52 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint – 15. Coffee Pods, an Environmental Problem

Single-use coffee pods have become a status symbol around the world. The reality is, that coffee has now become part of the global environmental disaster that is our disposable economy. There are now billions of the sleek aluminium and plastic capsules ending up in landfill every year. There has to be a better way!

Maybe even something that George Clooney would approve of?

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Visit to Taipei Incinerator – The Solution to Waste Management?

Did you ever wonder where your garbage really ends up, or what happens to it?

Unless you are a devotee of Zero Waste lifestyle, then, like me you will find that there is always some trash that needs disposing of.

I live in Taiwan, whose inhabitants are considered to be excellent at recycling. In fact, Taiwan has one of the highest recycling rates in the world. Does this mean they have one of the lowest waste problems in the world? And what happens to all their waste? With my curiosity piqued we decided to make an appointment at the waste incinerator facility in Mu-Zha, Taipei and find out.

There were a lot of questions to ask and we ended up receiving some very surprising answers!

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2016 Year in Review and the Plastic Island

Maybe 2016 will be remembered as the year of ‘The Trump’ and the global rise of the “Alt Right” political movement. Perhaps this is a predictable response by people ignored for generations by the political and wealthy elites and threatened by global expansion and global catastrophes. Or maybe people will remember the seemingly high numbers of famous people who passed. Luminaries such as Prince and Bowie, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Leonard Cohen and Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, George Micheal, Mohammed Ali and most recently Carrie Fisher.  Perhaps though, their spirits were buoyed by the ratification of the Paris Agreement. This landmark agreement is designed to hold the world to task. From it, we hope to create a strategy to mitigate the worst effects of global warming with a challenge to limit the rise to under 2 degs C.

For me though, it was something else that resonated. Something so profound, I know it will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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Life Before Plastic

We always seem to be looking for the next great solution for all of our global problems. With bewilderment, we stare at the monumental challenges ahead, trying to comprehend how it is even possible to find a solution for global warming, plastic pollution, mass extinction and all the other great issues of our time. The weight of our responsibility bears down heavily on some of us.

But maybe we have forgotten something important, something so simple yet which could help serve us the most. After all, most of the issues we are dealing with today are relatively new, it hasn’t always been this way. So, what lessons are there to learn from our past?

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What a Waste!

One Brown Planet recently interviewed several families of varying sizes from around the world about their food shopping habits. We also asked if they would collect all the disposable plastic that they use in a single week and send in a photo.

The results were quite suprising!

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Where Does It All Go?

The mantra from all governments these days is  “recycle, recycle, recycle!” We are told that recycling our household waste will solve all our problems of waste, pollution and over-consumption.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Not even a little bit.

 

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Biodegradable Plastic?

Biodegradable Plastic – When we see this written on our disposable shopping bags, children’s diapers or food containers we automatically think we are doing the right thing by buying it in preference to regular non-biodegradable plastic. But are we?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. more “Biodegradable Plastic?”