What a waste

December 18, 2008 at 2:02 am Leave a comment

A load of rubbish by Tom:

It’s great being back in the US, spending time with the SF office. The president-elect promises jobs and hope, as Nick so neatly points out in the previous post.

One thing’s now clear: for better or worse, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be going back to business as usual in the US. Obama’s symbiotic rescue package includes: massive efforts to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and infrastructure; greening vehicles; moving to renewable energy production; and the creation of a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. Each with the creation of green jobs at its heart.

I have my own, comparatively miniscule, addition to the list to help the US out of recession: Reducing the amount of waste produced. Every meal here comes with an additional 55 wrappers, 27 bits of plastic and 7 items of no practical use that must be disposed of. Even if you pull a canned drink straight from an iceberg, it seems you will be given a (plastic) glass, with 342,323 pieces of ice in it and the fruit of three lemon trees. And it’s not just eating out… there is packaging everywhere.

Please don’t take this personally, my fellow Americans, I love your country so much I’m considering moving here, but the amount of unnecessary waste shocks me.

I’m sure there is some logic in sending dollars to packaging companies, ice-makers and waste removal companies, thereby helping stimulate the economy. But my sense is that if the US reduced its waste, the net benefit on the economy would be positive; less packaging & lower energy costs therefore lowering company expenditure and cleanup operation costs; resulting in more dollars towards schemes that prevent, refine and reduce. Or are we in a unique period where we need to create environmental problems for new jobs to solve?

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Where to Go When Money Runs Out Atten-hut!

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