Creating an Eco-Friendly Project Site

Creating a worksite for construction is already a tough task, you have to get all the workers, tools, set up transportation of resources and materials, source the whereabouts of where this will take place, and more. It can be daunting at times, as you have a lot to plan and think about, plus the costs can be outrageous.

What’s even harder is planning it to be an eco-friendly site, as more people are in a rage about making things environmentally friendly; from power to materials, to transportation, they’d want it all to be as safe and protective of the ecosystem as possible. Luckily for you, you don’t have to look every to figure out how to do so, because you can look here.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Project Site

Finding Sustainable Materials to Work With

When you think of construction and building, you’ll often think of a workplace, workers, cement mixer, pallets of materials, and much more. While this is true, to create a more eco-friendly site, you’d want to start by thinking about what kinds of materials you are using and should you be using.

There are many different materials that you can use in place of concrete or commonly found materials that are not good for the environment thanks to the gases or pollution that they cause. These materials can include bamboo, straw, recycled plastic, and much more.

Manage Powered Equipment More Effectively

Powered equipment can take a great toll on the environment since it uses mass quantities or electricity to remain powered. What’s worse, is most worksites will keep their lights, tools, and everything else on while they are no longer working, or while on break. While this may not seem so bad, this can affect the use of electricity horribly and do damage to the environment.

If you want to become more eco-friendly, ensure your workers are managing their electricity correctly, shutting their tools and lights off when not in use, and opting for more eco-friendly ways to work. This can be difficult to do, but will greatly decrease the effect and use of electricity and harm on the environment.

Try to Conserve as Much Water as Possible

Water is one of the most overused and overlooked resources when at a job site. Water can be used for basic toiletries, cleaning materials, and many other ways. One of the best ways to conserve and repurpose water would be through the use of collected rainwater.

While it may seem a bit off, you can build rainwater collection systems that allow you to repurpose, irrigate, and use water that would have just been discarded or thrown away. This gives you a source of water that is usable but most likely shouldn’t be consumed.

Recycling from Construction Materials and Demolition

Let’s face it, you are going to have a lot of construction trash, broken materials, or unused materials left over from the job site, and you are most likely going to hire some person to quickly pick it up and haul it away. While this is a cheap and easy thing to do, the better choice would be to recycle or repurpose these materials.

Recycling of Construction Materials

You could hire a recycling company that will take these materials away, harvest what’s usable, and then repurpose them for future use. Or if that’s not your fancy, you could donate them to another work site yourself, and they can take these busted materials off your hands and purpose them themselves. Lastly, you could just repurpose a need or use of the material and not let anything go to waste.

Maximize Use of Natural Light and Energy

A way to conserve and maybe even build energy rather than just use it would be to think of your natural sources of energy and light. During the day you won’t need much light as the sun will give you natural light at all times it is out. And a way to use this energy to your advantage and even build a reserve would be to invest in solar.

Solar energy allows you to use the power of the sun, and as technology advances more companies are looking into creating tools and other ways to use solar or more eco-friendly energy conserves. A reserve of energy would not just help the environment but also save you money.

Solar Energy Guide for Students

Reduce Carbon Footprint on Transportation

Moving materials from one place to another can cause a huge increase in carbon production which would hurt the environment. To make the most out of becoming more eco-friendly, try to see if you can manage the use of transportations correctly, or switch to an eco-friendly fuel.

As time advances and many more eco-safe or eco-friendly companies start to come to fruition, more and more are looking into the use and design of more environmentally sound fuels for vehicles or tools. This could be solar power or bio-based fuels that can reduce this carbon footprint.

Planning for a Sustainable Work Site

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when planning or setting up your work site. More is added when you have to start considering all the different ways to make the job site more eco-friendly to appease a bigger crowd that is steadily growing in their desire for environmentally safe construction sites.

While it may be a lot to consider, or even think about while trying to make your project site more eco-friendly, there are many ways you can start doing this. These include finding sustainable building materials that would be more environmentally friendly, conserving the use of electricity, saving water, and even maximizing the use of natural energy sources, recycling what you can from leftover materials or demolitions, and even reducing your carbon footprint by investing in eco-friendly fuel and ways of transportation.

While it is a lot to think of, don’t be afraid to plan this journey out slowly, and take small steps to become more eco-friendly at the job site. Even the smallest steps make a great impact and will slowly add up.

Municipal Waste Management in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been witnessing rapid industrialization, high population growth rate and fast urbanization which have resulted in increased levels of pollution and waste. Solid waste management is becoming a big challenge for the government and local bodies with each passing day. With population of around 35 million, Saudi Arabia generates more than 15 million tons of solid waste per year. The per capita waste generation is estimated at 1.5 to 1.8 kg per person per day.

Saudi_Arabia_Waste

Solid waste generation in the three largest cities – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam – exceeds 6 million tons per annum which gives an indication of the magnitude of the problem faced by civic bodies.  More than 75 percent of the population is concentrated in urban areas which make it necessary for the government to initiate measures to improve recycling and waste management scenario in the country.

In Saudi Arabia, municipal solid waste is collected from individual or community bins and disposed of in landfills or dumpsites. Saudi waste management system is characterized by lack of waste disposal and tipping fees. Recycling, reuse and energy recovery is still at an early stage, although they are getting increased attention. Waste sorting and recycling are driven by an active informal sector. Recycling rate ranges from 10-15%, mainly due to the presence of the informal sector which extracts paper, metals and plastics from municipal waste.

Recycling activities are mostly manual and labor intensive. Composting is also gaining increased interest in Saudi Arabia due to the high organic content of MSW (around 40%).  Efforts are also underway to deploy waste-to-energy technologies in the Kingdom. All activities related to waste management are coordinated and financed by the government.

The Saudi government is aware of the critical demand for waste management solutions, and is investing heavily in solving this problem. The 2017 national budget allocated SR 54 billion for the municipal services sector, which includes water drainage and waste disposal. The Saudi government is making concerted efforts to improve recycling and waste disposal activities. Saudi visa for qualified waste management professionals will also go a long way in improving waste management situation in the country.

E-Waste Management in the GCC: Perspectives

The growing amount of e-waste is gaining more and more attention on the global agenda. In 2017, e-waste production is expected to reach up to 48 million metric tons worldwide. The biggest contributors to this volume are highly developed nations, with the top three places of this inglorious ranking going to Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.

In Norway, each inhabitant produces a massive 28.3 kg of e-waste every year. Not far behind the top ten of this ranking lie GCC member states, with both Kuwait and UAE producing each 17.2 kg e-waste per capita per year. Saudi Arabia with its many times larger population produces least e-waste per capita among all GCC countries, with 12.5 kg a year.

Link between Development and E-Waste

Recent research suggests that there is evidence of a strong link between economic development and the generation of e-waste.  Due to rapid urbanization growth rates along with a substantial increase in the standard of living, more people develop a consumerist culture. With rising disposable income, people replace their technology more frequently, as soon there are upgraded gadgets on the market. This development is aggravated by technological progress, which renders shorter life spans of products.

Complexity of E-Waste

E-waste is not only a fast-growing waste stream but also complex, as it contains a large variety of different products. This makes it extremely difficult to manage. The rapid technology development and the emergence of items such as smart clothes will render e-waste management even more difficult in the future. Dealing with e-waste is not only toxic for workers with direct contact to it, but also the dumpsites on which e-waste is stored can have severe environmental impacts on the surrounding areas. Many developed countries export the bulk of their e-waste to developing countries, where it is recovered using extremely harmful methods for both human and the environment.

Out of the total e-waste produced world-wide, only about 15% are collected by official take-back schemes. The European Union is one of the few regions in the world with uniform legislation regarding the collection and processing of e-waste. The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive took effect in 2003 and was designed to make manufacturers of appliances responsible for their equipment at the end of its life, a system known as extended producer responsibility (EPR).

An Untapped Opportunity

However, e-waste should not only be seen as a problem which more and more developed countries have to face. According to statistics, the intrinsic material value of global e-waste is estimated to be 48 billion euros in 2014. Even though the large part of e-waste constitutes of iron and steel, precious metals such as gold, copper, palladium, silver, platinum, cobalt, and more provide economic incentive for recycling.  In addition to the intrinsic material value, there are more benefits to e-waste recycling, such as job and employment creation.

electrical-waste-uk

In addition to these economic benefits, the recycling of electronic waste products also ensures to reduce environmental pollution by conserving virgin resources, whose extraction goes along with severe damages to entire ecosystems.

Situation in GCC Countries

In almost all GCC countries, there is minimal to zero legislation on e-waste, with minor differences between the respective counties. Kuwait as one of the biggest per capita e-waste producers among the GCC nations uses the same landfills for both conventional and e-waste. Bahrain operates only one landfill for the entire country, but there are several recycling initiatives in place, aiming at separating plastics, metals and paper. Still, there is no comprehensive law on e-waste management. Saudi Arabia possesses the biggest total amount of e-waste among the GCC countries. There are private companies, initiatives and Non-Profit-Organizations currently working on e-waste recycling, but there is no regulated system in place.

Oman does not have regulations or facilities to deal with e-waste, but the country has recently stated the realization of a need for it. Qatar has also recognized the need to address the waste management issue, but no concrete actions have been taken. The most advanced momentum regarding e-waste of all GCC countries can be found in the UAE. In some waste management centers, there are facilities where e-waste is classified and sorted out specifically. The UAE government is currently developing regulation and facilities to for sound e-waste recycling.

The Way Forward

As we have seen, in many GCC countries the need for e-waste legislation is widely recognized. E-waste management provides an opportunity and a huge potential in the entire Middle East, primarily due to four reasons.

First, e-waste management is a source of employment for both highly skilled and unskilled workers. This could help to transfer employment from the public to the private sector, which is a goal of many Gulf countries. Second, e-waste recycling can also minimize costs, as less landfill space is being used. In Bahrain, the only existing landfill is expected to reach its capacity in the next years, and poses furthermore a health risks for the population as it is close to urban areas.

The most advanced momentum regarding e-waste in the GCC can be found in the UAE.

Third, the intrinsic value of e-waste with its precious metals provide economic incentive for recycling. As reserves for many metals decrease drastically, the economic value of these resources is expected to increase. And fourth, developments in e-waste management provide opportunities for industry and environmental research. Innovative and efficient recycling processes could be developed and transferred to other countries.

In order to fulfill this potential for e-waste management in GCC countries, the first step is to develop a sound regulatory framework in order to ensure private sector participation. Additionally, programs to increase public awareness for waste and in specific e-waste need to be developed, which is necessary for an integrated e-waste management system.

References

Kusch, S. & Hills, C.D. (2017). The Link between e-Waste and GDP—New Insights from Data from the Pan-European Region. Resources 6 (15); doi:10.3390/resources6020015

Baldé, C.P., Wang, F., Kuehr, R. & Huisman, J. (2015). The global e-waste monitor – 2014. United Nations University, IAS – SCYCLE. Bonn, Germany

Morgan, K. (2015). Is there a future for e-waste recycling? Yes, and it’s worth billions.

Cucchiella, F., D’Adamo, I., Lenny Koh, S.C. & Rosa, P. (2015). Recycling of WEEEs: An economic assessment of present and future e-waste streams. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (51); doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.010

Alghazo, J. & Ouda, O. (2016). Electronic Waste Management and security in GCC Countries: A Growing Challenge. Conference Paper.

Debusmann, B. (2015). New regulations are coming up to deal with e-waste.

Sustainable Waste Management in the Construction Industry

Construction is booming worldwide driven by population growth, urbanization and increased need for dwellings, business sites and commercial spaces with volume output expected to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030. Unfortunately, it also means that there is a serious challenge to implement sustainable waste management in the construction industry.

It is not only the duty of waste management contractors and companies to ensure sustainable collection and management of construction wastes responsibly but also individuals who are doing their own DIY projects at home. Without a concerted effort to collect, recycle and dispose waste properly, there is real danger to the environment that will eventually spill over to people, vegetation, and wildlife.

Role of education and behavior change

On a global scale, over half of the world’s population have no access to a steady collection of trash. Illegal dumpsites hold over 40% of the world’s waste. It’s not only the lack of facilities but also inadequate information that is contributing to waste-related pollution all over the world.

Sustainable waste collection begins by educating people about reducing, reusing and recycling efforts or the 3R approach. From education and information campaigns to changes in behavior and attitudes, when people know and are aware of the benefits of reducing, segregating, collection, reusing and recycling, they become a collective and conscious effort.

Right materials and equipment

The availability of bins, collection containers, and recycling centers also has a great influence on how much a person and their communities recycle and reuse or dispose of construction waste properly. For people who are able to hire a 20 yard dumpster in West Chester, Lancaster, Norrington, Reading or any other town in the world, it is easier and convenient to remove construction and renovation waste knowing that the company will dispose of it properly by bringing it to approved landfills.

What is also important is for clients, contractors and recycling specialists to put their heads together to minimize construction waste according to Oyenuga and Bhamidimarri.

General awareness to reduce dumping is increasing as about 35% of construction and demolition waste (CDW) goes to landfills. Construction rubbish can contain lots of toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and other dangerous substances that can find their way into the soil, groundwater, and the air that we breathe.

The construction industry has also recognized that reusing components and materials in making or erecting structures is sustainable and saves money. Most of the parts of construction consist of wood, sticks, steel, and concrete. Rubble can be compacted and reused. Demolition is carefully considered if renovation can be carried out.

The Way Forward

Waste generated from construction sites need not be a nuisance to the environment. With the right education to increase awareness to reduce/recycle/reuse, provision of collection and recycling points and the newer and better techniques to reuse construction materials, sustainable management of construction waste can become a reality.

Easy DIY Projects to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Personal responsibility seems to be taking preeminence in every area of our lives. As time goes by, people are advised to change how they act in response to society’s change. The same case applies to reducing your carbon footprint. It’s time that everyone is held accountable for their contribution to climate change.

The constant reminder of our contribution to the carbon footprint is the first step to reducing your carbon footprint. Reducing carbon footprint will also save you time, money, energy, reduce pollution and enjoy a healthy environment. Of course, it is easier said than done, but everyone has to play a part to achieve this goal. Read this guide to learn all about carbon footprint.

What is Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, released directly into the atmosphere causing global warming.

How To Calculate Carbon Footprint

It is essential to calculate your carbon footprint to keep track of it and reduce it. There are calculators available online which will help you figure out your carbon footprint. Some of the standard data you will be asked about is:

  • The size of your home
  • Your diet
  • Mode of transport you use to run your daily business and for how long
  • The type of energy you use in your home

They may not be accurate enough since you’re using estimates, but they will give you a general idea about your carbon footprint and how to improve on it. So, here are the few DIY projects you can take to reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Recycle and Reuse to Reduce Waste

Your home is the first place where you can exercise recycling effectively to reduce your carbon footprint. If all of us can waste less and recycle more, this will be a massive step towards saving money and energy. Take note of the things that you use daily, which can be easily recycled. Some of these include:

  • Plastics
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Aluminum

skip bins

You can also sell or donate some of the things you don’t need instead of wasting more of them in landfills. Other methods of recycling and reusing items in your home are:

  • Using old clothes as cleaning rags
  • Reusing your shopping bags instead of buying new ones
  • Buying recycled clothing
  • Reusing plastics

2. Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Even the smallest appliances can consume lots of energy. But don’t worry since there are simple but effective alternatives that you can use to reduce your home’s energy usage. These are:

  • Unplugging appliances that you’re not using like AC, charger, etc.
  • Switching off lights when you’re not using a room
  • Using LED light bulbs to save more energy
  • Using sustainable temperature control appliances like programmable thermostats and fans
  • Shift to solar energy

 

how to reduce energy bill

Try to use less energy in your home to reduce your carbon footprint. Talk to ac repair in Cherry Hill specialist to advise you on other innovative energy measures to take. They will also check your AC systems and do the necessary upgrades in your home to save more energy and reduce your utility bills.

3. Check on Your Water Usage

Water is one of the resources that you should safeguard at all costs. Most home systems receive water through pumping systems which consume a lot of energy. However, you can take simple DIY steps to save more water to prevent draining it into the environment. These include:

  • Harvesting water during the rainy season
  • Repairing faulty water leaks
  • Turning off the water when brushing or cleaning dishes
  • Reducing your bathing time

4. Use Alternative Transportation Methods

Are the errands that you need to run near your home? If so, consider using a bike or take a walk instead. By doing this, you will cut on the number of carbon emissions as you also keep healthy. Also, if you need to use a car, you can plan to complete all your errands in one day instead of several days.

green-travel

Also, if you have to use air travel, settle for the economy class other than first class. It is both cost-effective and has a lower carbon footprint on the environment.

5. Speak Up

One method of passing information is by speaking up. The more this information reaches the masses, the easier it will be to minimize carbon footprint. With the availability of the internet and social media, this is not too hard to achieve. You will be able to reach your family, friends, co-workers, etc. You can also participate in environmental volunteer programs to set an example for the rest. Words without action won’t have any impact.

Everyone has a personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint. All you need to do is follow the above tips to create a better and sustainable environment even for future generations.

Solid Waste Management in South Asia – Practical Action’s Experience

Waste management systems can be divided into a number of steps from collection, storage, transportation, processing, treatment, recycling and final disposal. Integrated solid waste management refers to this entire process and aims to maximise resource use efficiency, with minimal amounts ending up in final disposal sites. During Practical Action’s recent work in the South Asia region, we have gained particular experiences in terms of waste collection, storage and transportation; and secondly waste processing in particular of organic waste.

Waste-Management-Bangladesh

Waste Collection and Transportation

In many cities, waste collection services fail to reach all areas of the town or city. People are left to manage their own waste, which they do by burning and burying it, or dumping on open spaces. Sometimes large bins or skips are provided but they may be irregularly emptied, and also overflow when the contents is picked over by waste pickers and animals.

In Bangladesh, in order to help increase the overall capacity for collecting household waste, Practical Action has promoted a door-to-door collection service run by local NGOs. Residents pay a service charge in addition to their municipal rates, but in return they receive a regular service, leading to a cleaner neighbourhood.

In Faridpur, the local NGO, WORD, with technical backstopping from Practical Action serves more than 5,000 customers with waste collection. There are three main types of customer, non-slum households, slum households and institutions. Slum-based households are charged the lowest tariffs (minimum BDT 10) while the institutional rate is highest (minimum BDT 150).

The numbers of slum households is small because the alternative option of localized composting (with a barrel system) was widely taken up. This is easier than collection through vans and is useful for slum people as they can use the compost later. Waste collectors use small rickshaw vans for the collection service. Recently we have also introduced small small rickshaw vans and small motorized versions for the collection service.

The waste is taken to a composting facility where it is sorted and the organic portion is separated for composting, and in some cases for generating biogas. In 2008, WORD started the waste collection business with only 525 customers. In the last 8 years, the number has increased more than tenfold (5,100 customer per month) making the solid waste management a viable business. It has not only contributed to a better living environment, but also generated green and dignified jobs for 21 waste workers.

The municipal conservancy department continues to play a regulatory and coordinating role through the Waste Management Steering Committee. This meets regularly to discuss any emerging issues and review the progress of door-to-door collection services. The conservancy department continues to manage the sweeping of streets and drains, and collection of waste from some areas of the town, from vegetable markets and slaughter houses. The only recycling and reuse of organic waste is done by WORD, as all municipal waste for now continues to be disposed at an open dumping site where no further treatment, sorting or reuse takes place.

In Nepal, Practical Action has facilitated organic waste management under a public-private partnership model. For example, in Butwal Municipality, a private firm, Marry Gold Concern, collects and manages wastes from 400 households with a monthly service fee of NPR 50 (GBP 0.33) in an area called Ramnagar. The company employs three operators for collecting and managing waste from low income communities. A compost plant has been set up which processes up to 10 metric tonnes of organic waste and generate 5 metric tonnes of compost per month. In addition, recyclable waste, mainly plastic, is sold to scrap dealers, creating another source of income.

Recycling and Disposal by Forming Associations and Enterprises

In Bangladesh, collection services have been organised through existing local NGOs. In Nepal, Practical Action has instead helped to form different groups of Informal Waste Workers (IWW) such as street waste pickers, waste segregators, pheriya (dry waste pickers), scrap owners and door to door collectors.

We have worked intensively  with IWW from five municipalities of Kathmandu Valley. We have facilitated the establishment of a IWWs association called Samyukta Safai Jagaran (SASAJA), and the first waste workers’ cooperative with the same name. These organisations have distributed identity cards to members to increase their recognition as an ‘official’ part of the waste management system. We provided basic safety equipment to 5,622 IWWs, including rain boots/shoes, gloves, masks, raincoats, windcheaters with trouser and wrapper, aprons, cap etc. to minimize health risks.

Basic safety equipment is essential to minimize health risks to informal recycling sector.

Basic safety equipment is essential to minimize health risks to informal recycling sector.

Following capacity building and skill enhancement training from Practical Action, many of the IWW group members have established waste-based enterprises. For example, plastic tearing (PET bottle and carton crushing or pressing) for recycling and reuse; paper recycling and mechanical composting of organic waste. This approach has been scaled up in other municipalities in Chitwan and Rupadehi districts reaching around 350 IWWs there.

Reducing Waste through Home Composting

In Nepal and Sri Lanka, and in some slum communities in Bangladesh, we have promoted barrel composting of organic waste. This has the dual benefit of producing compost locally which can be used for home gardening, and reducing the amount of waste that needs to be collected and disposed of elsewhere.

It can reduce the amount of organic waste coming in to the waste collection stream by about 20-30%. It requires community involvement in waste management system as well as frequent monitoring and troubleshooting. This process ensures source segregation of waste, a necessary condition for proper implementation of the 3R system (reuse, reduce and recycle).

Practical Action has distributed more than 2,000 compost bins in Sri Lanka. Especially in Galle, Kurunegala and Akkaraipattu cities where we have distributed about 1,500 home composting bins from 2006 to 2016. More than 65% of the bins are being regularly used.

Our experience shows that once a locality is provided with home composting, the volume of organic waste into the municipal collection system is reduced around 20-30%. However, this varies greatly by locations. If the local authority strictly monitors the compost bin usage and provides troubleshooting support, waste reduction can reach up to 30%.

Both Kurunegala and Galle municipal councils have upscaled the distribution of bins city-wide with the support of national government funding. This technology was taken up by the private sector and other municipal councils. It has been used widely in the country as a solution for reducing organic waste coming in to the waste collection system. For example, Kandy municipal council has adopted the technology with strict restriction on organic waste collection in the municipality collection system.

The Provincial Agriculture department in Kurunegala and the Coconut cultivation board in Akkaraipattu are both promoting organic agriculture with the usage of composting and are using Practical Action’s work as examples for expansion. The central government has provided seeds and fertilizer to city dwellers, including the urban poor, to promote home gardening.

This has been further expanded by Kurunegala municipal council which has distributed potted plants. Some of the vertical gardening structures promoted by Practical Action are now included in urban gardening models of the Western Province Urban Agriculture unit.

Can We Create Zero Waste?

A zero waste society is something we all agree would be ideal. Imagine if everything used could be turned into a new product or go back into the earth. Several companies are moving their businesses into biodegradable containers, which means that maybe we can rethink landfills. Even Coca-Cola has said that by 2025, their bottles will be compostable, which could be a gamechanger.

biodegradable-containers

How Should We Change our Habits?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, the average American produced 4.9lbs of waste per day. This number might not seem that high, however, calculate that figure for all of the US, and you are now looking at 292.4m tons. This number helps us understand the society we live in and the changes needed.

Why Recycling isn’t the Answer?

Most people think, “I’ve used a bottle, recycled it, and now I’ve done my part.” There’s a lot more to this, though. How was that bottle made? Plastics, as we know them, harm our environment. Zero waste means we don’t think about recycling. The product is simply gone or used.

Many of us believe that all plastic is recycled, and if that is the case, we will reach zero wastage. However, when we look closer, only a small percentage of these recycled products is used to create a new product. In other words, this is good for now, and in the future, we will be more resourceful.

The EPA’s strategy begins with the product life cycle. If each company considered how their product would be used and waste reduction, we could reach a zero wastage time sooner. Companies should therefore create either biodegradable or reusable packaging.

What is Composting?

Landfills require a lot of space and emit methane gasses into the air. Composting decreases wastage and aids plant growth. Composting requires you to take food scraps, which used to be considered garbage and turn them into a product.

benefits-composting

Vegetable scraps are ideal for composting as they can break down quite quickly. Using a three-stage composting bin, you can create rich soil, which is used as a fertilizer. If you don’t own a garden, there are often organizations that will request homemade compost.

Ways to Reach a Waste-free Society

As a consumer, we shouldn’t be using one-time plastic bags. We could opt for reusable material bags. Bring our coffee mugs when we want coffee on the go. When you buy takeout, have handy cutlery already on you, preventing you from using more plastic.

When you do your weekly food shopping, be mindful of what you will consume. By buying the right amount, you have already helped save the planet. If you find you bought too many vegetables, find a way to use them and freeze them for a future meal.

Our society makes us think that once we are seen in a clothing outfit, it’s old. T-shirts last for some time, and you don’t always need to replace mildly worn clothes. If the t-shirt is no longer “your style,” instead of throwing it away, donate it or give it to a friend. This will ensure it lives a bit longer. All these little changes can bring us toward a zero wastage life. There are many ways we can reach zero wastage. For more information, read more.

Why Recycling Can Help With Anxiety

The kinds of products that one can recycle today is astonishing, as are the number of recycling services available across the country. Even folks living in more rural areas can typically reach a local recycling center in a matter of minutes where they can recycle plastics, cardboards, and glass.

Many grocery stores nowadays even have soft plastic recycling bins you can use to deposit used grocery bags, food wrappers, and other soft plastic material including netting and dog food bags. Recycling offers the opportunity for any individual to keep material out of landfills and reduce waste by turning old material into new products for reuse. But, it has other benefits too. Recycling is an excellent way to get organized and reduce anxiety around the house.

spring cleaning and anxiety

Spring Cleaning/Recycling can help reduce anxiety

If you’ve been feeling increased anxiety at home, take a look around the house. Sometimes a fresh start can help bring a sense of calm and clear headedness to your life. It may not be a cure-all for all of the anxiety you may be feeling, but a good spring clean may go further than you may think.

There is something to be said about walking into a room that is free of clutter and arranged in an inviting way. It increases a sense of pride in your home and your life, and makes room for your mind to focus on other things. It can stimulate productivity in other areas of your life, also. But how do you get started when the whole task of cleaning out and recycling seems a tad too overwhelming?

How to Get Started

Begin with one room at a time, tackling the easiest one first so you don’t get overwhelmed too quickly. This may be a room such as the pantry or office, or an extra bedroom. Decide how long you want to spend on each room, one weekend for example, and try your best to stick to your schedule. This process may fill you with anxiety at first, but once you get started you may begin to notice just how therapeutic the process really is.

Next you’ll need to create piles to sort your goods into: keep, trash, give away, and recycle. You can place these piles in each room or create a master pile somewhere inside or outside the house.

1. Keep Pile

This pile should be one of the smaller piles, believe it or not. It is reserved for items you absolutely need, use often, or has the highest sentimental value when compared to other items.

2. Sell Pile

Items in the sell pile are those with enough value not to throw away or recycle, but not worth holding onto because they are no longer needed or wanted. Use an online marketplace to sell them or do it the old fashioned way via a yard sale.

3. Give Away Pile

This pile is meant for all those items you love, but you really don’t need. These items you may have a hard time donating to strangers or recycling, but you may feel better about giving away friends or family. Examples of items appropriate for this pile could be gifts given to you that you’ve used seldomly, expensive items you no longer need or use but are hard to sell, or items with sentimental value.

4. Recycle Pile

Anything you can’t donate, sell, or give away should be considered for the recycle pile before going to the trash. Items that can be recycled include electronics of all kinds, paints, oils and other toxic substances, wood, yard clippings, plastic, metal, glass, soft plastics, cardboard and paper products, eyeglasses, and clothing.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Solid Waste Management

Entrepreneurship in solid waste management can be instrumental in environment protection, decentralization, economic restructuring and job creation. Entrepreneurial opportunities in solid waste planning are available in the areas of waste collection, waste handling, waste sorting, waste storage, waste transport, waste transformation and energy recovery from waste.

Entrepreneurship begins with the generation of an idea and culminates in realization of the project objectives. Historically, the improvement of waste management services by the public sector has been hampered by lack of funds in both developed and developing nations.

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Basic safety equipment is essential to minimize health risks to informal recycling sector.

Entrepreneurs can not only invest money in solid waste management sector, but also infuse new ideas, technologies and skills which can transform waste from being a liability into an asset. The efficiency of solid waste management increases with the involvement of entrepreneurs. Infact, it has been observed that involvement of entrepreneurs in solid waste management planning can reduce the service cost by half in Latin American cities with higher employment generation and vehicles productivity.

Entrepreneurial ventures in solid waste management can range from a one-man project to a mega-scale project involving thousands of skilled and unskilled workers. It has been observed that solid waste management is a labour-intensive process with tremendous potential to generate new jobs, depending on the type of project and the level of creativity. The major areas of entrepreneurial involvement include waste collection, transportation, reuse and recycling, upcycling and power generation.

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Basic safety equipment is essential to minimize health risks to informal recycling sector.

According to the World Bank, municipalities in developing countries typically spend 20 to 50 per cent of their annual budget on solid waste management, but only 40 to 70 per cent of solid waste is collected and less than 50 per cent of the population has access to municipal waste collection services.

Solid waste planning is an integral component of urban development as it contributes to public health, resource conservation and environment protection. Scientific disposal of domestic waste can prevent environmental degradation and harmful public health impacts while recycling can help in conservation of precious natural resources and energy.

Entrepreneurial activities in solid waste collection can not only increase waste collection efficiency but also improve waste management services for the marginalized sections of the society. An excellent example is the case of Nigeria-based Wecyclers which is aiming to building a low-cost waste collection infrastructure in Lagos by offering cheap and convenient domestic waste recycling services using a fleet of cargo bikes.

Easy 10 Steps Towards a More Sustainable Business

Are you looking to make your business more sustainable? This is something that every business owner should be looking to do and it can bring a multitude of benefits in addition to the ethical reasons, so here are 10 of the best ways that you can go about doing this.

1. Eco-Friendly Products

First, you need to make sure that you are both producing and sourcing eco-friendly products and trying to reduce plastic use as much as possible.

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2. Green Energy

Switching to a green energy provider is one of the most effective ways that you can reduce your impact, plus you can make huge savings over the long-term on your energy bills, so it is a smart financial move to make.

3. Encourage Cycling

It is important to encourage staff to use green forms of transport as opposed to driving. One way to do this is with bike parking outside of the office and to start a cycle to work scheme.

4. Reduce Food Waste

You should try to reduce food waste as much as possible and the best way to do this is to educate your staff on the importance of only bringing in what they need and using up spare food.

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5. Watch Water Usage

Water usage is another area to address and you will want to try to cut down on if possible, particularly when it comes to washing and cleaning.

6. Increase Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways to be more sustainable but often an area where businesses could improve on. You can do this by educating staff on what they can and cannot recycle and making it easier for them to recycle items, such as placing recycling bins in the office.

7. Reduce Paper Usage

You should also try to minimize paper usage throughout the business. Where this is not possible, you should instead look to eco-friendly alternatives. As an example, you could have loyalty and business cards from eco-friendly supplier.

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8. Use Energy-Efficient Equipment

Switching to energy-efficient equipment is smart as it will reduce your energy consumption, which will also help to reduce your utility bills too.

9. Green Shipping and Delivery

Opting for green shipping and delivery can greatly reduce your impact and costs, which can be achieved through green packing materials, minimizing packing materials, and using compact packaging. Also, using a routing app will make delivery more efficient and fast, encouraging the use of bicycles, and reducing air pollution from cars and motorcycles.

10. Charitable Contributions

Business can also be more sustainable through charitable contributions, such as starting a promotion, donating a percentage of profits to charity or starting a fundraiser.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to make positive changes to your business and play your role in preventing environmental damage.