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Waste Elimination Challenge

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In William Rathje book, Garbology, they observed the lifestyle of others by collecting trash people disposed of. They did scientific research and focused on the trash while giving information about the landfill in different places. During their research, they discovered that paper made up the majority of the trash produced compared to diapers, plastic, and Styrofoam. This was shocking because the paper could be recycled instead of going to waste. Garbology deals with the science behind trash and how we could help reduce the amount of waste by changing bad habits.

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To eliminate waste we use reusable items, such as plates, containers, and cloth bags. It was easier to use cloth bags because it not only eliminated waste but saved money as well. Also using containers was more efficient for space, but using plates was most difficult. Plastic plates were the most convenient because we did not have to worry about cleaning dishes. This was a habit due to laziness, and occasionally we relied on the plastic plates. Most people rely on discardable items, so we will not have to deal with the after effect and it being easier without realizing the impact on the environment.

It is possible to eliminate Bea Johnson’s zero waste model, but not as practical. Many people are used to doing certain things as they grow up, so bad habits become a regular part of their daily life, even sometimes without realizing it. Only if people are willing to change then it is possible, but recently most people and are not willing to change. In other words, they do not think about what impact it could have later but only in the moment. People decide the value of the material and when it is no longer useful to them then they would discard the material without thinking about the consequences the discarded material would cause. It seems to be too much effort to give, but it becomes more possible when people realize their habits and get into better habits that could benefit themselves and the environment.

We have become unaware of our surroundings and do not realize the effect of the waste unless it is brought to our attention and even then, it still gets ignored by the majority. Everywhere you go there would be waste and because of the influence surrounding us, it could be easy to fall back into old habits. Most people give in to old habits and are not able to refuse when being offered an easier solution. Others may be having an understanding that it is too much work and that it does not actually work or help in any way. This could be a big factor because even though the smallest amounts do still impact, not seeing the results or any growth could cause people to doubt and give up.

An environment conscious person should try to start small and encourage others without applying to much force, such as being aware of your actions around them. This would help them see that this cause is something that matters, and you are not just trying to convince them because you allowed your actions to speak. When people see others getting involved it helps them become more active into changing things instead of having a thought that ‘no one else is doing it, so why should I’, and people become more involved and aware and can learn to do it on there own knowing others are doing it as well. Also helping them become more reliable on other resources that last longer, as a water bottle containers instead of plastic water bottles and using a mug for coffee or tea. This could help them develop better skills and start to slowly change how they view the environment and realize how much they do actually matters and have an impact on the world.

Overall, the changes that need to occur on an economic level would be for people to convince themselves first instead of other people because people try to look for change from others when they could work with themselves. It is easier to work on what you can before trying to get others involved. They can become aware, being informed would help many people better understand the importance of eliminating waste and can change the previous perspective. In different areas, there should be easy access to garbage cans and recycle bins to help eliminate the trash on the ground. Also, people should make an effort to pick up trash if they see it on the ground even if it is many picking up one could encourage others around you to help out. There are many ways individual efforts can contribute without changing personal ways just by changing small things in our daily life and more cautious about our actions and others around us.

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