HOW TO EMBRACE CLEAN-UP AUSTRALIA DAY
What started as a good-intentioned plight to ‘clean-up Sydney harbour’ in 1989, has since swept the nation! Ian Kiernan, the man behind the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, decided something had to be done about the amount of rubbish in the world’s oceans following a solo around-the-world yacht race.
THE WASTE PROBLEM
Humans produce an astonishing amount of waste, and disposing via the now normal method of landfill leads to numerous environmental problems in addition to damaging wildlife habitats.
Waste generation rates are a function of population growth, level of urbanisation and per capita income, and with a steadily growing population Australian’s are producing 50 million tonnes of waste each year, on average that’s 2 tonne per person1.
RESOURCES…all waste materials that end up in landfill also represent an investment in water, energy and natural resources2.
GASES…rotting waste releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, contributing to the world’s increasing temperature3.
LANDFILL…the more waste we create, the harder it’s becoming to find appropriate spaces for future landfill3.
PLASTICS…plastics take varying amounts of time to degrade, at least 450 years to up to 1000 years4.
LEACHATE…the waste from organic matter, acids, chemicals and rainwater combine to form leachate that contaminates local waterways3.
MARINE LIFE…6 million tonnes of rubbish are dumped into the world’s oceans each year, responsible for killing more than a million sea birds and 100,000 mammals every year5.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
It seems that most cities waste systems cannot keep up with urban expansion, plus, some rapidly urbanising countries don’t even have the appropriate waste-systems to deal with their current waste output…let alone their future.
Most governments have established recycling targets that aim to divert waste away from landfill and to recover useful materials, but it’s really down to the general population to drive change in their daily lives by minimising waste, reusing useful materials…and of course, by getting involved with Clean-up Australia Day.
MAKE WISE PURCHASES…when shopping for new products putting in a little thought goes a long way for the planet. Are you buying quality products, made from quality or recycled materials that will last? Can the item be locally sourced? Ensuring you can appropriately dispose, ideally recycle, products after use is also really important for helping to combat change when it comes to waste.
THINK ABOUT PACKAGING…packaging is one of the worst culprits for contributing to global waste. Despite the growing effort made by environmentally responsible companies to offer recyclable and reusable packing, most packaging is not functional and ends up almost immediately in landfill or our oceans. Make an effort to purchase from those companies making the right choices when it comes to packaging – this help to drive change from the source.
THINK ABOUT DAILY-USE PRODUCTS…products that you use daily and are used-up quickly are accountable for more waste than those one-off purchases. Items for skin care and personal hygiene have become so convenient, from disposable wipes to miniature toiletries for travel, but they account for our ever growing plastic waste and water contamination. Sustainable skin care is a real thing, Santé by ENJO allows you to cleanse your skin, remove makeup and exfoliate entirely without chemical. The handcrafted fibres last up to 3 years and can be recycled, which means absolutely nothing ends up in landfill, and no chemicals run out into our beautiful oceans.
REUSE, RECYCLE AND UPCYCLE…before you throw something away, think if someone else could benefit from the product? Can it be repurposed for an alternative use? If not, can it be taken apart and used for its parts or upcycled entirely? Investing a little time and effort into giving something a new lease of life is a beautiful thing. If all else fails, recycle where possible or research the appropriate method for disposal. Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing contributors to the waste system6, as outdated electronic items are disposed of, harmful substances and leaching into the environment. Most councils provide e-waste recycling services, visit the e-waste section of the Clean-up Australia for more information.
CLEAN GREEN…cleaning our homes is a must, but cleaning with chemicals is a big (and toxic) contributor to landfill waste. Consider this, there are approximately 9.2 million households Australia-wide7, if each of these households buys just one spray and wipe chemical cleaner per month, that would equate to 110,400,000 plastic bottles that have nowhere to go but landfill, over three years this would be equal to 331,200,000 plastic bottles littering the planet. Cleaning with ENJO would not only take chemicals out of the cleaning equation, but just 1 ENJO Glove and Miracle per household could combat the 331,200,000 plastic bottles entirely, as they work effectively for up to 3 years and can be completely recycled.
CLEAN-UP AUSTRALIA DAY…get behind the cause! Clean-up Australia day is the first Sunday of March every year, but you can also participate in the Clean-up Every Day, simply find a site or local area you think is in need of a clean-up, register your clean-up site, receive your clean-up kit (allow 2 weeks for delivery) and promote the day among friends, family and colleagues. For more information visit the Clean-up Australia Day website.
WHY MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We need to help keep the balance to keep the beauty…