Carbon Clock Countdown
Every day we seem to forget the world we live in more and more. We forget that the things that we do to live a life of luxury and comfort, and call industry, commerce, development, affect a living world. We dig deeper for precious minerals and fossil fuels, drill harder for gas and oil, pollute the skies and the oceans – and we call it progress. We sniff at those who chose Zero Waste living who think we need to act.
But those resources won’t always be there. We’re already over our ‘Natural Budget’…
Humans are using up the planet’s resources so quickly that people have used a year’s worth in just seven months. This year the annual date when people have caused a year’s worth of ecological damage – Earth Overshoot Day – comes two days earlier than last year.
It falls on August 1 as calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that observes humanity’s use of materials such as food, timber and fibres, as well as carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and the environmental damage caused by building infrastructure.
The most recent Carbon Clock Special Report says that, at the current rate of CO2 emissions, we’ll be looking at a global temperature change within the next 9 years, if not sooner.
And the rate at which we are consuming the Earth’s natural resources is still speeding up. The experts say it means humanity is currently using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.
The costs of the “ecological overspend” include biodiversity loss, deforestation, soil erosion, collapsing fisheries, fresh water scarcity and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to a vicious circle of climate change and more severe droughts, wildfires and hurricanes.
But so many of us forget… if the planet dies, so do we.
It’s letting go of consumerism and selfishness, and taking a more sustainable approach. But I might be getting a little ahead of myself!
There is an estimated 7.5 Billion people living on this planet today. If everyone just did 1 small thing different… 7.5 billion small things – little nothings, in fact, that add up to something big – we can change the face of a planet.
And that’s where Waste Free Living comes in.
According to Wikipedia, Zero Waste:
“is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. Currently, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled.”
It’s the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
It boils down to what we call The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce the amount of non-reusable and non-recyclable items you buy. You can also reduce your footprint by making items you need yourself. Reuse absolutely everything you can – from broken class turned into mosaic tiles, to fixed appliances and re-purposed pill bottles. If you can find a way to reuse something, do it! Finally, Recycle. Instead of throwing something out into the trash, take it to be recycled.
Those are the most basic three steps – but that’s where we all start!
While both plastic free and waste free have similar goals, there is actually a pretty big difference between the two.
Plastic Free: Living plastic free is only one part of living Waste Free. It is, interestingly enough, where most people begin their journey because it is one of the most noticeable and frequently thought of element of Waste Free.
Being plastic free, or trying to achieve it, can involve anything as simple as taking your own reusable bags to go shopping with, to using glass bottles for storage, to recycle whatever plastic you do use. It really is an easier place to start with.
Waste Free, as we talked about above, is about cutting about anything that might end up in a landfill, and employing the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle method!
Are you interested in trying out a few plastic alternative products? Check out my shop!
Are you just starting out on your Zero Waste journey, and have a lot of questions? Or are you just curious about Zero Waste and low waste living? My free e-guide, A Quick Guide to Zero Waste, is for you!
Click below to download your new e-guide!