*This is a collaborative guest post
Waste disposal is very important to our everyday lives, but for some reason, we don’t think about it much. For as long as the refuse collector comes regularly, it’s good! But is it, really?
It may be out of sight (and mind!), but your actions towards handling waste may still be affecting the environment. Any London Waste will talk about these impacts and what you can do to reduce them.
How Does Improper Waste Disposal Negatively Affect the Environment?
You may feel that you’re too small to make any kind of impact, but your actions do matter. If you don’t do anything to improve your waste disposal practices, you may be contributing to these disastrous environmental effects:
- Soil Contamination
In an ideal world, all renewable waste is processed in a recycling facility. But because a lot of people are still not complying with the existing waste disposal guidelines, this isn’t what’s happening in reality.
For example, if a plastic bottle ends up in a landfill, it will release a carcinogen that can cause a variety of health issues. This will seep into the soil and get into nearby bodies of water, thereby affecting plant and animal life.
- Water Contamination
Water is known as the universal solvent. This means that everything immersed in it will dissolve at some point.
Now, imagine an improperly disposed lead battery. Not only will rainfall potentially cause the lead and other harmful metals to seep into the soil, but it may also carry it to water streams. Who knows how safe your next sip of water from the tap will be?
- Extreme Weather Conditions
The more waste that’s unprocessed, the more dangerous it is. Decomposition of certain waste creates greenhouse gases (GHG).
GHG rises to the atmosphere and traps heat. As a result, you get a higher global temperature, worse typhoons, and even acid rain.
What Can You Do to Better Manage Your Household Waste?
Prevention is better than a cure. Considering the grave effects that mishandling waste can bring to the environment, we all should do our part. Here are a few everyday habits you can develop to help:
- Segregate Your Waste
Waste segregation consumes energy and labour, both of which come at a cost. These resources could’ve been used somewhere else!
The waste management industry can only keep up with so much until it starts becoming inefficient. And with inefficiency, you’re increasing the odds that some recyclable waste will be contaminated. The loss is so great that waste collectors are now legally required to have a separate collection for waste paper, glass, metal, and plastic.
That’s why waste segregation is an incredibly important endeavour. Don’t just do “Biodegradable” and “Non-biodegradable.” Follow the same standards already imposed on the collectors.
Although you’re not bound by the same policy, why not do it anyway? There’s already a separate collection for each of those four. To comply, you just need separate containers for each.
- Collect Waste for Composting
Did you know that the key to a lovely garden may just be in your backyard? Just remember to fill a small container for compost. Especially for small households, it’s impossible to fill it in just a day.
The main things you need here are carbon-rich (brown waste like pet manure, twigs, and other woody materials) and nitrogen-rich (vegetables and other greens) materials. While you’re still collecting your materials, keep the two separate.
That’s it! Just make sure to maintain a 30:1 carbon to nitrogen ratio. After one or two weeks, shred the output using a pitchfork to hasten the composting process. If you don’t need it for your garden, feel free to donate it to a local nursery.
Minimalism has taken centre stage when it comes to interior design because of the clean and organised look it provides. But as a lifestyle, it’s more than having well-decorated rooms.
Make it a habit to think about whether or not you can use something before you throw it out. Instead of buying something new, perhaps there’s an opportunity to create a new purpose for something you’re about to dispose of.
For example, a tattered old dress doesn’t need to go straight in the bin. You can still use it as a rag to wipe off kitchen counters.
A minimalist lifestyle won’t always look minimalist by an interior designer’s standards. But what’s wrong with having a less than picture-perfect home?
Together, We Can Do It
Doing the things we’ve recommended above may take some getting used to, but they’re worth it. It may seem insignificant, but all our combined actions towards the same cause can create a major positive change.
If you’re already doing some of the things on the list, thank you. You’re helping create a more sustainable environment for future generations.
But if you haven’t yet, it’s never too late to start! Pick something that’s easiest for you, then work your way from there. We applaud your willingness to start.