The prevention and elimination of solid waste is an important aspect of sustainability. Solid waste is one of the main contributors to global climate change. Greenhouse gases like methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are generated when organic materials such as paper products, food waste, plant debris, and wood, as well as other non-organic materials, are sent to the landfill.
Eliminating waste has many benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill, lowering the amount of energy used to manufacture, package, and transport items, and decreasing the need to extract “virgin” resources to make new products from scratch.
What can you do instead of adding to the trash can? Choose to reduce your consumption, reuse or repurpose items, repair broken ones, and divert other waste by recycling or composting. Explore the links on the left for more information and explore the links between climate change and Materials (before use) and Waste (after use) from regional agency Stopwaste.
Are you handy or looking to get something fixed? Fremont Main Library regularly hosts Fixit Clinics with the volunteer run Fix It Clinic organization. Check the library’s events page for upcoming dates.
The Circular Economy
As a sustainable alternative to the take-make-use-dispose linear economy of today, a circular economy works to design out waste and pollution, regenerate natural systems, and keep products, components, and materials at their highest value and use. A circular economy is designed for resiliency and actively works to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and improve the health of workers and consumers. Find out more on the Stopwaste website. (Image below via Stopwaste and Arup)
This new model for materials use and waste reduction is an emerging one, with many innovative businesses and organizations leading the way by reusing materials, changing processes, and creating new sustainable products.