Thursday, December 11, 2014
Victoria's Green Matters - 11th December 2014
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:The word ‘sustainable’ is much over used at the present time but the principles that it represents are vital if we want to live in a world which is not slowly destroying itself. Simply, it means that we should live today in such a way that future generations do not pay the price.
Our ‘buy-cheap-and-throw-away’ society is not sustainable. In this country households throw away 26,000 tonnes of waste and we only recycle half of that material. Commercial and industrial waste is much worse with 48,000 tonnes, only 21% of which is recycled. This is a linear economy, with the producers of goods giving no consideration to the fate of those products at the end.
To live a sustainable lifestyle we need a circular economy. Some companies have the foresight to already run their businesses this way with products that are obsolete being sent back to the production line to be made into something else. Restaurants that run their vehicles on biodiesel made from cooking oil are the obvious example but there are more. There are fashion houses that collect used clothing for the material to be reused in industry and Japanese manufacturing companies carry out their own recovery and recycling processes.
With some raw materials becoming scarce, resources that used to be considered waste are now being looked at as a source of supply. This will also be cost effective as the price of raw materials rise.
‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is the principle that we all must follow.