Why should we reduce our consumption and our waste?

7 billion people now live on this planet. The amount of the earth’s resources that we humans consume far exceeds the amount that can be sustainably produced without having a negative effect on something else. For example; we can and do produce enough food for us all to eat but in order to be able to produce these foods through intense agriculture we have had to clear rain forests to do so – we have also over-farmed land that without synthetic or chemical interference cannot be used to naturally grow more food on. The timber we have become reliant on to sustain our needs, which is a biproduct of the same deforestation, cannot supply our current demand if deforestation were to cease – and cannot be maintained just by planting new trees – certainly without us over farming still.

Fossil fuels have taken millions of years for the earth to produce, yet we have consumed most of the world’s fossil fuel resources in the 100 years – it is estimated that we have only 40 – 50 years supply of fossil fuels left. These can never be replaced. Renewable energy sources are being developed and used but over 80% of the world’s energy consumption is still from fossil fuels.

David Satterthwaite, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London writes “Citizens of more affluent nations leave a much greater footprint on our planet than people living in poorer countries – although there are exceptions.” He also writes “We know of cities in low-income nations that emit less than 1 tonne CO2-equivalent per person per year.” – “Cities in high-income nations can have 6 to 30 tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year.”

The range is staggering and the fact that there are high-income countries averaging at 6 means those that are higher could easily be lower.  Also these are averages so there are individuals that would use multiples of the 30 tonnes average in that particular country.

The only solution is that we need to consume less! By cutting down or eliminating our waste wherever possible, we will actually consume far less and actually use the same without it impacting what we feel we need.

It is estimated that in the UK 17.6% of overall food produced is wasted. This is over 1 sixth. If this cutting down of waste can be applied to everything type of resource that we waste – we are on to a winner!!!

At New Leaf Zero Waste – we make it easy for our shoppers to avoid waste in many ways. By buying your groceries and household goods from us you can easily achieve;

  • No Plastic Waste – the goods we sell have Zero Plastic Packaging
  • Reduce Packaging Waste – Most of our products are packaging-free and you fill your own containers
  • No Food Waste – buy as little or as much as you actually need so food doesn’t either sit in cupboards to never get used – and you don’t cook more for the sake of using that bit that’s left – only to not eat it and throw it away.
  • Less Transit Miles – we try to source lots of our goods locally and/or from like-minded suppliers or manufacturers who are frugal and not wasteful. Local production reduces the carbon footprint of the goods.