The world wastes nearly 1 billion metric tons of food every year; fast fashion’s carbon emissions are second only to the petrochemical industry; skyscrapers also increase environmental costs.
Dallas, TX (Merxwire) – October 31 is World Thrift Day. In October 1924, 29 countries participated in the International Savings Bank Congress held in Milan, Italy. On the last day of the conference (October 31), Italian professor Filippo Ravizza proposed designing this day as “International Saving Day,” advocating the whole world to save. In 2006, the United Nations continued its concept and decided to set October 31 as “World Thrift Day,” calling on people to be thrifty, save energy, and cherish resources for the sustainable development of the planet.
World Thrift Day is coming soon. Let us examine the wasteful behaviors of the world in recent years and some countries’ practices of “anti-waste” and pay attention to the issue of sustainable development of the earth.
People waste resources
According to the UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021 published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment Programme, UNEP), nearly 1 billion metric tons of food are wasted each year globally, including 74 kilograms of household food waste per person per year. Add in food waste in restaurants and shops and food waste in farms and supply chains, and a total of one-third of food is wasted.
Fast fashion has brought a variety of styles and low-cost clothing, but it has also led to people’s consumption habits of “rapid elimination,” resulting in more and more discarded clothing every year. According to data, New York residents throw away 200,000 metric tons of clothing each year, and the United Kingdom sends 300,000 metric tons of clothing into landfills each year. However, until 2025, global clothing sales will continue to rise.
Are skyscrapers a waste? In big cities, they will build higher floors and even pursue the highest floors in the world. But do we need skyscrapers? The ostentation level of most skyscrapers is greater than actual demand; these buildings drive the surrounding land and housing prices but do not actually help the people but cause high environmental costs.
No waste of food
On April 29 this year, China enacted a relevant law on “anti-food waste”, prohibiting consumers from over-ordering and wasting food in restaurants, and imposing high fines for wasteful behavior. If citizens perform the big eater mukbang show on the Internet, they may be fined up to ¥100,000 RMB. In addition, restaurants can also reward customers who ordered moderately and emptied their plates, but the regulations do not specify the details of the reward.
France passed a bill in 2015 to prohibit supermarkets and grocery stores from destroying food arbitrarily. Supermarkets covering an area of more than 400 square meters need to sign donation contracts with charitable organizations; otherwise, offenders may be fined €75,000 EUR.
Many restaurants in Taiwan have launched “endless buffets.” In the past, in order to eat more food during restaurant hours, consumers would pick up a lot of different dishes at once, but the space in their stomachs was limited, so this practice would only waste more food. In order to avoid waste caused by consumers, many restaurants have formulated rules in recent years. If there is too much food left after the meal, additional charges will be applied.
Prohibit other wasteful behaviors
According to the BBC report, China has restricted the construction of “super high-rise buildings” in smaller cities in the country! China will limit the height of newly constructed buildings according to the population. Cities with a population of less than 3 million will be restricted from building skyscrapers with a height of more than 150 meters. Cities with more than 3 million population can apply for skyscrapers over 250 meters in height under certain circumstances. However, the construction of buildings over 500 meters in height is still strictly prohibited.
In 2020, France enacted a bill to prohibit companies from destroying inventories of apparel and high-consumption products. The scope of application of the bill includes electronics, hygiene, and beauty products. The inventory of these products must be reused, redistributed, or recycled. The bill also stipulates that manufacturers, importers, and distributors, including online companies such as Amazon, donate unsold non-food products.
The earth’s resources are limited. When people waste unlimitedly, it will quickly destroy the environment. Many companies are thinking about how to make their products meet the “carbon reduction target,” “energy saving,” and “recycling.” Reduce the use of plastic products in your life, avoid large-scale purchases, do not pursue fast fashion, and learn good storage habits to reduce waste!