Ever since my scuba diving classes, I have not been able to get certain things I learnt in class out of my head:
- Did you know over 3 million sharks were killed last year?
- Did you know that much of the marine life by Seychelles is DEAD and there's nothing to see if you went scuba diving there?
- Did you know that there is a HUGE possibility that our children may not get the chance to scuba dive in their life time?
- Did you know that the result of all of the above is thanks to us, humans?
I did a little research after chatting to friends and thinking about all of this, I found this website http://5gyres.org/ which shocked me even more! Human's excessive wasteful consumption around the world result in pollution, and much of this pollution ends up in the sea. Worst of all is that the material that things such as bottles and tins are made out of are made to last, therefore, it does not disintegrate. And even if don't litter, all the rubbish still has to GO somewhere, and a lot of that happens to end up in the sea. Without trying to sound like a save-the-world-hippie-tree-hugger, there are things that we can do to minimise the damage that we are doing to our environment.
But what can we do?
Here are some things that we can all do:
- Recycle, recycle, recycle!
- Try buy goods that do not have plastic or non-recyclable packaging (This is HARD)
- Reusable shopping bags
- Do not print anything unless absolutely essential, reuse the other side of the paper for printing
And WHY should we do this?
Here are some interesting facts I found:
- Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours
- An aluminium can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now
- Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees
- 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials
- Plastic bags and other plastic rubbish thrown into the ocean kill as many as a million sea creatures every year
- The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials
- Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled
- It costs at least three times more to dump rubbish in landfills that it cost to reuse and recycle
- On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish
- As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted
- Every person in SA produces between a ½ kg and 2 kgs of waste daily, which equates to two bins of urban waste per week
So what can we do? I compiled a list of things people living in Joburg can do….
- http://www.urbansprout.co.za/recycling_bottle_necks_and_batteries – apparently some of the Pick 'n Pay's and Woolworths around the country collect rechargeable batteries and energy saving lightbulbs for recycling
- http://www.computerscraprecycling.co.za/ - You can recycle computer scraps through these guys! And for those living in Cape Town speak to them http://www.virginearth.co.za/
- There's a serious lack of recycling awareness in this country, therefore a lack of recycling bins, but if you speak to these people, http://www.wasterecyclers.co.za/ or these guys, http://www.wholeearth.co.za/ and they will come to your doorsteps to collect your recyclable goods
- http://www.collectacan.co.za/ – if anyone is interested in starting up a recycling business in can recycling, you can have a look at this site
- Take your unwanted glass bottles (like beer bottles!) to these guys http://www.theglassrecyclingcompany.co.za/, if you take it to a buy back centre, they will even pay you for the glasses, so you can buy more beer with it!
You can also have a look at this website for more tips on where you can take all your recyclable goods! Be the Change that you Seek, let's all do our part for our environment.