The world is experiencing unprecedented population growth, and, so too are the demands being placed on our environment – including increased production, accelerated use of natural resources, and spreading urbanisation.
Landfill sites globally are filling at a rate that we cannot sustain, and the great pacific garbage patch continues to increase in size every day. The role that waste plays in Climate Change are many, including toxic runoff into waterways and ground water, and methane emissions that are up to 23 times more dangerous that carbon dioxide. The incineration of waste releases carbon dioxide and dioxins into the atmosphere, all of which add to increasing levels of greenhouse gases.
In order to mitigate these issues, we need to reduce consumption and reuse and recycle waste.
While it is extremely important to be aware of the issues around Climate Change, it is also important not to focus on them too much as it can halt action, by disempowering people at the very thought of the scale of the problem. I want to promote the positive actions that people are taking right now to stop Climate Change, to inspire a more sustainable planet.
Back in March of 2012, I was lucky enough to win the “How are you greening your life?” competition, held by Connect4Climate. This was a great stepping stone for me personally, to be a part of a strong community that gives us all the chance to have a real impact on Climate Change by working together to find solutions and act. Being recognized for my work gave me the added motivation to continue on my project, and inspire as many people as possible to live more sustainably. This is an area that I am passionate about, and I have dedicated my life to for the last three years.
Dan Phillips builds entire houses from recycled materials for single mothers and low income families.
My project is called Retrash, which is a book with a simple goal – to inspire the world to rethink waste, and in turn create positive social change in better spending habits.
The book is a result of a collaboration of 82 designers and artists from 20 countries around the world who are leading the recycling and upcycling movement. This movement of people is more than just about reusing waste, they each have a philosophy and a way of living that is sustainable and creates awareness around the impact we humans have on our environment.
Jennifer Lara creates stunning tank tops from reusing old T-Shirts.
Each entry in the book features the story behind the creator, detailing why they do what they do, where they source their materials, and the ideas behind why they reuse waste. I have been an avid recycler/upcycler myself since I was young, and I feel very honored to be a part of such a positive and inspiring movement.
Through the book we can reach people globally, with ideas on how to reuse waste so we can all take action and integrate these ideas into our everyday life. We can also then change spending habits to reduce consumption of packaging and excess products that we don’t really need.
Gilles Eichenbaum creates these gorgeous lamps from old kettles.
You can be a part of this movement and take direct action against Climate Change by helping us get this book to print. We only have seven days left to raise funds to make this project a reality. Show your support by pre-ordering the book here.
Nathan Devine is based in the Blue Mountains, Australia as is the founder of Retrash.com – a platform dedicated to inspiring a more sustainable planet.