Wasting the Earth away

I’ve begun to realise how much time I spend thinking about rubbish – literally. One of my very first posts on this blog was about the repercussions of our disposable lifestyles, such as the Pacific waste island. I’ve also talked about how much food and ‘stuff’ we waste in other posts.

I’ve always felt strongly about waste, especially the plastic variety, but I never grasped how much it was affecting me. I was brought up with the time-honoured “can’t leave the table until you’ve eaten everything on your plate” philosophy (I can clearly remember the nights I spent gagging over my pumpkin until long past bedtime). As a uni student, moving house was great – I had a legitimate excuse to throw out all the broken, useless things and unwanted gifts I had hoarded in the cupboards all year out of guilt. Continue reading

Clean Out the Closet

I was reading about a study published last year that highlights the kind of scientific sleuthing that got me hooked on research in the first place.

A group of researchers sampled marine shoreline habitats across six continents and found that shorelines near densely-populated areas had higher levels of microplastic debris. This type of debris is not often considered in pollution debates, usually because we’re too caught up with the obvious Uglies like plastic shopping bags and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which I have discussed in ‘All Hail the Goddes Disposability’ (see also ‘A Ghost of an Idea’ and ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’). Microplastic debris, on the other hand, includes tiny polyester or acrylic fibres that escape from their parent bodies through normal break-down processes … or from household laundry. Continue reading