastes that are dumped in the toilet, medications, HHW materials, etc.
3. What We Still Throw Away. We throw away a lot of materials that have a better end use than taking up space in a landfill. Many of these fall under the 3R’s, but due to finacial isses they are not being Reused, Recycled, or Reduced. We have established technologies that would be able to remove 60% or more materials from our waste stream and convert it to energy. Without a doubt landfilling is the final end for anything that can not be diverted, but we are wasting our landfills and our environment.
4. What We Are Still Making. This one is easy to explain, but possilby the hardest to address. We still make items and materials that are just throw away products. Batteries, packaging, extenze, etc. Obviously there is much about this issue that is reflected in the above.
I am going to go through each one in greater detail and I’ll be sure to include the positive and negative impacts on changing each. A good example of negative impacts would be a loss of jobs. If we stop bottling water we will have to find jobs for those people that currently bottle water… I am sure that there will be lots of jobs to deal with the 60% of waste that can be diverted.