Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Soliphilia and the Zero Waste Project

I have been racking my brain to see how I can make a difference today in the world in which we live, in class on Tuesday a young lady came in and spoke to us about the Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards. Although this didn't give me an idea it did solidify a feeling I had the other day to finally put a project into play in order to improve the world around me.

The thought that popped into my head was "Zero Waste", a post that I was trying to write but couldn't get the right angle on how to write it. Today we were asked to write about soliphilia - the love of and responsibility for a place, bioregion, planet and the unity of interrelated interests within it.

This idea of the zero waste stems from my soliphilia for my neighborhood, Orem, Utah County, Utah, the United States, and the world. I have been made aware of my waste and want to participate in not only reducing my waste, but eliminating what I don't recycle. Everything can be reused or repurposed, my problem has been knowing how to do that.

That is why I'm creating the Zero Waste Project. The Zero Waste Project is basically getting educated and making changes in our lives to reduce product purchases and our carbon footprint, reuse products, and recycle everything.

I have almost no clue on how to go about doing this, that is where the other part of soliphilia comes in. We need to work together to get educated, then make a change.

Things I know:
How can I reduce product buying and my carbon footprint?
First a carbon footprint is the measurement of amount of carbon your activity emits on a daily basis.

- Was is this bad? It's bad because the amount of carbon dioxide we emit is messing with the delicate balance in our atmosphere. Too much carbon dioxide = more trapped heat, and that leads to a lot of potentially negative effects.

(Before I started studying Urban Ecology, I had heard the term carbon footprint, but didn't really know what it meant. This part is to help those of you who don't know what it means.)

To reduce our carbon footprint there are a lot of things we can do. Drive less, turn off your car instead of letting it idle, use less of the AC and heater, turn off lights, only plug your phone in when you need to and don't have it plugged in over night, (this one is tough but) watch less tv/netflix, use natural light more, turn off your computer, unplug appliances you aren't using, close the fridge door faster or don't let it stand open, try switching to solar power to charge phones and appliances, or switch your home to solar power better insulate your home, bike more, walk more. There is a ton we can do!

As far as products,
How can I reuse products?
I have a few shirts that have holes in the elbows. I can give them to the DI, mend them, or make them into something else like a blanket, bag, dog toy, scarf, bracelet, braided rug, dish towel, pajama pants, pillow or pillowcase, doll, belt, sling, home decoration, bean bags, beanie, Halloween costume, bibs, patches for other shirts or coats, etc.

Shoes can be donated: Nike's Better World

Here is a list of other ideas on how to reuse your stuff: Ways to Repurpose Old Things

How can I recycle everything?
It's not easy right now to recycle everything, but we can start small and grow from there.

Orem does a recyclables pick up every other week, they just came by this past week which gives us a little bit of time to prepare. Call Orem city and they will get you a blue recycling can, it needs to be the blue one, because everything else gets taken to a landfill.

There are hundreds of ways you can get started in this process, if you have other easy, creative, and/or fun ways please share in the comments below!

Sustainability News

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I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.