Learning from the damage we cause can make us change.
By Teresa Albertos, Álvaro Carmona, Javier Villabona and Irene Ruiz. (Students from the Zola School of Las Rozas).
Not being responsible for the waste management has consequences and affects us all: the population and the environment; Zola students have investigated and researched from the municipality of Las Rozas and want to give their vision to the world about the importance of this problem that nowadays, people do not realize about it, and their goal is to change, starting with the mentality.
Something that seems as insignificant as throwing a container in the trash, can cause problems that are being accumulated little by little and that affect us all, from environmental consequences to the population, increasingly visible in our regular basis. On average, a person of 70 kg generates six times his body mass in garbage, each Spanish generates about 440 kg of waste in the home, making a total of 21 million tons of waste per year, only in our country.
Our waste occupies space, being useless for other uses, causing important environmental impacts, such as air pollution, visible by the color of the sky, (a feature that affects the social impact) and by changes in temperature in the rainiest areas; the planet supports these actions daily, suffering consequences that are reflected, for example, on the ground. In addition, the final destination of human waste, whether controlled or uncontrolled, is the landfill, and more than half is collected, goes directly, which makes a large amount of waste difficult to assess. Did you know that more than 70% of the total waste production is now located in landfills and oceans? There are about 6.300 millions of tons accumulated.
Nowadays, the most contaminated place with residues in the world, is ubicated in the PacifiOcean, because the production of plastic could cover a country as big as Argentina.
Human wastes comes from the generation of residues according with the consumption habits, quality of life of the population, technology, etc. In general, the residues are caused by the garbage waste of commercial activity.
Having said that, in Europe the pollution level is remarkable; despite this, there are many other countries which contaminate much more than Europe, such as China, Thailand, Philippines…Focusing on Spain, we get to the conclusion that the pollution is not as high as the asiatic countries, however, an average of 22,807,748 tons a year is produced by Spain, this means 400 kilograms per inhabitant, although the majority of these urban waste comes from the Canary Islands. The unnecessary overproduction generates serious problems that leads people to throw more garbage, not making a proper waste management.
Nowadays, population buys things which do not have much value, considering it a waste soon, our society does not see the value of things, buying so many things unnecessary for caprices and throwing it after a while instead of recycling it or giving it to someone who can use it instead.
Furthermore, all the waste accumulated generates atmospheric pollution, visible by the color of the sky and by changes in temperature in the most rainy areas. Everyday, citizens throw waste on the ground, not being sufficiently aware of the damage it causes, of the properties that the ground loses, the pollution, the damage it causes to the animals, to the rivers, to the air, to people… Residues are not good for the planet and are not good for us; the consequences that are visible in our routine, can become worse if we do not correct habits, so we want to start from the municipality of Las Rozas, teaching the damage we cause to everyone, because this issue affects us all and we all can collaborate.
We have done this survey to ask people if they reused before throwing the waste in the garbage. 29.2% reuse before throwing. 25% reuse the remains at times before throwing them away. However, 12.5% never recycle before throwing, a fact that we found worrisome due to the amount of advertising and brochures about recycling.
We have done this survey to ask people if they think Las Rozas is a clean place.45.8% thinks Las Rozas is quite clean place but in the other hand the 8.3% thinks that is not a clean place while 29.2% think is more or less a clean place and the 16.7% thinks las rozas is a totally clean place.
We believe that the best weapon to combat the bad waste management is education, announce the effects and consequences.We want to give a vision to the world, because it affects us all and it is our decision. From Las Rozas we are aware of improving for a better future, starting with education in order to properly manage waste.
Seeing the bad effects that the bad waste management produces in our day basis, is an important reason why this article needs to be read by the population, is a very serious problem that is being normalized and this opportunity can help to get those who read this article, see the importance of recycling, or know how to manage what we consume for a well, not only own, but collective. It is also important the education on the environment and on the negative effects that this behavior has, for that reason this text has the intention of changing that mentality that in our case is seen in Las Rozas, but that it is a worldwide problem.
We believe that using education for combating the bad manage of residues, could be an effective method for reducing the contamination in the future generations, as they will know how bad is the damage we have been producing to the Earth.
As Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
The misuse of garbage cans, deteriorating the landscape and causing social problems. Las Rozas
(Madrid-Spain). Author photography:Teresa Albertos