waste

There isn’t an adult person alive who isn’t acutely aware of the tragic situation we have created and continue to create on a daily, even hourly, basis. We mine and harvest more than the earth can sustain, we refine and create more than we require, we consume only a small amount of what we produce, we use new technologies for far shorter than their potential life expectancies, and we carelessly discard virtually everything for which we no longer wish to spare a thought. Every day, in every corner of the world, waste is accumulating–not only in those places we have designated as ‘waste collection areas’, but in rivers, lakes, oceans, beaches, forests, underground, atop peaks like Everest, and even in low-earth orbit. The problem is, of course, much worse in developed countries, where people can afford to be less considerate of what they discard, but it is endemic to the earth. It is to be found everywhere there are humans.

And of all the waste we create, in terms of harm to the environment and outlook for the future, plastic reigns supreme. As we move forward into the future, there will doubtless be a place for highly complex materials, plastic among them, but our current practice of wrapping everything we produce–food, technology, and even water–in single-use plastic is one that will be regarded in sheer disbelief by future generations. Hopefully, we are soon able to shake ourselves free of it.

As the graphic below (created by Our World In Data) makes clear, we still have a long way to go, and there is much of which we should currently be ashamed.

all articles relating to waste

Clouds in the hills. Climate, Ecology, Unsustainable
From The Editor, August 2019

Three months in, and things are looking grim. Fires in the Arctic and Amazon, worsening of the climate problem, the Fall Armyworm invasion, and more.

Using Recycled Paper Is Not Just About Saving Trees

Recycled paper can save the Earth, and in developed countries it’s very easy to purchase, yet not nearly enough people are making the switch.

Capitalism and The Advent of Garbage

Could the end of capitalism pave the way from a reduction in our creation of garbage, towards a truly sustainable future?

Dozens of plastic water bottles tied together
Do You Know What Happens Every Time You Use A Plastic Water Bottle?

Disposable plastic water bottles are a seemingly insurmountable problem of waste and pollution. Here are some facts that everyone should know.

Close-up of zipper on a cotton sweatshirt
The Ethics of Using Cotton

In India, more than 100,000 people lack access to clean water, and yet a single pair of jeans can consume around 8,000 litres.

A bug's eye view of an organic wheat farm.
What Does Organic Mean Anyway?

We explore the agricultural usage of the term ‘organic’, and the difference between conventional and organic farming.

Fuming Over Fumigation

When a nearby farm is sprayed, we have to shut all our windows and doors to keep the fumes out of the house, but there’s nothing we can do to save the bees.

Climate Change: Where Are We Now?

As the clock continues ticking toward the collective future of the human species on planet Earth, there are still some among us who are either skeptics or out-right deniers of climate change.

Planetary Boundaries, Food and Humanity

Due to the complex interaction between human activities and the ecosystem, humanity’s food system is facing severe threats.