Let’s get trashy!
Look at me….
Sorting my trash and being all environmentally friendly and being the good citizen that I always wanted to be. I’m walking down my stairs with all my trash and I place the trash on the pavement in front of the disposal system in my yard.
It’s time to sort things out....
Cardboard there, normal trash here, paper overhere, batteries and bottles in their separate bins and in the end the biowaste in the green bin.
That feeling of systemizing is like ice cream…. nam nam.
Walking away like a boss.
But how did I get to this point of full understanding the reuse of different materials and how important it is to the environment.
Well I was lucky – I wrote a master thesis about reverse logistics and the beneficial qualities companies could derive from the strategy of reusing materials. I’m informed and educated about the waste levels we will be experiencing in the future. The issue now is to educate and inform the people so this becomes general and basic knowledge.
But how do we do this? Let me get really boring and start with some history:
In 1847 a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis found that 13-18% of women giving birth died of puerperal fever. He compared two birth departments in Vienna and noticed that the doctors who took care of the upper-class women did not wash their hands after they finished their morning-autopsy with the medical students. However in the second department with the less fortunate women only 2% of the women giving birth died. Semmelweis found that the less fortunate women was not attended by doctors but by midwives and these midwives did not attend any autopsy before attending the pregnant women.
Semmelweis concluded that bacterias from the corpses was transferred to the pregnant women and this was the reason of death.
To prevent this from happening he devoted his life to educating doctors to wash their hands before attending any other patient after an autopsy. But not all doctors believed him and it took 20 years before this was considered basic knowledge.
Since then most of us have been educated in hygiene and we know that being clean and hygienic is important for survival. This is something we learn in preschool and kindergarten and when we grow older showering or washing our hands seems like a basic part of life.
One of the messages in this story is the importance of educating the public of what needs to be general information.
So how can we adapt Doctor Semmelweis story to the issue with waste disposal. As with hygiene we start educating the kids early on – preschool and kindergarten. Systemizing the garbage can be made into a fun game or a competition – whatever works in the specific environment. But the conclusion should be early education and learning to incorporate this habit as something basic and general in our everyday life.