‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?
“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)
As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)
In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.
(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)
If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.
Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels. This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)
Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)
Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)
Conclusion – At our level, greater application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.
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Posted in Climate Change, Environment events, My take, Sustainability, Waste Management
Tagged 2016, 3Rs, climate change, DEONAR, DUMPYARD FIRE, EPA, fire, fossil fuels, GHGs, green house effect, India, land management practices, landfill, lifecycle, methane, Mumbai, NDTV, organic waste, Recycle, reduce, reuse, US, waste, waste management
To me, and I am sure, to many others, every passing day is proving that ‘Climate Change’ is a ‘real thing’…Still, not all are convinced…and to change their view, I am writing this post! Because, I believe that as we, the World, take longer to be convinced, we are losing precious time to reverse the ‘Change’. Also through my posts leading up to June 5, th World Environment Day, I would be highlighting its different facets as well as steps that need to be taken to save ourselves and our future generations of its disastrous effects.
Only today, I heard the news of ‘Canada Wildfire’ covering 8oo square km of Alberta province of Canada. Wildfires occur, but not in this scale, both distance and time-wise, in this area. Increasing temperatures and dry winter, created the conditions for fire of this scale.
Scene of devastation caused by Wildfire in Canada (Pic: Courtesy BBC.com)
Back home in India, a unseasonal and severe heat wave has claimed several lives as early as in April 2016. Worst hit is the southern state of Telangana. In several other parts, record high temperatures have been observed leading to early school vacations and changed office timings, caution statements for citizens being issued by State Governments and several other adjustments.
Heat wave in India (Pic: Courtesy The Hindu)
In the coming posts, we will look further into such unseasonal occurrences across the World. Also in the next post, I would focus on how each one of us can become a part of the Solution to combat Climate Change. Do stay with me on that…!
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Posted in Climate Change, Environmental facts, Environmental facts, My take, Sustainability
Tagged 2016, alberta, canada, canada wildfire, climate change, fire, global warming, heat wave, India, natural calamities, natural disaster, non-seasonal, solutions, unseasonal