How Long Does it Take? Quiz

The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. ~ Lady Bird Johnson

So, Quiz Time!

How long does it take to biodegrade?

  1. Brown Paper Bag
  2. Cigarette Butts & Filters
  3. Plastic Bags, Caps and Lids
  4. Aluminum Cans
  5. Surgical Face Masks
  6. Glass Bottles
  7. Styrofoam Clamshell Carryout Container

Answers at the end…

A classic study by  a group of University of Arizona, anthropologists dubbed “The Garbage Project” learned some fascinating things about biodegradability in their study of a Tuscon garbage dump. They unearthed hot dogs, corn cobs and grapes that were 25 years old and still recognizable, as well as newspapers dating back to 1952 that were still easily readable!

So, even things we think are biodegradable, like food waste, break down extremely slowly in landfills because they don’t have the light, water and bacterial activity required for the decay process to begin. More interesting info.

Bottom Line… There is no “away” when we throw things away

Americans trash approximately 133 tons of food every year which gives off greenhouse gas in our landfills.

According to the informative and entertaining documentary Wasted! – produced by chef Anthony Bourdain – “Food production is the single biggest cause of deforestation. The single biggest cause of water extraction. The single biggest cause of habitat loss and biodiversity loss.

Meanwhile, one third of all of that impact is going on to produce food that ends up being wasted. In nature, everything that’s left over from one part of the process becomes food for another part of the process. Modern agriculture could take a lesson from nature.”

In the film, the world’s most influential chefs turn scraps into delicacies, and show us practical ways to make changes in our own kitchen:

Along with picking up a knife for the first time and learning how to use it, how to scramble an egg….the principal of “use everything, waste nothing” was pounded deep into my tissue. ~ Anthony Bourdain Wasted!

We Can All Reduce Food Waste by:

  • Planning meals
  • Using portion control
  • Creatively using brown bananas and other “ugly” food
  • Eating our leftovers (stored in plastic-free containers of course)
  • Composting

We’re in this together. Chin up! Don’t be overwhelmed. Thanks for whatever you’re doing to be part of the solution.

The oceans, mountains and beautiful creatures (including us!) of our beautiful but endangered planet thank you.

Quiz Answers:

Brown Paper Bag 1 to 5 Months
Cigarette Butts & Filters 12 Years
Plastic Bags, Caps and Lids Decades
Aluminum Cans 2 to 5 Centuries
Surgical Face Masks 450 Years
Glass Bottles 1 Million Years
Styrofoam Clamshell Carryout Container Virtually Forever

Act as if what you do makes a difference.

It does.  ~ William James