As the human population and overconsumption grow, the waste we produce becomes harder to get rid of. With adequate waste management, we tend to think that waste does not affect us. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not so much anymore.
The problem with our waste is a lot harder to ignore now. We have everyday factors such as illegal dumpsites and clogged drainage systems to remind us. In some regions around the world, communities are being encroached by landfills. People live in close proximity to waste dumps with no foreseeable change.
On a grander scale, we have issues such as ocean pollution, global warming, air pollution, and environmental degradation. All the issues mentioned have negative consequences on the quality of life; not just for humans, but unknowing plants and animals.
It is evident that we need to inform ourselves about the effects of excess waste production and improper waste management. Many influential individuals and activists are lending their voices to raise awareness of waste recycling. From powerful speeches and conversations across the globe, here are 34 relevant waste quotes we should all remember.
Named “The Priestess of Waste-Free Living” by the New York Times, Bea Johnson has some wise words to offer regarding the importance of waste recycling. In Bea’s book, ‘Zero Waste Home’ (amazon), she reiterates that successful waste recycling is not about using many items and recycling them all. Instead, it’s about making conscious purchases and having less to recycle.
We once knew Jose Mujica as “the world’s poorest president”. As the president of Uruguay, he lived on his wife’s ramshackle farm and gave away most of his income. In many of his speeches, Mujica has spoken on the importance of being happy with less.
Overconsumption is one of the reasons for waste problems, and recycling should be our last step to fix it. First, we should learn to find contentment in the primary things of life.
While Demetri may be a comedian, this waste quote from him holds some serious advice. Recycling starts at home. There are so many ways we can repurpose items within the home or workspace before sending them off to the bin.
Get creative with your waste items and find new uses for them. Before purchasing something, consider how you can extend its potential lifecycle.
Mother Teresa, one of the most celebrated Catholic nuns, spoke often about wastage. As someone who committed most of her life to helping the poor, she saw firsthand what it meant to lack the needed resources. Sadly, there’s still not enough education on how we can recycle much of our daily waste into something useful. We can make a big shift by regarding the things around us as resources rather than products.
William Edwards Deming was born in 1900 and died 93 years later. He is widely known for his contribution to the field of quality. To date, a lot of people still consider him as the most successful management thinker in the field of quality.
Deming believed that quality cannot be inspected into a product. He complained about America's failure to make effective use of people’s abilities. According to him, waste can prevent any country from reaching its potential.
Anna Getty is a successful actress and producer with numerous top movies to her credit. Although she is an actress, she is an advocate for waste consciousness. According to her, kitchen leftovers should not be treated like garbage. Instead, we should see them as food that should be given to microorganisms in our garden.
According to Getty, composting also promotes a healthy environment for microorganisms in the garden. For more ideas on how to reduce food waste check out our top tips to waste less food or consider taking the 30 days zero food waste challenge.
Grace Potter is a 36 years old American entertainer. She is quite talented, and her works are spread across music and movies. Potter is a notable figure in the Alzheimer’s Association and contributed to the success of the association all through her career. Her support for the Alzheimer’s Association is seen as her way of paying respect to her grandfather (paternal) who battled with the disease while he was alive.
According to Potter, Life should be seen as a gift, and no one should waste it indoors.
Sheherazade Goldsmith was born in London in 1972. She is a top environmentalist among other things. She has participated in numerous activism campaigns as regards the environment. Before the birth of her first child, she managed a food business that focused on the production and delivery of fresh, organic food for babies.
The business stayed open for about two years because, at the time, it was difficult to run a 100% organic food business in London. Goldsmith is now a full-time writer and speaker for environmental sustainability.
Blythe Danner was born in the United States of America in 1943. She is a top actress with numerous awards to her name. She is a lover of the environment who claims to be passionate about it.
We know Danner for her impact on the introduction of recycling programs in Santa Monica and New York City in the 1970s. Over the years, Danner has shown a lot of commitment over the improvement of the environment so that the coming generations can benefit from it.
Thomas Edison was born in the United State of America in 1847 and died in 1931. He was a great inventor, businessman, and manufacturer. During his time, he never ceased to tell the world about his inventions.
Many regard Edison as the greatest inventor of all time, and his works cut across various fields of life. During his time, his goal was to invent things the world needed.
Wendell H. Ford was a top politician in the United States of America. He died at the age of 90. Ford served as a Senator and as Governor before he retired.
Before politics, Ford worked as an insurance agent. Ford believed that resources, time, energy, and talent should be preserved. One of his popular quotes was “there is no patience for waste”.
Gene Green served as a US Representative for 13 terms. Among his many accomplishments was introducing the E-Waste Recycling Bill in 2010. After being made aware that e-waste was the fastest-growing waste stream in the country, Green soon revealed The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act.
Green’s aim was to ensure that manufacturers and consumers were conscious of the removal and disposal of their used electronics. Beyond his job as a Representative, which he recently retired from, Green is actively involved in calling for action towards better e-waste management.
Ma Jun is a Chinese environmentalist and journalist. He is also a Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in China. The Chinese public knows Ma Jun for his direct confrontation acts towards foreign companies with factories in China.
In the past, Ma Jun has approached Apple and over a thousand other companies to discuss their waste generation in China. His work has helped push these companies towards reformation. With this waste quote, Ma Jun brings our attention to the overlooked environmental consequences of China’s accelerated industrial growth.
The lack of proper waste education is a universal issue. It affects you, regardless of your country, status, or personal waste management practices. This is why we should not only change our habits and consumption patterns but also encourage others to do the same. The approach should always be to refuse, reduce, reuse, and if we exhaust all other options, recycle.