Happy #GlobalRecyclingDay! Today, we come together to put our Planet first!  That means protecting our resources & reduci… | Recycle poster, Reuse  recycle, Recycling

Source: Pinterest

Due to all the environmental campaigns on different media, most people by now know that systematic waste management is the way to go if we don’t want to be buried under our own trash in the near future. Improper waste management is one of the main causes of environmental pollutions, which could impact our daily lives in a number of ways.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), improper waste disposal, especially that of medical waste, can be a source of many serious and at times fatal diseases (World Health Organization, 2018). However, the consequences don’t end there.

Usually when there is no better way of disposing solid waste, they are transferred to landfills or open dump sites. Although this practice is more common among developing nations, as it is relatively cheaper, it is not only exclusive to them (Aljaradin & Persson, 2012).

In landfills, which are essentially large dumping holes, the garbage is methodically buried to breakdown at very slow pace in order to lower the speed of its negative impact on the environment. However, even when this is done systematically, landfills still remain one of the major sources of environmental pollutions. Landfills can produce toxins/leaches that contaminate the soil and ground waters, making nearby farming either impossible or its products toxic for consumption. Moreover, they emit high levels of greenhouse gasses, such as CO2 and methane gas, which are known to be one of the main contributors to climate change (UNISAN, 2020). Not to mention that dumping sites are not aesthetically nor odorously pleasing.

We can therefore conclude that we need better ways to deal with our garbage, as the consequences could affect our health, a wide range of industries (hence our economy) and our environment as a whole.

Source: Politico Magazine by Matt Chinworth

Naturally as the population grows, so does the generated waste. Of course, lifestyle changes due to urbanization also have a huge impact on its rate (The World Bank, 2019).

So, what can we do?!

One of the promising ways of proper waste management is recycling. According to a study, Germany  with a recycling rate of 56.1% was the leading recycling country followed by Austria, South Korea, Wales, and Switzerland. These countries manage this issue better than the others due to better governmental efforts to set up effective recycling programs / infrastructures, educating people and incentivizing them to do so (PG Paper Company Ltd, 2018).

Consumers who are environmentally conscious tend to mostly purchase products that are recyclable, but could recycling alone save us all from the garbage apocalypse?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even if the packaging says the product is recyclable and everyone separates their trash, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will get recycled. While many countries have recycling programs in place, the rate at which they can recycle is not comparable to the amount of trash that is generated (CHO, 2020). Moreover, some materials such as plastics are more difficult to process and/or can be very costly to recycle (Ecobin, n.d.).

In the past, many of the higher-income countries including the US relied heavily on exporting their excess recyclable materials for processing to lower-income countries in East Asia but also those who have better capabilities in that regard like China. However, recently China, as the biggest importer of these countries, started banning the imports of such materials, especially hard-to-recycle plastics (Brooks, Wang, & Jambeck, 2018). Unfortunately, this means the countries that don’t have the necessary infrastructure to deal with these materials have no other choice but to transfer the discarded recyclable material to landfills and the cycle of polluting the planet continues.

But even if this wasn’t the case consumers tend to overlook the fact that even though recycling is significantly less polluting, it’s not completely pollution free (Department of Facilities by MIT, n.d.). Not to mention certain materials can only be recycled a limited number of times as they lose quality in each cycle (Howard, 2018).

In conclusion, while proper waste management including recycling is a good place to start, getting into the habit of reusing and most importantly reducing our consumption, i.e. our waste footprint, can guarantee a batter future for both ourselves and the future generations.

Source: YouTube by ToffeeTV


Literature and Online Sources:

Aljaradin, M., & Persson, K. M. (2012). Environmental impact of municipal solid waste landfills in semi-arid climates-case study–Jordan. The open waste management journal, 1. doi: 10.2174/1876400201205010028

Brooks, A. L., Wang, S., & Jambeck, J. R. (2018). The Chinese import ban and its impact on global plastic waste trade. Science advances, 1. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat0131

CHO, R. (2020, March 13). Recycling in the U.S. Is Broken. How Do We Fix It? Retrieved from Earth Institute by Columbia University:,tons%20were%20recycled%20or%20composted.&text=Sixty%2Dsix%20percent%20of%20discarded,percent%20of%20plastics%20were%20recycled.

Department of Facilities by MIT. (n.d.). Recycling Facts. Retrieved from Department of Facilities by MIT:

Ecobin. (n.d.). What is the most difficult material to recycle? Retrieved from Ecobin:

Howard, B. C. (2018, October 31). 5 recycling myths busted. Retrieved from National Geographic:

PG Paper Company Ltd. (2018, August 24). Recycling rates across the globe. Retrieved from PG Paper Company Ltd:,with%20Switzerland%20recycling%20almost%2050%25.

The World Bank. (2019, September 23). Solid Waste Management. Retrieved from The World Bank:,impacted%20by%20unsustainably%20managed%20waste

UNISAN. (2020, August 26). What is a landfill? Why are landfills bad for the environment? Retrieved from UNISAN:,more%20potent%20than%20carbon%20dioxide.]

World Health Organization. (2018, February 8). Health-care waste. Retrieved from World Health Organization:

Images and Videos:

Image 1:

Image 2:


How To Be Sustainable While Maintaining a Lazy Attitude

If you have never heard of the signs of our planet near its breaking point, you must be living under a rock. Everyone on earth has heard of the consequences of exhausting our natural resources. But how many people are willing to sacrifice their time and effort to become more sustainable? The question becomes easier to answer when the time and effort to be more sustainable is less. 

Source: Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World. United Nations.

According to a section on the United Nations page, they believe that even the laziest person is capable of being a part of the solution. Here are seven hacks to help you be more sustainable with the least amount of effort possible.

1. One Bag for Produce

When you go to a grocery store to buy fruits and vegetables, there is a plastic bag all over the section. Instead of bagging your fruits and vegetables, why not directly weigh them and place them in one bag. The sticker labels can all go outside of the bag for faster checkout. The solution is simple, time-efficient and when you get home, you can just pour all your fruits and vegetables into your fridge.

2. Smart Bulbs

Old-fashioned light bulbs are a waste of electricity. By buying smart bulbs, you not only use less electricity but most smart bulbs are LED. LED is one of the most energy-efficient lights. In addition to saving energy, you can connect the switch to your phone, so you don’t waste time and effort to get up and turn off your lights. 

3. Composting

Whether you are living in an apartment or a house, get a container and start throwing your food scraps in it. This not only saves a few trips to the garbage bin but it also reduces landfill wastes. 

4. Dine In

When asked whether you should dine in or take away, as much as possible, you should dine in. In a restaurant, they use a lot of plastic packaging for takeaway. There are also many more reasons why dining in is better. You don’t need to wait until you get home to eat warm food, you don’t need to wash the dishes and you don’t need to throw the garbage as often. So next time, when you are asked, dine in. 

5. Bring-Your-Own-Container (BYOC)

Bringing your own container to buy takeaway. From the plastic food container to the plastic bag to contain your food. By bringing a container, you eliminate plastic waste. Another container that is meant by BYOC is to bring your thermos. Now and then, you may have the urge to buy coffee from your favourite cafe. Instead of getting your coffee to go, have them place it in your thermos.

6. Don’t wash your Clothes too often

I’m not saying, “wear the same shirt for a week and not wash them”. I just mean to not wash your sweaters or winter coats as often. According to Ocean Clean Wash, washing your clothes often sheds microfibres into the water, and that in most treatments plants, they cannot filter microfibres.

By washing your clothes too often, you are contributing to pollution. This solution not only saves water in many ways, but it also saves you time and effort.

7. Bathing is a reward, not a daily thing

On average, a person uses 30 to 50 gallons of water to bathe. While showering only takes around 2.5 to 5 gallons per minute, this does not necessarily mean that you have to rush with showering, it just means that you need to be mindful of water usage. By seeing baths as a reward, you can condition yourself to only bathe on special occasions. And by reducing your baths, you are conserving water.

For more tips on how to be sustainable while taking less effort, you should check out the UN page for more suggestions.

Source: Ezgi Pancar. Youtube.


Pictures and Videos