As I have learned more about of textile waste, as the topic I am exploring for my investigative report, I have learned that this is an even bigger issue than I thought it was. As much as 85% of all textile waste goes directly into landfills contrasting the left over 15% is donated or recycled. In retrospect, this problem needs solving because the high percentage of 85% is roughly 21 billion pounds. There has not been a decline in textile waste but a drastic growing rate of 40%. Living in America, I have always heard of the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. However, just simply hearing this phrase is not enough to stop the enormous amount of waste that is filling landfills on a daily basis.
Just from understanding how urgent of an issue this is, encourages me to reduce my intake of new clothing, linens, etc. By using them to their full potential, patching up holes, or donating the clothes before I decided just to throw them away. I have searched ways to recycle clothing and I found possibilities that can work for me. Such as, turning old t-shirts into new blankets that hold sentimental value, purchasing clothes that are made using sustainable practices, and sending old linens to upholstery shops to get reused as new covering for furniture.
Going to the upholstery shop, also showed me how simple it is to recycle and reuse materials so they can reach their maximum potential of use. In the upholstery show we were inform that some of the pieces they refurbish can date back to the 1800s. It is crazy to think about if we just invest a little more money into the things we purchase, the life span of these products could last for decades and centuries. Will on out field trip we also went to the recycling center where they showed us all of the bales of shredded paper and cardboard they send off to be reused. By recycling these materials, you can actually get paid. I believe if people knew that if they could receive a profit for recycling they would be more proactive in recycling. Leading to a cleaner environment.
After reading the article on poverty, I was able to relate this to my investigative report. Simply because, the poverty reading explains that most landfills are in places where there are high amounts of poverty amongst the people living there. People that are living in poverty do not worry so much about living sustainable, in contrast, they focus on how to provide for themselves and their families. The practices that they may use are not benefiting the environment. The chemicals that emit from waste in landfills causes medical issues to these people leading to a shorter life span and birth defects. However, people in poverty cannot escape these landfills because they cannot afford to relocate to a new area to live. That being said they are stuck in a constant cycle of this lifestyle.
The Ted Talk that we watched was very intriguing to me. The topic that was discussed was the controversial topic of paper versus plastic. I was shocked to learn that plastic is actually better for the environment than paper. It is said that paper takes up to 40 years to bio degrade. I always assumed that paper was the better option because its main ingredient comes from a natural source. However, the best option to use in this situation is bringing your own reusable bag. By bringing your own bag you are preventing waste that goes into the environment. While also promoting a healthier environment to live in. This is a win-win situation. Because I won’t have to go to the dumpster to throw away the large amounts of plastic/ paper bags used from my trip to the grocery store. Instead all I will have to do is stow away my reusable bags and reuse them for my next grocery store visit.
I love the concept of biophilia and getting to interact and be closely associated with other forms of life in the environment. Having the mindset of biophilia promotes sustainability and performance. This also allows us to be close with our worldly functions and how nature reacts. Leading us, as humans, to respect the other forms around us. While also being conscious when disposing of trash and recycling. This topic is very intriguing to me because if more people had this mindset, and connected with nature, we would all be one with nature and have a healthy environment for our future generations to live in.