“Every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. If all this waste was put on trucks they would go around the world 24 times.” This quote is from TheWorldCounts.com, and many other such statistics are readily available when searching online. The world is our most precious commodity—without it life would not exist.
There are many countries and political systems around the world, and each treats it (the world) a bit differently. I currently live in Southeast Asia and the pollution from these emerging markets and cultures is astonishing. Not to excuse them, but typically the environment and other social costs take a back seat to the economical and/or political focuses.
Let’s look at America. Although it is considered a first-world nation, it has plenty of environmental issues to solve. “We are operating in completely unsustainable ways. We have a waste problem in our society and a resource problem in our society,” says Alex Freid founder of Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN).
Freid came up with PLAN while still attending the University of New Hampshire. In fact the model was inspired by life on campus. What PLAN aims to do is remove waste from campus communities—ultimately shooting for a zero waste environment. How this is done or at least how the first implementations are set forth is by salvaging the end of semester items that normally would have been thrown away. These items are then resold at a discount to incoming students.
In the past three years PLAN has rerouted 110 tons of reusable items from the landfill to people’s use. It has recycled over 2,000 electronics and donated tons (literally) of food and clothing to those in need. The program has generated $55,000 that will be used to further sustainable efforts and initiatives.
Post-Landfill Action Network has spread to other universities across the United States and it wants to continue. The campaign will allow the people at PLAN to create a database accessible to universities with discussion boards, uploadable and downloadable documents all searchable with key words.
With all of the luxuries and comforts that most of us enjoy and take for granted it is comforting to know that there are people out there like Alex Freid who are actively working on solutions to our consumerism. But the idea shouldn’t just end there—with others. It should awaken us all to inspect our individual routines and lifestyles and find one small area where we can and will improve.
The world is all that we have and it is a fixed resource. If we assume that someone else is taking care of its problems then we are wrong. Make sure that you do your part in protecting Mother Earth. Now that would be a solid POP.
Post Landfill Action Network’s Indiegogo Campaign Page
Post Landfill Action Network’s Website