Saturday, March 01, 2008

From quirky to avant-garde

When Rolf Paloheimo first built his Healthy House back in 1996, he was regarded as a scientist with a strange experiment. Today he is considered, thanks to Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth", an avant-garde environmentalist. His house is disconnected from city water and electricity grid. There is a zero-tolerance for waste; everything from water to human waste is recycled.

It's a fact that we are producing more waste than generations before us. Little attention is given to where does the waste go.

In 2000, Toronto households created 920,000 tonnes of waste or about one tonne per household. Only 24% of this waste was composted, recycled or reused. The rest went to landfills.

An exaggerated case of using landfills is shown in The Simpson's Movie; dumping the silo that Homer has been keeping his pig crap in, in the Springfield landfill is the last straw sort of speak to make the landfill overflow and cause hideous side effects. The aftermath of that event made us all laugh. But in reality this is no laughing matter.

How can we divert more of our waste from the landfills?
The immediate answer is to recycle and reuse. Why not reuse that old shower curtain as cover for items in the pantry or the outdoor furniture or reuse the old toothbrush to scrub stain from the household items or reuse it to wax the shoes.

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