Sunday, May 4, 2008

What a Waste!

Our Solid Waste Problem

Already in the 1980s, National Geographic alerted readers that so-called bio-degradables don't really break down in landfills. They studied lettuce, for instance, that was nearly 20 years old and still not broken down. And there is much more in the way of thrown-out foodstuffs and yard waste. More recently, William L. Rathje of University of Arizona wrote in his book, Rubbish! the Archeology of Garbage,
"They [landfills] are not vast composters; rather, they are vast mummifiers." He went on to write, "Well-designed and well-mamaged landfills, in particular, seem to be far more apt to preserve their contents for posterity than to transform them into humus or mulch."

Solutions? Compost at home. If you can't create a compost heap, try mini-composting: place food waste on the ground right near plants & partially hidden by the foliage or between plants & slightly spaded into the soil. Use a mulching lawn mower. So far, the U.S. has been blessed with enough space not to worry about this, but the time will come.
Plus, coupling people's desire to become more "green" with the current recession means that maybe we can look at some jobs & technology in green fields. Maybe we could invent giant "rakes" to go in and occasionally turn over detritus in existing landfills so that the bio-degradables will compost. We Americans with our so-called "Yankee ingenuity" have been falling down on the job, so to speak, for some decades now. And we Christians have not followed our first pre-sin injunction to take care of this earth.


Joyce said...

I agree, Marie- we need to just get busy and solve some stuff. I have a lot of hope that we going into a new innovation curve.

And what's with Christians ignoring the problem? Sure, we don't want to get sucked into the other pet issues that some environmentalists promote, but we can separate ouselves from that easily. I don't think working toward a clean healthy planet should only matter to left-wing radicals.

Julana said...

It's bizarre that our upscale suburn pays for recycling but doesn't allow compost heaps. They mulch everywhere, really care about appearances.

C. Marie Byars said...

Yeah: we live in a small mountain community that's begun to get more upscale. For multiple reasons, I just don't do well with that whole "image" thing. Maybe, if & when it becomes "chic" enough, suburbs such as yours will begin to allow the composting & mulching & etc.


This issue is so relevant to everyone, regardless of religion, environmental concern, social status or ethnicity. I think you and Joyce are right in raising awareness within your circles. The more people who get involved the better.

I'm not particularly religious nor a real environmentalist either, just an average person who has stumbled on the the madness of our society and what we're doing to the the world through everyday actions that don't attract a second thought.

C. Marie Byars said...

Thank you all for visiting & being involved.