We are told to separate our rubbish, not to litter, recycle, and make more sustainable choices. But what impact does it really have on the environment if we don’t listen to this advice?
The Impact to the Environment:
Negative Impact on Human Health
Whether it’s coming from the air or water we drink, poor waste disposal can have a negative impact on human health. If humans come in contact with waste, we can be exposed to various illnesses such as skin irritations, respiratory issues, blood infections, reproductive problems and many other harmful diseases.
Negative Impact on Animals and Marine Life
The impact that poor waste disposal has on animals and marine life is unfortunately a vicious cycle. Once waste has been poorly disposed of, it is then absorbed by the soil which contaminates the land and animals living on the land. And once it reaches our ocean, waste kills marine life which floats to the surface of the water where disease carrying mosquitoes feed off of and then further infest our environment by spreading infection.
How often do we see bins full of mosquitos not even realising that the same mosquitos could then be going for our food minutes later? Mosquitoes and rats carry many diseases as they live and breed in sewage systems. Yuck! Disposing of your waste properly will help to keep these disease-ridden little critters away.
Contamination occurs when hazardous matters and pollutants settle on the soil. Plants that are trying to grow in contaminated soil will unfortunately absorb the hazardous matters. Contaminated soil can take place from chemical spills, heavy metals, pesticides, nitrates, petro-chemicals, chlorinated solvents and more. If humans or animals then come in contact with plants that have been contaminated by soil, they can become very ill.
Hazardous papers and plastics are often burned in landfills which emit gas and harmful chemicals that destroy the ozone layer. Also, gas from landfill can be extremely damaging and detrimental to our health, if breathed in.
We need water to live… If our water is contaminated, it can be fatal. As rain falls, it picks up and carries any other liquid substances that may be on the ground which then end up in our water streams. This is why it’s important not to drink from ponds and lakes as there is a high risk for water contamination in these areas.
Extreme Climate Changes
We are seeing an increase in temperature, acid rain, severe hail storms, floods, fires and many more extreme climate changes which have poor waste disposal to blame as one of the main contributing factors.
Disposing of Waste Properly:
OK, now that we’ve gone through the scary stuff, how can we make a difference to the environment?
Here are some helpful ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle!
Reducing and reusing are two effective ways in waste reduction so that you have less waste to dispose of in the first place.
Reduce the amount of material objects you buy. Ask yourself, do I really need this?
Reduce the amount of single use plastics you use on a daily basis by not purchasing plastic packaged goods.
Reuse by investing in a keep cup for your morning coffee.
Reuse by taking your own aluminum or glass water bottle wherever you go.
If you need help, get in touch with a rubbish removal service to ensure you move your things or dispose of your waste appropriately. You can also hire a commercial cleaner to help you in cleaning. If you’re doing it on your own, here are a couple of ways you can properly dispose of your waste.
Recycle and properly dispose of your plastics, metals, glass, cardboard, paper, aluminium, cartons and any other materials your local recycling bins accept.
Recycle as many of the above materials as possible by giving them another purpose.
Compost your vegetable and fruit scraps, grass clippings and coffee grounds.
Check with your local government standards and regulations before disposing of any chemicals that you believe could be harmful.
There you have it, hopefully you are now feeling more equipped and confident in why it’s so important to practice smart waste disposal. We only have one planet and there is no ‘Planet B’, so lighten your footprint and start making positive changes, pronto!