How much Garbage do we make? If that sounds like a staggering number, you might be surprised to know that Americans are not the number one producers of garbage in the world. In Mexico, the average household produces 30 percent more garbage than in America. http://www.wisegeek.com/how-much-garbage-does-a-person-create-in-one-year.htm
Where does our Garbage Go? Most of the garbage we make goes to the landfills. There are many rural areas that don’t have landfills “or dumps”. These areas allow residents to burn trash, but many people ignore the regulations and burn plastics and other toxic materials just to be rid of them. Some…and only some…of the garbage ends up in the water supply. Remember this as you view upcoming slides.
What is a Dead Zone? A dead zone is an area in an ocean or lake that is depleted of life-giving oxygen, so the plant life dies, and all the species in that area cannot survive. There are actually over 400 dead zones in the world. The numbers of Dead Zones doubles nearly every DECADE! RSS Feeds Newsletters Bookmark Scientific American.com News Environment August 15, 2008 | Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread
Map of the Dead Zones RSS Feeds Newsletters Bookmark Scientific American.com News Environment August 15, 2008 | Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread
There are currently 5 Oceanic Garbage Dumps http://elizabethely.com/2010/03/22/plastic-garbage-for-the-albatross-dinner/
The biggest garbage dump is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is located in the Pacific Gyre. This is about twice the size of the United States.
This patch contains exceptionally high concentrations of suspended particles made up of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.
Since plastics break down to ever smaller polymers, they don’t appear as a continuous debris field.
The patch is defined as an area in which the mass of plastic debris in the upper water column is significantly higher than average. Scientists call this “Plastic Soup.”
The Garbage that gets into the Water Supply forms Oceanic Garbage Dumps Garbage dumps in the oceans are just that. They are islands of floating or suspended garbage. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/steve-connor-why-plastic-is-the-scourge-of-sea-life-778017.html?action=Popup
Under the Garbage Patch Here is a view from below The liquid under the garbage is the “Plastic Soup”.http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/what-is-the-great-pacific-ocean-garbage-patch
Garbage Kills Pictures like these show how much sunlight is blocked. Without sunlight, the plants die. Marine life has a difficult time finding the surface of the water. Marine life and birds get tangled in the garbage and most often die trying to get free. Lack of plant growth reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and slowly kills that section of the body of water.
This Albatross just wanted some Food Here you can see an Albatross filled with caps from plastic bottles. When the Albatross sees the caps, it is fooled into thinking they are food and it snatches them Up and swallows them. This will eventually kill the giant bird as you cansee in this picture. http://elizabethely.com/2010/03/22/plastic-garbage-for-the-albatross-dinner/
Our Environment Suffers This plant got its water from a source that was polluted.
How about the Land? China, parts of India and Ghana have become the toxic cesspools of E-Waste. Here a young man holds up his prize. A motherboard with a lot of metal on it. Yeah…WE ALL ship it there. http://www.computerweekly.com/galleries/234922-5/Component-found-in-a-rubbish-dump.htm
Young Kids Looking for a way to make a buck. No Minimum Age for working here. http://www.redferret.net/?p=4904 http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/story.cfm?content=173268 http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/2008-01/high-tech-trash/carroll-text.html
Toxic Menu Here a child is melting the computer parts to reclaim the valuable metals inside. Notice he is not wearing any type of mask to protect him from toxic fumes. http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Ranked+Lowest+on+Environmental+Care/article5273.htm
Mom, providing a Meal Here a Mom is melting the metal from a computer. Note, she is using the family wok… the same one she cooks their dinner in. http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Ranked+Lowest+on+Environmental+Care/article5273.htm
But the US is so much Cleaner, Right? NOT!!! Many portions of the Eastern and Western United States Shorelines look like this. The visitor’s bureau of a shoreline city in New Jersey wants you to come back, so they direct you to visit far from this place. www.greenpoma.com/environmentally-friendly-blog/June 29, 2009
So How does the US Rate? Bubbling, oozing, slimy, stinky goo. The United States has at least 36,000 municipal hazardous waste sites containing used oil, battery acid, PCB's, heavy metals, detergents, pesticides, old paint, plastics, radioactive wastes and more. To simplify that number and get a real picture, divide it by 50 states. That would be an average of 720 toxic waste sites per state. www.epa.gov/superfund/students/clas_act/haz-ed/ff_06.htm
Rates of disease and illness are rising, even though research has offered solutions
Many of the items made today are made to only last a couple of years, and then to fix them would cost more than to replace them…we live in a disposable society.
How many cans of garbage do you put on the curb each week?
Aren’t you Thirsty? The following are pictures taken from different spots in the United States. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Liquid+Toxic+Waste%2B+US&form=QBIR&qs=n&sk=#focal=be502f4136762e1f64fa777394bc8edc&furl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pollutionissues.com%2Fimages%2Fpaz_02_img0249.jpg http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapshot_guy/4275913500/ http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2009/2009-02-10-10.asp
Right in Our Backyard The Kettleman City Chemical Waste Management Facility, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is the largest toxic waste landfill in the Western United States. It takes paints and oils; and is actually the only facility in California that is allowed to take PCBs. It takes in about 400 truckloads of waste a day, and now, they want to expand. From PRI's Living on Earth “Community Fights Toxic Waste,” 08 March, 2010 07:11:00
Right in Our Backyard Between late 2007 and late 2008, 20 children were born in Kettleman City. Five of them had a cleft in their lips or palate – The normal rate in California is one in every 800 births. Wednesday April 21st | Home » CA/Local » Toxic waste dump causing birth defects in Kettleman City
The Toxic Mall of Texas Here is a map showing the “Toxic Mall of Texas”. Wanna shop for some radioactive stuff, sewage, or some special waste? They got it ALL at THIS mall! http://www.cardnm.org/toxicmall_a.html
A lake in the beautiful South Here, Darryl Hannah, an actress, checks out a lake out in the beautiful “back 40” of the Amazon where Chevron dumped oil. Makes you really want to cool off in this lake, doesn’t it? http://noworldsystem.com/2009/11/18/
Toxic Mistakes Ignoring the toxic cesspool of waste we continue to create is a huge mistake. It leads to increased risk of disease. It leads to more frequent incidents of cancers.
It Looks like this…When We Ignore It This Louisiana Harbor has surely seen better days. http://www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/debris/md_sources.html
But It Can Look Like This A man involved in a toxic waste spill, where his protective gear unfortunately failed. Or how about this woman who became disfigured after a toxic dump. They will both live a life of pain. http://www.ligali.org/article.php?id=2003 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/10/20081023112534936346.html
E-Waste Last year, The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore collected 13 semis FULL of E-Waste. The ReStore partnered with CRT Processing (Now URT Processing) and Schneider Trucking so that it could offer a free E-Waste collection to the community that guaranteed proper recycling.
Habitat for Humanity Builds a Better Community The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity has reduced the amount of waste on their build sites from 24 yards of waste to approximately 8-9 yards of waste per house. Leftover wood is being mulched. Scrap aluminum is being recycled.
Habitat ReStore Builds a Better Community The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore provides a place for individuals, corporations and private contractors to donate new, gently used, overstock or discontinued products. These donations allow others to build, rebuild or remodel for pennies on the dollar. By donating to Habitat Restore, these items stay out of the landfills that are growing at an alarmingly fast rate
What Happens When the ReStore Can’t Sell A Donated Item? The Habitat ReStore makes every effort to accept only items that are in resalable condition. If something can’t be resold, the ReStore will recycle everything off that donation. Once parts have been recycled off, the ReStore makes every effort to find a way to re-purpose that item. Once all other options are exhausted, only the parts that are truly garbage go to the landfill.
Habitat ReStore Reduces In one year the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore reduced the amount of waste going to the landfill by one-third! To date, the Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore has diverted over 2,130,000 pounds of useable materials from our local landfills!
So What Can YOU do? One of the best ways to help is to become educated. And use that information not only for now and the future, but to spread the knowledge. Be a teacher! Be proactive Look for opportunities to make a difference.
Re-Use Re-use means to use something over and over, usually for the same or similar purpose. This can be using a grocery bag a second, third or fourth time. Reusing your lunch bag. Purchase items designed specifically for re-use Water bottles Cloth napkins Canning jars
Recycle To alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of the use. To use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: Cans Bottles Paper Metal
Re-Purpose To use something in a way not originally intended. We do this all the time, but certainly not enough Use a can for scooping out dirt or decorate it to be a pencil holder Kids use liquid dishsoap bottles as a squirt bottle Use stale bread to make stuffing, or sour milk for great pancakes Use cabinet doors to make a headboard Use light globe covers as a greenhouse for a plant or paint them to be garden art
It is Time to Re-Think! There are so many ways to be part of the solution here. Visit Green Websites Greentips.org for tips on green practices Remodelaholic.com for remodeling for less Greenthings.com for building supplies You can just type living green or sustainable living into your browser and you’ll have enough to keep you busy for a year!
Think BEFORE YOU THROW Coffee grounds are great in compost. If you don’t do a compost bin, that is ok. Sprinkle your cooled grounds over flowers or offer the grounds to a neighbor who gardens. They’ll be so happy you did! Think of how else you could use something before you toss it Eat your leftovers instead of throwing them out Make sure that what you are throwing away is ONLY GARBAGE
Make a Conscious Effort Shop for products that are made with renewable materials Research your options. Do you really want to spend $12 for the cheapest dry laundry soap? For about the same price, you can buy Soapnuts. These are an all natural product which contain soapanin, a natural detergent. They will tackle your dirtiest and smelliest laundry, AND when they are used up, they can be composted.