Firstly, I've been a lazy blogger. The usual applies... work's been busy, and I've not really had a lot I wanted to really write about... but I'll try and do better this week!
Over the weekend, I saw a post on the popular Muscat Where Can I Find? fb group where someone asked where all the rubbish goes once it's collected from the bins, and someone else responded with a link to some information on the Al Amerat landfill site.
According to this website, based on metrics produced by the Oman Environment Services Holding Company (OESHCO) who appear to be responsible for waste management in Oman, the average amount of waste per person in Oman is 1.5kg's, every day. Every single day! There's over a million people in this city, so this is approximately 1,500 tons of waste, every day. Across the entire country, the waste produced is about 4,700 tons of waste every day!
Thats a lot of garbage, and I thought I'd share a few small changes I've made in recent years (not that I do them all the time) that may help to reduce your waste. Some of you may not care, and well I'm not going to get all preachy on this, I just figured some people might just be interested in these few small changes to reduce waste.
1. Drying your hands - I see this time and time again. You go to the loo in a public restroom (lets say at the mall) - you wash your hands and then take 3, 4 or possibly even 5 paper towels to dry your hands. 1, or possibly 2 at the very most, is all you need to sufficiently dry your hands. Try it the next time, you'll be surprised just how dry you can get your hands if you take the extra 3 seconds to actually dry them rather than grab a fist full of paper. The same concept applies to paper napkins at fast food joints...
2. Shopping bags - I use cloth shopping bags, but not all the time. I re-use plastic shopping bags for the bins at my house rather than buying the purpose made bags. Also, I pack as much into each bag as is sensible - lots of people seem to prefer to put one thing in one bag and have fifteen bags when they really only needed 3.
3. Vegetables - sometimes you need a bag for vegetables when buying them, sometimes you don't. Prime example are large vegetables with skins - like a butternut squash. Just get the price sticker put straight onto the skin - you're gonna peel and wash it anyway. I've seen one person here use these nets that are re-usable for vegetable shopping - good for them.
4. Soda cans - there are people that scour the bins across the city for these aluminium cans. Make their life easy, and help reduce the amount going to the landfill - and keep a separate garbage bag for these cans. We crush our cans and when the bag is full take it to the dumpster, and leave it by the side - less than an hour and the bags gone usually.
5. Coffee - it's nice to get a paper cup for coffee when at one of the 7 million coffee shops here in Muscat, but ask yourself if you're really going to take it out - or are you going to sit in the coffee shop and drink it. If you are, get it in a ceramic mug/cup instead, or if you really are a coffee-to-go kinda person.. consider getting a reusable plastic coffee cup - they're better for the environment, and keep your coffee hotter for longer too!
That's it, only 5 small suggestions, that maybe no one will pay attention to, but maybe some of you will. Every little helps.
Do you have a waste-reducing tip to share? I'm all ears....