Only recently did we become waste-producing creatures, according to this 2011 documentary–about 100 years ago. Until then, most everything left over was reused in some fashion. Now, businesses produce about as much waste as they do their actual products.
By Dr. Mercola
The featured documentary, Unwasted: The Future of Business on Earth, presents the alluring ideal of zero waste as a key element of the sustainable business model. While some may shake their heads thinking this an impossible task, its worth remembering that mankind had a zero waste lifestyle up until about 100 years ago.
There were no plastic wraps around the food you bought, and virtually every scrap, be it fabric, paper, wood, or metal, was repeatedly reused; creatively refashioned into new products. The same cannot be said for our modern way of life…
Businesses around the globe produce nearly as much waste as they do product — almost 110 million tons annually in the US alone.
Washington State spent more than 500 million dollars on waste disposal, recycling, and composting in 2009. But what is the real cost to business and the community? the film asks.
The film was produced in 2011 …
Compost your food scraps and yard waste: A simple bin in your backyard can greatly cut down on your landfill contributions while rewarding you with a natural fertilizer for your soil. See “Composting Made Easy—Even for City Dwellers” to learn more.
Reduce plastic use: Purchase products that are not made from or packaged in plastic. Use reusable shopping bags for groceries. Bring your own mug when indulging in a coffee drink — and skip the lid and the straw. Bring drinking water from home in glass water bottles, instead of buying bottled water. Store foods in the freezer in glass mason jars as opposed to plastic bags. Take your own leftover container to restaurants. Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning. These are just a few ideas — I’m sure you can think of more.
Recycle and repurpose what you can:Take care to recycle and repurpose products whenever possible. This includes separating paper, glass, and plastic for recycling. Give clothes or gently used household items to charities, and frequent second-hand stores instead of buying new. Make use of online sites like Freecycle.org that allow you to give products you no longer need away to others instead of throwing them away.