Up until this point in the semester, and, really, my life, my views and understandings of sustainability and living “green” have been solely focused on everything before consumption actually occurs.
We hear all of the time about using recycled materials, reducing energy during the production process, and other “green” practices that make a product sustainable, but not as often do we hear much about the waste process.
This past week has opened my eyes to what waste really means, beyond the idea of reusing and recycling. We have learned about different kinds of metabolisms, much like those of a human body. This knowledge is extremely useful when planning for waste – which is another concept that I was unaware was beneficial or useful. More times out of any situation, I will only recycle my waste if there is a bin that is located nearby conveniently. If there is not one, I will most likely throw my trash in the standard garbage can.
If more people were to embrace the idea of planning our waste, then we could make a major impact on the way we approach sustainability. One thing to consider when planning waste are the metabolism methods. For natural/organic metabolism, waste can just be given back to the earth, but for technological metabolism processes, it’s important to plan waste to be utilized in a closed-loop cycle.
I plan on doing some research to find ways that my common waste can be put into a closed-loop cycle, how to access those resources, and where to send my waste. It’s not easy in Oklahoma, but if more people participating in the process gets someone’s attention, and more people catch on and make it a “trend,” then maybe government officials will be more willing to implement those programs into our waste management systems.
We’ll never know unless we try!