Waste /Environmental/ Clarissa Kramer

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When discussing waste and the environment most everyone knows that we need to reduce our waste for future generations. However it is easier said then done of course. After reading some of the comments on my past blog posts I couldn't help but think about how a person's environment changes the way we use, and dispose of waste. I also thought about how a person's financial status would change the amount of waste each person produces.

I understand that I'm bringing financial into my environmental blog but I think both go hand in hand. Someone with more money might be able to buy materials that conserve the most and be best for the environment. With that said however it doesn't mean that people with lower means can't do anything for the environment. There are easy changes that everyone can change to, and although it sounds preachy I myself need to stick by these solutions as well.

Epa.com asks everyone to do there part by doing the little things, "like buying in bulk items that won't necessarily go bad, buy items that will stand the test of time, reuse items, borrow items to and from neighbors and friends, use reusable materials for everyday task like; tuberware when packing a lunch, reusable bags or old store bags at stores, keeping track of "paper-work" electronically, etc." These are ways that all people can do their part regardless of means.

However when buying organically or without the waste of big corporations is another task entirely. I believe that there is a difference between the spending habits of a stay at home mom or dad and a single person with a high income. Although both should be aware of what their buying and who they are buying from, however a mother may be pinching her pennies a bit more. Both are hypothetical but representations. It could go the other way too. A single man or woman barely making ends meet at their job and a soccer mom who has a husband who has an expendable income.

There are so many factors that go into being environmentally friendly, one aspect that is a big issue is that many people just don't recycle and they certainly don't separate their trash. I think one thing that may help to aid this solution, is to show people what will truly happen to our environment if we don't recycle, we have got to make this personal somehow, otherwise people don't feel as though they need to recycle. We can put recycling bins all over the city but ultimately unless there is a trash monitor people will still throw bottles and cans in the garbage or they'll throw things that can't be recycled into the recycling.

As designers who are concerned about these issues I think its time to get brutal, maybe there should be graphic billboards that reflect after affects of not recycling. A couple years back I went to the British Advertising Awards and there was a commercial that was trying to prevent child abuse and it actually showed quite a graphic example of a child being beaten. Awful I know, but we need to take this recycling thing to that level, we need to really show people what will happen if they don't do it, then maybe they'll start caring more.

This is another great illustration of my point that "reduce, reuse, recycle" is a hierarchy, not just a list. Especially when financial concerns are taken into consideration along with environmental impact, reducing consumption on the front end makes more sense than anything else. Where that is not possible, reusing materials and energy is an excellent alternative, and ultimately does reduce total consumption. If neither of these is an option, then recycling any waste produced is the most favorable alternative.

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This page contains a single entry by krame215 published on May 5, 2010 10:50 PM.

Environmental | Copyright | Shannen Pickens was the previous entry in this blog.

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