Waste Less Living, Inc. was conceived out of the notion that more can be done to divert waste from our landfills than just practicing the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. Up to two-thirds (2/3) of the waste we generate at home is material that is good for composting such as food waste and paper goods, including the wax coated cartons used for milk and juice. As such, composting is a major yet underutilized system for not only managing the waste stream but also for healthier food production and a cleaner environment.
However, the everyday compostables, including now the trendy compostable tableware, are inadvertently being disposed of either in the regular trash or more commonly in the recycling bin with the thinking that it will breakdown in the landfill because it is “biodegradable.” Once in the recycling bin, the compostable items gets sorted out and eventually tossed in with the regular trash to be hauled away to the nearest landfill. Once inside the landfill, regardless of whether or not the item is biodegradable or compostable, little, if any, breakdown occurs within a landfill due to its anaerobic conditions. In other words, little oxygen is available for the biological agents to survive and convert the material into nutrient enriched soil. Landfills require expansive amounts of land and water, are energy intensive from the 24-hour operation of heavy equipment, are a significant source of green-house-gases, are a significant contributor to water quality contamination and are expensive to construct and maintain. Filling our landfills with compostable products takes up valuable space that is truly needed for those other inorganic waste items. Contrary to common knowledge, landfills do not produce compost and therefore, any and all organics sent to a landfill is wasted that otherwise could have been used for soil and compost production – a vital component for healthy crops.
It is envisioned that whenever styrofoam or plastic disposables are to be used, compostable products would be the preferred alternative. Choosing compostables made of renewable resources (i.e., sugar, corn, wheat, rice, bamboo, sustainably harvested trees or PCW paper) also reduces our reliance on petroleum which is the raw material used in the manufacturing of plastic. The use and proper disposal of compostable products can go a long way towards combating global warming, deforestation, water quality degradation, air quality degradation, and other environmental ills. Waste Less Living is ultimately redefining the 3 R’s to: rethink, reduce, regrow!
Just rememember – IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO JUST USE IT, YOU HAVE TO COMPOST IT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!