Waste Reduction

by Karolin Gericke

How to Stop Climate Change is a great article which gives an overview of all the subjects I have studied over the past few years. Today, I'd like to discuss the very important issue of waste reduction.

In effect, reducing our consumption in general is the key to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Why we Should Reduce Our Consumption

Consumer goods are often manufactured in developing nations at the expense of local people, their health, and the local environment.

Working conditions and pay are often abysmal, and factories pollute the surrounding environment and use up resources, not least water.

As a result, people can no longer live off the land and are forced to move to cities to work in the factories.

For what purpose? All so that we can buy cheap products, which will soon end up in the bin or in the natural environment.

In fact, 80% of marine litter stems from inland and consists mainly of plastic. However, plastic does not biodegrade, but breaks up into ever smaller pieces.

Pollution in the Oceans

Marine litter is present in all parts of the world, even in the most remote locations on Earth.

Tiny plastic particles are suspended in the water column or sink to the ground. Later, they become vectors for chemicals and bacteria in the water, making them toxic to various degrees.

Afterwards, they get ingested by marine creatures, from coral polyps to mollusks, fish and marine mammals. Ultimately, as we are at the end of the food chain we get our own chemicals served in our plates.

Marine animals, including thousands of birds, die in huge numbers because of asphyxiation or ingestion of marine litter.

Clearly, we need to reduce our consumption of "stuff!"

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