The Importance of Sustainability
Every planet, asteroid, and moon touched by human beings have one thing in common: we left something behind. Areas of the moon are littered with the discarded evidence of human visitation. Mars is dotted with wreckage from failed satellites and dead rovers. Even when we stop by the binary asteroid Didymos in 2022, we’ll be leaving behind trash You can only imagine the damage to earth on an on-going basis.
There’s no getting around the production of waste material. The EPA estimates that the average American generates around 4.9 lbs of garbage per day. If you try really hard, you might be able to reduce that number to almost nothing. However, this will be expensive, time-consuming, and, especially when it comes to plastic, of questionable utility. The sustainable solution to the problem of human junk is not easy but it also isn’t very complicated: we must produce less junk and work towards sustainable products.
Making Less Junk
The first task is also the easiest, and it starts with us, the consumers. According to the laws of economics, the market will provide for us what we are willing to pay for. If we want a lot of disposable items, companies are more than happy to give them to us.
By reducing our own use of disposable items, we will send a powerful signal to the makers of those disposable products. While one person changing their habits might just be a drop in the ocean, you can eventually get enough drops to make some waves. If we all decide to use less, companies will make less. This is the one step that we can all work towards to make a difference.
The other half of sustainable garbage is to make sure your trash isn’t going to atomize and float around in the biosphere for thousands of years (like plastic does). We’ve told you before how bad plastic is but it is an essential product to avoid in order to clean up our planet. The more plastic we make, the less room we have in our inevitable landfills for better garbage.
Yes, it’s possible to have good garbage, though most people would probably call it biodegradable. If we make sure our waste will degrade, or break down into compost that can then readily be used by plants, microbes, and other living things, it’s no longer a burden on our ecosystem.
Not only is compostable waste the best possible kind of waste we produce, but it’s also waste that can be used to grow more of the things we want. Even if you don’t have a compost system set up for your own garden, compostable garbage that goes into the landfill will break down into minerals that are not only NOT damaging to the environment but actually beneficial.
Sustainability is not just a target to aim for, it is a mandate for all of us. Read more about how Zume is leading the way in sustainable packaging and help us make waves of change.