A Brief Note On Waste Management And The Environment Essay example

A Brief Note On Waste Management And The Environment Essay example

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Overconsumption, Waste Management, and the Environment
It was filmmaker and activist Kalle Lasn who said that “overconsumption is the mother of all environmental problems” (Jessen, 2003). For Kidzu Children’s Museum, overconsumption and its effects on the environment is such a significant social issue that they try to introduce children to it in inventive ways. In this paper, I will first define what overconsumption is and how it exists in both the global and local sphere among developed countries, particularly as it relates to how waste management occurs. Next, I will explain the background and significance of overconsumption and the resulting waste management issues. Thirdly, I will propose potential strategies for change within the context of Kidzu Children’s Museum. Lastly, I will analyze relevant barriers to said change, including local and agency limitations, and discuss ways to address these barriers in the most effective ways possible.
Identification of Social Problem
Overconsumption occurs when humans consume resources, both natural and manufactured, at a level that exceeds the rate the environment can sustain (Bellinger, 2013). Mount Holyoke College (n.d.) considers overconsumption to be the largest contributor to environmental degradation. Although humans are the ones doing the consuming, the resulting environmental issues, such as habitat destruction and water shortages, affect all levels of the ecosystem. According to Dolgon and Baker (2011), overconsumption has played a huge role in the emergence of solid waste management issues within the United States.
As a local nonprofit that prides itself on having a global mindset, Kidzu Children’s Museum has always emphasized the importance of environmental conservat...


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...lue bags to a recycling center. According to the New York Times, the success rate of this system “never came close to the success rates recorded in cities where recyclables [were] picked up separately from garbage” (Mihalopoulos 2010).
National Association of Education Broadcasters Journal authors Brian Yeoman and John McKee (2000) claim that the way the slogan “reduce, reuse, and recycle” has been followed by United States citizens has also been problematic. According to the two authors, the single-minded focus on the recycling component of the slogan, rather than equal consideration of reducing and reusing as well, has created a sense of complacency among American citizens. “The point should not be how to perfect the destruction and processing of our waste,” the journal article reads, “but to find ways to avoid making it in the first place” (Yeoman, McKee 2000).

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