The average household in Australia created 24.2 kg of total waste, or 9.4 kg per person, each week according to the NSW Local Government Waste and Resource Recovery Data Report 2014-2015. Without habits changing, the amount of waste generated inevitably increases as the population grows.
Australia has an unfortunate dependence on landfill for waste management which seriously contaminates the air, ground and water. Although greater public awareness dramatically increased the rate of domestic recycling by 127% from 2005 to 2015 (Department of the Environment and Heritage), this is only part of the solution. Changing our pattern of consumption goes to the source of the problem.
To live with zero-waste means the redesign of our lifestyle so that all resources are reused. No trash is sent to landfill. There is a minimal ecological footprint. Seem impossible? Lauren Singer, a 26 years old living in New York, proves that it is indeed possible, by Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.
Inspired by her education in Environmental Studies, and after meeting the Johnson family at California’s Zero Waste Home, she decided to live consistently with her values and stop creating garbage. She did it by buying second hand clothes, fresh market vegetables every Saturday and eliminating plastics from her life. She also made her own toothpaste and toxin-free laundry detergent.
Edmiston Jones GBB is well aware of minimising waste. As well as the usual separation of recycled containers from general garbage, we have re-used paper options in our copiers, send old drawings to pre-schools and have compost bins in each of our offices. Our philosophy, “just enough, in the right place, at the right time” also informs our approach to design. (refer to Mark’s blog written back in 2012)
As Lauren says, “think organic, think local, think sustainable and BUY IN BULK”.