Today’s culture pushes us towards a materialistic lifestyle that makes the issue of waste and consumption a pressing one for the environment, our societies and economies. Research states that “depending on its management, waste may impact human health and the environment through air, soil, surface water and groundwater emissions.” The bad news is that waste is produced at all stages of the material cycle. This means that we’re generating more and contributing to our waste culture from the extraction stage to its treatment and everything in between.

The environmental effects of poor waste management are too risky. Surface water contamination, pollution and soil contamination are only a few dangers. Do you know what the most challenging part of this is? It’s totally self-inflicted. We have control over waste management, and we can take steps to ensure that we’re moving forwards rather than backwards. So how do we eliminate waste?

Reshape Our Waste Culture

Our dependencies and our culture of consumption have resulted in a process and a cycle of waste. Therefore, our initial step needs to consider a different approach, such as recreating a culture that pushes us towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Essentially, it is our mode of thinking that first needs a shift.

Action

Once you truly understand the impacts of a consumerist culture, it becomes much easier to take recycling more seriously or incorporate exercise into your daily schedule, so you drive less. Actions can easily be implemented once we become aware of the consequences of remaining passive to such a severe problem.

Awareness

Don’t turn away from the facts and the reality of this issue. Our environment, our only home, is at serious risk. It’s crucial that we consistently follow up and educate ourselves on related topics. We can only face the truth if we know what it is. There are plenty of people, organizations, and sources for anyone interested. There is no excuse.

Shop Responsibly

Shopping responsibly requires two steps: we reduce our shopping, spending and general use. Secondly, we need to challenge producers and companies and push them to offer products that respect our health and the environment. To change our shopping culture, we need to support our local businesses, buy seasonal fruits and veggies, consume less meat and ensure that we use products that are green and respectful to us, the planet and animals.

An article by FullCycle looks at our role in decreasing waste and argues that “to be sustainable, we need to move the emphasis toward a local, community-based system, uses low tech/low energy systems, and is focused on waste minimization.” While waste processing and recycling play an essential role, the most urgent call in a profound cultural shift will have to be the minimization and reduction of waste.

At LivingLifeNatural.com, we think it’s seriously time to reshape our waste culture. Sign up for our newsletter, connect with us on social media and share your tips. What steps will you take to reduce your consumption and waste?