My waste in a day
I began the day with two eggs for breakfast. These eggs created the first matter of organic waste for the day.As the day proceeded I was making patterns and toiles at uni, this created fabric and paper waste which all went into the rubbish bins. Then ate a banana, the peel went into the rubbish. I never realised how much waste a day I had been creating until I started to track everything I was throwing out. As the day went on I had thrown out a tuna tin, a coffee take away cup and muesli bar wrappers to add to the beginning of the days waste. I usually recycle and thought my waste consumption was not too bad. But this made me think that I need to pick my game up. I honestly have never really considered food as a waste that contributes to landfill, carbon gases and pollution in general. I thought throwing food waste in the bin would just lead to it decomposing in the tip and going back into the earth. But in Paul Sellews TED Talk he discusses that organic matter with general rubbish in tips creates methane emissions that contributes to 20% of the methane emissions in the world today (Ted Talk 2013). Keeping this in mind, having organic matter in landfill means the earth is missing out on the healthy nutrients and benefits from the thrown out organic matter.
(Banana Peel-My Image)
(Egg Shells- My Image)
What is Organic Matter?
The definition of organic waste from the Victorian government is “Organic waste, or green waste, is organic material such as food, garden and lawn clippings. It can also include animal and plant based material and degradable carbon such as paper, cardboard and timber.” (Environment Victoria n.d.) This creates a large scale of waste that can be reduced, recycled and reused. Decreasing statistics of organic waste and benefiting the environment.
The Life Cycle of Egg Shells
I consume eggs almost everyday but I have never thought about the life cycle of the egg shell or the eggs production and organics matter wasted from the process. Eggs are consumed by a multitude of individuals every day and the egg shells are organic waste. But what about the organic waste from the production as well? Below is a diagram of egg production.
(Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2008)
There is a lot to consider in egg production. All of these steps contribute to the environment pollution and green house gasses in the world. The Australian government has created an Environmental Egg Production Guidelines to try and create a more sustainable production for Australian producers. In the report it outlines the amenity impact of egg farms; the smell, noise and insects that they create and attract and the pollution of ground water and the surface water. All subject matters I have never thought about when eating my eggs.
Looking at the egg production section, the guideline states when discussing broken eggs in production ” If allowed by the development approval/licence, consider composting these by- products with an appropriate co-composting agent (sawdust, wood shavings, paper, cardboard, etc). This will allow the nutrient and organic matter value of these products to be utilise” (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2008) This could allow for a lot of organic waste to be discarded into landfill if the license is not held with a production site. Should the Australian Government be pushing for majority of egg farms to have a license to use organics as compost? I would say yes. If you consider that there are 423 egg production farms in Australia that produce roughly 203 million eggs (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2008) then there is a lot of waste. Or potentially could be a lot of recycled organics and fresh nutritional soil.
Have you ever considered having your own chickens at home? Chickens help ” your home’s ecosystem, performing useful services like pest control, food waste disposal, and compost turning” (Rastogi, N 2016, para 11) Numerous people have chicken hens and there are so many benefits form doing so. Besides fresh eggs, you can have a complete cycle of organic waste management and healthy soil from compost.
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2008, Environmental Guidelines for for the Australian Egg Industry, June 2008, viewed 13 June 2016, <https://www.aecl.org/assets/Uploads/Resources/Environmental-Guidelines-for-the-Australian-Egg-Industry.pdf>
Environment Victoria n.d., organic waste, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://environmentvictoria.org.au/content/organic-waste>
Rastogi, N 2016, Green Eggs vs Ham, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2010/06/green_eggs_vs_ham.html>
Ted Talk, 2013, Compost king, viewed 13 June 2016, <http://tedxboston.org/speaker/sellew>