With one flick of the hand we send our waste into the bins. It's time to consider if they can be recycled, reused and reduced.
Whether it is food waste, plastic waste, electronics, paper waste, or even metal waste—every item that we chuck into the bin, lands up inside a landfill, and it is no secret that we will soon reach a point when there won’t be any space available for our trash anymore; atleast not on this planet.
Here’s how long most of your everyday garbage takes to decompose and how you can make tiny, sustainable changes to your lifestyle to make a difference.
1. Plastic in your garbage
From single-use plastic bottles that we mindlessly buy and dispose of to the ubiquitous plastic bags, straws to sanitary napkins, plastics can take anywhere upto 450 to 1,000 years to decompose.
What’s more, 1.6 million barrels of oil is used every year to produce plastic water bottles. Imagine the loss of our natural resources!
Make a reusable copper water bottle a permanent fixture in your bag. Just refill and use on the go. Also, say no to plastic bags every time you go shopping and carry this shopping bag and organiser instead.
2. Don’t throw food in garbage
Fun fact: Orange peels take six months, an apple core or a banana peel takes about a month, and a piece of lettuce can take 25 years to decompose in a landfill.
You can save a lot of trash from landing on the soil if you use your kitchen waste smartly. Learn how to compost. Use the technique to help your home garden flourish with fresh manure made at home.
Get hold of this 3-tier composting kit and get started today!
3. Paper waste
While it’s the fastest to decompose and isn’t as harmful to the environment because it comes from wood, one can always aim to recycle paper, because its production uses up a crazy amount of resources.
Here are some recycled stationery, diaries, gift bags, and folders that you can opt for the next time.
4. Aluminium cans
From ready-made baked beans, to aerated drinks, barley grains to cheese, there’s hardly anything that you wouldn’t find in aluminium packaging on the aisles of a supermarket.
Aluminium is an energy-intensive metal; it uses large amounts of water, and contributes to air, water, and soil pollution in its making and takes 250 years to decompose.
Don’t buy things that come packaged in this material. Especially your beverages. Buy ones that come in sustainable packaging such as this.
We throw out batteries, sanitary napkins, milk cartons and cigarette butts. We also throw out clothes, cardboards and shoes. Some take two months to decompose, while others go upto 800 years.
What you can do is switch to stuff that are eco-friendly (start with personal hygiene products) and don’t have such adverse, far-reaching effects on our planet.
Once you start seeing a dip in the waste you generate, we promise it’ll bring you oodles of satisfaction and good karma. Start small. Start somewhere.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)