The second component of the Portland/South Portland One Climate Future project is Waste Reduction. But why is this so important? Reducing wastes helps us move away from fossil fuels while also significantly reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions from landfills.
First Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle.
This, the opposite of toss out, throw away, or dispose of, is encouraging us to convert as much waste as possible into reusable material.
BRIGHT IDEA: Think Twice! Use less and be more conscientious about what you use and how you dispose of what you no longer need.
In an ideal world, waste would be composted, recycled, or reused but never thrown away. From the start, goods would be designed to have residual value and a system would be in place to capture that value. You can make the most of your resources by avoiding waste, fixing things that break, and finding ways to give items a second life.
Wastes that have multiplied tenfold over the past century are expected to double again by 2025. In fact, 14 billion pounds of trash (mostly plastic) is dumped every year into our oceans. Profitable companies that produce and use plastic packaging seldom do their share to recycle, reduce and reuse. Formalizing the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) could hold these companies to a higher standard.
Consider these Bright Ideas …
- Patronize companies that produce high quality products made to last rather than those who profit from things that threaten our environment and climate. Support local businesses and farmers to further cut down on fossil fuel use.
- Visit EcoMaine’s state-of-the-art recycling facility to strengthen your resolve to do a better job of recycling. On the way out, pick up some great resource materials to share with family and friends.
- Garbage to Garden and We Compost It! collect curbside food wastes for composting and leave a clean bucket every week. They’ll also supply you with ready-to-use compost for your garden.
- Remember to carry your own reusable food and drink containers, utensils, napkins, etc. when out and about. Think about the waste you will not be generating!
There is no waste in nature. Discards always become resources.
We’re at a critical turning point with no turning back and no time to spare. Do your part and we’ll do ours!
Bright Ideas is brought to you by Portland Climate Action Team which meets the last Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 PM. All are welcome. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org.