STUDY THE DANGERS OF WASTE
THE WASTING WORLD
More than 33% of all food produced worldwide is wasted. We also fail to reduce, reuse, and/or recycle water, energy, electronics, forests, hazardous materials, packaging, cars, tires, sewage, and other types of waste.
This causes massive harm to our planet, including increased landfills, pollution, depletion of natural resources, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and depletion of the ozone layer.
EVERYONE IS AT RISK
Waste releases pollution into the air and soil and can irritate our eyes, nose, and throat. Continued exposure can cause more serious health problems.
Waste releases toxins, like mercury, that settles onto plants and into water sources that are then inhaled, absorbed, or consumed by animals and marine life. These toxins cause illnesses and disrupt fragile ecosystems.
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE
People have strong feelings about the issue of climate change and not everyone shares the same view.
However, people on both sides of the climate change debate agree that the best way to help the environment is to reduce waste.
Remember, the Earth is everyone’s responsibility.
COMMON TYPES OF WASTE
More than $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a Trillion Dollars!) worth of food is wasted every year. Food makes up 20% of landfill weight and is the single largest source of household waste. The methane gas released by wasted food is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
The average family of four in America uses 400 gallons of water each day and more than 95% of the water that enters the home goes down the drain. Each day, more than 7 billion gallons of fresh water is used for residential landscaping (in the U.S. alone) and 50% of that is lost to evaporation or runoff.
More than 57% of the energy in the U.S. is wasted through heat and leaks because of inefficient technology. The wasted energy includes oil, coal, natural gas, and renewables.
Each year, more than 3.4 billion pounds of electronics in the U.S. are sent to landfills or are incinerated. This includes computers, televisions, and other electronics. This E-waste contains hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and lithium.
More than 50% of the Earth’s forests have been cut down for fuel, building materials, and farming. Deforestation causes loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and other significant environmental issues.
Hazardous waste arises from a wide range of different sources including households, commercial activities, and industry. Hazardous waste includes paint, oil, pesticides, and medical waste and can poison rivers, lakes, and oceans. Hazardous waste can also pollute drinking water and cause contamination and health risks.
Most packaging waste is not biodegradable and can last for decades in landfills, which can lead to polluted soil and drinking water. Packaging includes glass bottles, plastic containers, aluminum cans, food wrappers, timber pallets, drums, and any other materials that contain or protect goods when they are transported. Packaging waste can arise from a wide range of sources including supermarkets, retail outlets, manufacturing industries, households, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, and shipping companies.
Cars and Tires
Discarded cars and tires contain hazardous substances including anti-freeze, brake fluid, oils, and rubber. These materials release toxins that pollute water, air, and soil.
Sewage is household wastewater that can contain harmful chemicals, bacteria, and toxins, much of which is from human waste. Sewage is associated with strong smells and contains pathogenic organisms that can transmit diseases.