Pawel Alva Nazaruk interviewed Dr Paul Connett to find out how you, the dreamers, can help create a Zero Waste world!
What is a Zero Waste World?
GrassRoots Recycling Network defines a zero waste world as incorporating a zero waste philosophy. This 21st century design principle includes recycling, but is not wholly limited to this as it takes a whole system approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society. Read more about the Green Living and Zero Waste City.
In short, a zero waste world ensures all products manufactured are either recycled back into nature or the marketplace.
Who is Dr. Paul Connett?
Paul Connett is a Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. His 2013 publication entitled The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing The Planet One Community At A Time was well-received by book reviewers. Connett has been a grassroots activist for most of his life and is a true inspiration to the dreamers reading this. A main focus of his was, of course, to create a zero waste world and this article will hopefully give the dreamers reading this the means to go out there and create a sustainable planet for all!
Why do we need a Zero Waste World?
The world cannot go on this way. As Paul Connett told Pawel Alva Nazaruk in the podcast, if everyone wanted to consume like the average American we would need five planets in order to sustain that!
We need to change our habits.
Connett illustrates that many people seem to think that incinerators are the remedy to the issue at hand–this is not the case! Burning our waste, rather than burying them, releases toxic byproducts into the environment which pollutes everything around us. Connett illustrated the scary thought that if a female grows up living near an incinerator then the pollutants will be immovable through her body and stored as fat–if she then has a baby these pollutants will be passed on to the baby and could potentially cause mental and physical developmental issues!
Incinerators are not just harmful to the environment, they are harmful to us too!
However, despite these warnings from numerous academics and industry experts, there are plans to build even more incinerators! In China, there are plans to build 300 incinerators that burn 3000-4000 tonnes of waste per day. Keeping in mind that China is a country with pollution rife in its major cities, this will not only worsen the situation on a local level, but also on a global level as it will cause China’s levels of pollution to rise.
This pollution is obviously disastrous for the environment, as I explored in more detail in my article on the Chasing Ice documentary. It is imperative that we take action now and prevent incinerators from being used instead of true zero waste alternatives.
So, what can I do to stop the creation of incinerators and create a true zero waste world?
Paul Connett gave Pawel Alva Nazaruk ten useful tips that we can all follow to produce less waste and help set the foundations for creating a zero waste world:
- Manage resources efficiently
- Door to door collection of recyclable goods
- Reuse and repair
- Pay as you throw waste disposal schemes
- Use waste reduction initiatives *
- Go above and beyond 80% waste diversion levels
- Industrial responsibility
- Residual landfills for non-recyclable materials which will hopefully decrease as we progress towards more sustainable methods of waste management
*Ireland implemented a 15% taxation on single use plastic carrier bags and a year after implementing this there was a 92% reduction in the use of plastic bags!
Hopefully, after reading this article and the above tips, you will now be inspired to implement these tips into your life and create a zero waste world. It may also be worth noting that writing to your local authority and enquiring about what services they are offering regarding sustainable development may also have benefits that could greatly increase awareness of the issue on a community level. Eventually, if we keep working together, we will create a zero waste world that will benefit all of its inhabitants!
You can also connect with Paul Connett through Social Media. Click the links below to connect with HIM!
His Website: https://fluoridealert.org/faq/
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