As scary as that may sound, it is indeed true. We can no longer pretend that it doesn’t matter or that it will just deal with itself or go away. As human population grows, our consumption and waste generation equally grows. So, many of the things that we got away with many years ago are simply not sustainable – yes that is the word.
To help you get a better grasp, here are the estimated length of time it takes for certain waste to decompose plus alternatives and solutions:
|Banana peels||2 – 5 weeks||Use in food compost|
|Newspaper||6 weeks||Recycle or compose|
|Apple core||2 months||Use in food compost|
|Milk carton||3 months||Recycle|
|Cigarette butt||1 – 5 years||Reduce|
|Plastic bag||10 – 20 years||Use a tote bag or other reusable bag|
|Styrofoam cup||50 years||Eliminate|
|Leather||50 years (longer if chemically tanned)||Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle|
|Aluminum can||200 years||Recycle or Upcycle into pots, stoves, etc|
|Disposable diapers||450 years||Reduce|
|Plastic bottles||450 years||Use refillable water bottles|
|Glass bottles||I million years or more or never||Recycle|
It is therefore important to call on governments, businesses and other stakeholders to make the much needed investments in providing recycling facilities, providing environmental education at all levels, promoting and rewarding sustainable use of resources.
What better legacy can we leave for future generations?
Check out the cool video here: