In 2006 3.156 million tonnes of waste went to New Zealand landfills – that’s around 756kg per person per year. 28% of that waste is organic which could be composted at home*. The easiest and most impactful way to decrease the amount of waste that goes to landfill is to reduce our consumption. Here is a great quote from the book Living the Good Life by Linda Cockburn (2006) (a bit graphic but you get the point):
“Imaging trying to stem the flow of blood from someone with seven severed arteries using a single bandaid. That’s pretty much what our recycling efforts could be considered as. Often people feel they are doing their bit by recycling plastic bags, glass jars and aluminium cans. There is a false sense of ‘doing your bit’ towards the environment, when it will never staunch the flow, only marginally slow it.”
There are many ways to take action to reduce your use, some we have already talked about. We would love to know what you are doing to reduce waste to landfill.
*Statistics from the Ministry for Environment and Statistics NZ.