Human Waste and Its Impact

How much waste have humans thrown away? Well, the weight of all human trash today is likely through the roof — imagine all the fast food, appliances, and everyday goods that people throw away each year! It is no surprise that the amount of trash we have disposed has increased vastly, accumulating from our bedrooms to landfills across the world. We don’t give trash much thought — crumpled notebook paper or a granola bar wrapper all get thrown out the same way. However, our waste is piling up quick, soon polluting environments heavily.

Our waste consists mostly of papers, plastics, organic products, and metals. Although it would be ideal, most of these materials don’t decompose rapidly. It is becoming evident that our trash might make its mark on the planet, taking hundreds of years to break down. But at that point, the environment is already being altered. Animals mistaken plastics for food, heavy metals from cans often contribute to the leachate in landfills, and hazardous trash can contaminate nearby rivers, groundwater, and oceans. Those are some of the many other impacts that human trash has on the planet — and there are likely more to come in the future.

However, we can prevent further waste pollution — starting with reducing.

Reducing the amount of throw-away items and temporary products we use will reduce the amount of trash we produce. Less trash means less waste in the environment, and we will slow down our need for landfills and dumps. Yes, I know, getting fast food in disposable boxes is convenient — and that’s okay! Our main goal is to reduce, so try to reduce the amount of times you use throw-away paper or plastic items. For instance, you can use less paper by working with online documents instead, or by printing doubled-sided papers. Also, instead of using a plastic bottle everyday, try using a reusable bottle whenever possible. As you can see, reducing goes hand-in-hand with reusing. Ultimately, reducing the waste we throw out can help to slow down the accumulation of waste on Earth.

Of course, it will take more than just one of us to reduce the amount of waste piled on our planet. However, sharing ideas on how to reduce with family and friends is one step that you can take to help. If you have any ideas on reducing, reusing, or recycling, share with us on social media so we can make our future planet clean!


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