The Zero Waste Movement: This New York City Woman Lives Trash-Free
What you see in the photo is two years' worth of Lauren Singer's waste

Core77 takes a look at Zero Waste Girl

How does she handle takeout food? How does she find package-free cleaning products? Where does she shop? What kinds of compromises does a person have to make in order to live a zero-waste lifestyle? (It should be noted that Singer has not thrown that small jar of trash out but is hanging on to it, so I think it’s accurate to say she’s living zero-waste.)

— rw

Return to nature

Images such as this one have been used to symbolise the direction that we may well be heading in, though i always see a swirling yin-yang of greys in how to view it. The more usual one is meant to show our forthcoming extinction, with nature covering over our works after we shuffle off this mortal coil, though it could equally be thought of as the ditching into obsolescence of many of the ways of life and behaviour patterns that are negatively affecting life on Earth and jeopardising our future and the discovery of a new direction for humanity and the many species with whom we share our home. I prefer to stick to the optimistic view, that we will be organised and clever enough to pull through, but feel we should all be reminded, and remind ourselves of this fact several times daily.

The snap is of a 1937 Chrysler Imperial in the world’s largest junkyard, found in White, Georgia (USA).


Image credit: David Goldman/AP

You have to be the kind of person who can make the best out of a Tuesday. You know those people who live for the weekends? They’re wishing their life away. You have to find something worth living for or else you’ll look back and realize you’ve wasted your life away.
—  Drew Martin

Ramadan Reinspired: Day One

Our mothers in Syria. Our brothers in Palestine. Our sisters in Iraq. Our family in Kashmir and everywhere else. Most of them go to bed hungry every night without even a bite of stale bread to chew upon. So the next time you’re throwing away that last plate or that morsel of food, remember that somewhere around the world a mother is trying to put her starving children to sleep.

We need to be more considerate about others and the environment, and encourage our family & friends to do the same. When you see someone wasting food, speak against it.

“And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)”

[al-A‘raaf 7:31]

More Inspiration |

How we waste different kinds of food, in one graphic

Over the past week on It’s Okay To Be Smart, I’ve been posting a series of videos all about energy: What it is, how we harness it, and how we use it, and what exactly Doc Brown meant when he screamed “1.21 jig-a-watts!!” The third video in the series looks at a huge and often-ignored energy problem: energy waste

It’s a well-accepted rule in physics that energy can not be created or destroyed, but it can definitely be thrown away. As it happens, food is one of the main energy waste culprits: what we toss in the trashcan, what we don’t eat, what spoils, there’s a multitude of reasons that much of the food we produce never goes into nourishing any human bodies. But we never seem to think about the wasted water, fertilizer, transportation, processing, packaging, and storage that we’re throwing away with it. 

We throw away a whopping 40% of our food in the US. All in all we’re throwing away about 2% of our annual energy budget in the form of food. That should leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The infographic above (you can view it larger here) details the places where different food types get wasted. Grains, for instance, have a long shelf life, but they are relatively cheap, so we tend to throw what we don’t away without much thought. Meat and dairy, on the other hand, are thrown away slightly less because of their higher cost, but far more energy and water goes into producing them, so those losses are amplified.

Head over to PopSci to get a detailed analysis of this important infographic, and please eat everything on your plate :)

infographic by Katie Peek