Archive for April 2013

How much waste do your city's businesses produce? My council doesn't know.

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If you reside in England and have the strange desire to know how much waste the businesses of your city produce, I am sorry but you cannot satisfy it. Indeed, few data are published or even collected about the production, recycling or landfilling of local commercial waste.

This discovery came one month ago when I wrote an article for the Birmingham Mail about the low recycling rates of the city in comparison with the rest of the West Midlands. In fact it has been revealed to be the area with the lowest level of material recycled (almost 30%) of the region.

During the process of the study of every local authority data on waste in England, I stumbled on an interpretation issue of the figures provided by Defra (the English Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affair). In fact

Footprinted! Can we really know how sustainable are our goods?

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                                    "Why all these chemicals? To do a laundry
                                        we used just hash!", my grandmother
What's the difference between a synthetic cosmetic and a natural one, perhaps homemade, in terms of sustainability? Is the laundry detergent that I have just bought more eco-friendly then a homemade one (for a great and cheap recipe read this post).

My curiosity has led me to search for answers to these questions. Surely almost all of us are sure that a less usage of synthetic compounds is good for the environment (and therefore for us), but what I was looking for was numbers that could confirm it.
Or some way to measure the sustainability of a product.
However, this time Google was unable ....