Monday, 30 April 2012

Z for Zero everything


Zero carbon 
The big idea is zero tolerance. 
Don’t you just love it when you see a sign proclaiming an area to have zero tolerance to alcohol - signs proclaiming an alcohol free zone and strewn around it are beer cans? Or the nuclear free zone a random town declares itself to be? Yeah?! Right!

Eco equivalents abound. 
Zero carbon footprints. We are asked to take action towards zero food wasteAll new homes in England will need to be carbon neutral by 2016 with Zero Carbon Hub conferences working towards the countdown and topics like fabric energy efficiency and carbon compliance definitions are part of the discussions - way out of my depth here...

Fancy a jargon buster to help you keep up??

I do hope these aims are more realistic than declaring a nuclear free zone in a random town in the middle of the UK.

But let me end this alphabet on a positive note. I think we can all contribute to the care of our planet in so many ways and that we should look for opportunities to make a difference wherever we can. My alphabet has just touched on 26 topics in the lightest, fluffiest way but the next challenge for me - and you I hope - is to work towards our impact being as light as possible too. 


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Y for Yes, but...


I have tried to be as honest as possible about the topics I have covered – I think of myself as Ms Average so if I am confused other people must be.

I have learnt a lot from these daily snippets – such a lot to learn and what a big area. But will I do anything differently? 

This month I was galvanised to join a Love where you Live initiative in my town and here I am in my hi-glow gilet with the tools of the job – litter picking paraphernalia!


love where you live volunteer
On a more trivial note I have also made a new fabric bag out of a second hand skirt that did not fit me – from Monsoon and beautifully appliqu├ęd – combined with a calico conference bag in the interior. 
bag from fabric scraps
I have found some other people writing great blogs on environmental topics. I have to mention the endangered species blogs and especially the issues with palm oil which I am much more aware of now thanks to Liz Brownlee and I have not even dared to start on a whole raft of issues but at least I have made a start...and thanks everyone for comments. I hope to go back and respond now we are not writing a blog a day!

Friday, 27 April 2012

X for eXpert


Didn’t I choose a great area for experts? I am awash with them. Five experts on each of my blogs would give five different responses, five counter arguments – all this research makes you realise how nothing is ever simple.... 
cartoon from http://mcdanielpolitics.blogspot.co.uk
There is just so much information out there, some of it mis-information and some of it linked to a selling opportunity or a government initiative of some kind [a selling opportunity] – its a bit like when you have your first baby – everyone thinks they know what is best but you have to make up your own mind.
an excuse to have a picture of Will Smith as an expert...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

W for Wind power


no windpwer sign
The topic of wind power provides some real opportunities for NIMBYism when it dares to venture into a person's locality. All round the country there are signs fighting the possibility of wind farms.

And what a clever word “farm” is  – nice and cosy...not as unfriendly as stations or facilities. 

There are so many signs about it is almost tempting to have a sign against signs against things, they are such blots on the landscape! 

This from Wikipedia says it all for me, complex though it all is:
wind farm
“Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, and uses little land. In operation, the overall cost per unit of energy produced is similar to the cost for new coal and natural gas installations. The construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed, but any effects on the environment from wind power are generally much less problematic than those of any other power source.”

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V for Vegetarian


I wanted to see if becoming vegetarian could be one of the most important and effective actions I can take to ease the strain on the Earth's limited resources, protect the planet from pollution, prevent global warming, and save countless species from extinction... 

I am not a vegetarian though I did attempt to be one for a while in my 20’s, but I am pondering this quote:

‘if everyone skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off our roads. ‘  [from Become an Eco-vegetarian]

edamame - a vegetarian staple
But then there is the fact that it is argued that the average rich world vegetarian may not consume much less of the planet's resources than the average moderate omnivore: a report for the Worldwide Fund for Nature (download pdf) on the impact of food production pointed out that highly processed vegetarian meat substitutes or foods made of imported soya might actually use more arable land and resources than their beef or dairy equivalents. Deforestation in the developing world to grow cheap soya for human and animal feed is a major issue in climate change. 

However some would say that the way we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet, that it pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs.

So are vegetarians more eco than meat eaters? 



Monday, 23 April 2012

U for Use by dates


I have frequent calls from my son - “Mum can I eat ...?” and he goes on to describe some food he has bought that looks fine but is just past its sell by date on the label.

But hooray!! The "sell-by" date on food packaging in the UK is to be removed in a bid to cut the £12bn worth of food needlessly binned every year. Research shows that a significant part of the blame for this is 
confusing food labelling.
use by date label

Packaging should only carry "use by" or "best before" dates, according to new government guidance, while "sell by" and "display until" labels currently used by supermarkets will be removed to deter shoppers from throwing away good food.

"Use by" labels should only be used if food could be unsafe to eat after that date, while "best before" dates should show the product is no longer at its best but is still safe to consume, the advice states.

We all know which foods to be careful with don’t we? That is the food likely to require a "use by" date, like meat, soft cheese, fish and ready meals, It leaves biscuits, jams, pickles, crisps and tinned foods needing only a "best before" label
. Only down side is that there will be less bargains in the supermarket and less “cherry picking” opportunities but it is an eco victory so worth it.

I say , I say, I say! Have you heard the one about the three bears at the breakfast table – one says “Have you seen the use by date on this box of porridge?”

T for Travel


Confession time!  I lost an eco styled friend once because of a long haul holiday I took she did not approve of – was she right? Perhaps I was being irresponsible? I have also visited countries in Europe that have limited supplies of water and I have been on one inclusive holiday. Confession over.
Lorenzo Duran leaf art with a message

I like this quote from John Vidal writing in the Guardian a couple of years ago:

Green travel is not just what happens at the destination, or indeed how you get there. It does not demand that you eschew air travel altogether or hotels or comfort, or that your holiday is within 10 miles of your home. Rather, it asks you to pack your brain as well as your swimsuit, and to assess and then act on the impact of your visit.

He says
Hotels used to call themselves green if they offered not to change the towels every day; these days, people demand evidence of real commitment to community, place and the environment.

I would be interested in knowing about other people’s experiences of travel with the ‘eco’ uppermost. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

S for Solar power


I would love to be able to install solar panels to my house. 

Photovoltaic panels convert light energy into electricity. In such a middling climate as we have in the UK the opportunities to be self sufficient in your own home with solar energy are more limited than in other parts of the world though many people have taken up the opportunity. For a domestic house you need to have a sloping roof facing the south or possibly west and east but definitely not north. It needs to have no interruptions to the sun’s rays – no shadows from trees or neighbouring buildings.
Row of solar panelled houses from The Guardian
Excess electricity produced which is most likely in the summer months, is sold back  - in the UK - to the electricity companies as the panels are connected to the national grid. Solar power is one of the cleanest methods of energy production known but of course nothing is ever as simple as we would like it to be. It seems that the technological barriers to harvesting this energy are great - think collection, distribution, and storage.

And there are issues about how solar power works alongside our existing electricity. It seems that in Australia for instance that

"The runaway take-up of rooftop solar panels is undermining the quality of electricity supplies, feeding so much power back into the network that it is stressing the system and causing voltage rises that could damage household devices such as computers and televisions." www.theaustralian.com


It is pretty hard to imagine all this though. Most people find understanding electricity hard enough on its own!

Friday, 20 April 2012

R for Reduce, reuse and recycle


We all know the old mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

Reduce the amount of the Earth's resources that we use.
Reuse Don't just bin it, could someone else make use of it?
Recycle Can the materials be made into something new?

local 3Rs lorry and our blogger
In some areas – notably plastics – this is a four pronged mantra – we are invited to follow the “4 Rs” of sustainable living: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

The Plastic Pollution Coalition invites us to take a pledge and says
Refuse
Say NO to disposable plastics! 
Reduce
Reduce your plastic footprint: buy in bulk, choose products with the least packaging, look for products and packaging made from renewable resources, and avoid plastic packaging and containers. Choose products that have the least amount of disposable parts.
Reuse
Reuse preferably nontoxic (glass, stainless steel) containers and goods to make less waste.
Recycle
Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Recycling is a last option because it uses energy, and there may not be a market for the refabricated materials
.

can recycling bin
Keep ‘em short they said [the blogs] –  a few random facts about drink cans then - Making new aluminium cans from recycled cans uses 20 times less energy than making cans from raw materials. Just one recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television set for three hours! An aluminium can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now. There is no limit to the amount of times an aluminium drink can can be recycled. There is a much quoted 60 day turn around from recycle binned can to it being back on the supermarket shelf.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Q for Quality or quantity

Love food Hate waste poster

I am not surprised to see that supermarkets are under pressure to ban buy-one-get-one-free offers [with the charming acronym BOGOF] because it seems in the UK alone they may be creating a £13.7billion-a-year mountain of wasted fresh produce. 
ubiquitous BOGOF

Although we worry about rising bills, households are throwing away an average of £520 of good food and drink a year. Last year the government even set up a Love food, Hate waste campaign to try and tackle it. Sadly, there are numerous cartoons out there with the joke “Buy one, throw the other one away”..

On the quality front there are moves in the UK this year to cut down on some of the sell buy dates on food that many people slavishly follow – another source of waste – in the mistaken belief that the food is not of sufficient quality to be consumed.
waste poster from thisismoney.co.uk

Some councils now offer kerbside collection for food waste so that at least it does not go to landfill – mine included and it is amazing how heavy the bin is every week.

P for Plastics


I can hold my head up here - I have actually written to my local paper about plastics and recycling them. Plastics are a major offender in the packaging of items from foodstuffs to postal cushioning. A lot of packaging materials are made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). These are biodegradable, but require a lot of time and special conditions to degrade and are not considered viable to recycle – certainly in the UK which still does not have household collection of plastics everywhere.
It is hard to find out about if the plastics we put in our recycling bins are actually recycled. We tend to go by the numbers on the base. The symbols here – polymer ID or PET codes - were actually developed by the American plastics industry to give the plastic recycling industry a rough guide to the many different plastic polymers in use today. But the symbols do not necessarily mean that a plastic can be recycled and they often cause confusion. It does seem, in the UK at least,  that those with code 1 and 2 are recycled if they are bottles but beyond that who can say?
Cartoon from  www.ecologycenter.org home to the
International Plastics Task Force. 
 
I am using the word "recycle" but plastics don't actually get reformed back into the original products but are reprocessed into secondary (and usually non-recyclable) products. 

There are packaging companies all around the world trying to come up with solutions to replace the PE and PP granules with natural materials like starch, corn, wood pulp and cotton, potato, sugar-beet, soy, tobacco, sugar cane, cellulose and lignite. Read more on eHow and Which.

Monday, 16 April 2012

O for Organic


Organic products are grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture.

In theory I would love to embrace all that is organic in my everyday life from the food I eat to the clothes I wear [dubbed eco fashion!] to the cleaning and beauty products I use. Who can argue with the fact that the use of pesticides is considered unhealthy and hazardous to the environment and human health in general or that we should adopt “an organic approach to a sustainable future for people and our planet”?
Organic fruit and veg
Actually quite a few – on the grounds of it not being possible to feed the world on organic food alone and the higher land and labour use for food production [as yields are smaller you have to cut down more trees, or plough up more land or disturb more wildlife] to name but three counter arguments.

And I am an old cynic and have images of vegetables marked organic being rubbed in mud to make them look more authentic and then the charge doubled! Well not quite but you know what I mean. There is certainly an expensive niche market out there – if I start on this I have to carry it through for everything I buy...



PS Why not visit a related topic on the use of palm oil and its affect on rainforests and animal habitats? http://lizbrownleepoet.com/2012/04/17/o-is-for-orangutan/

N for natural burial


I have long felt that I did not want my last act on earth to be a polluting one and the emergence of the natural burial or green funeral movement is very welcome. This writing by an unknown author says it very well

‘As we near the end of our journey on this world, we should remember those we leave behind.
We should allow them to remember the times we enjoyed, brief moments, long memories.
Our final resting place should be a symbol of our presence on earth.
It should be a part of nature, a part of the living, ever changing, ever growing, ever being.
A place where life gone is celebrated by life anew.
A wooded field, a part of England in a place of tranquillity and of beauty.’

I like the idea of the woodland burial now emerging here in which your role is to provide the sustenance for the soil, perhaps be part of a migration corridor for wildlife and be part of the something that will benefit future generations unlike traditional cemeteries which are overcrowded and built up and crematoria which are often atmosphere less conveyer belts. I like the idea of not seeing rows of decaying headstones too but a meadow and then a wood.
natural burials brochure cover

It seems to be amazing that even now we are not really geared up to this or thinking too much about it. This from a Co operative Society website about coffins:

Requests for more environmentally friendly coffins made from recycled or responsibly sourced materials are still very much in their infancy but are set to grow.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

M for Monitors


Energy Monitors are small wireless devices that hook up to your electricity supply to help you spot energy guzzling devices and activities, so you can cut back. They don't save you anything directly - it's about becoming more aware of habits. 

It is thought a monitor can help you slash 5-15% off your bill. This is all due to how you change your consumption once this has been highlighted for you - an energy monitor can help you get a better understanding of how you are currently using electricity and which of the appliances in your home are the most power hungry and how much CO2 you're emitting. Read more on the Which website.

Monitor picture from jugglefrogs.co.uk

Another of those eco devices that I probably should use but haven’t. I am not even sure having read both sides of the argument if I should turn off my broadband at night but I do turn off lights all the time as I go along at least and am aware of the kettle water and only boiling what I need and I don’t have a dishwasher. I think I would get so obsessive with a meter and it would make me miserable – does anyone use one?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

L for light pollution


The stark fact is that we are living in a world that expects to be lit up 24/7. Inefficient lighting wastes £1billion a year in the UK alone [CfDS]  and it also blights the view of the night sky and may also cause body clock havoc for birds, insects and small wild animals.

This thermal image map of the UK shows how widespread light pollution is with the dark blue areas having the least light pollution. Some think we should have legislation like the kind that bans dumping rubbish, for dumping light. Attention is being given to the angle of the beam of light so that it beams below and not above too. There have certainly been “lights out” initiatives in the US – over 17 cities have participated but what about the UK? 
Thermal image of UK
My partner was so keen to see a really dark sky not remembered since childhood and when we travelled to New Zealand last year we sat in open countryside until after midnight watching the sky and drinking in the novelty that was laid out there for us.

Campaigners have warned that the UK’s night skies are still “saturated” with light pollution, after a survey suggested half of the population are unable to see many stars. Councils across Britain have attempted to improve the situation by testing schemes to switch off or dim street lights. Of course cutting down on public lighting saves money too so we are starting to see initiatives to reduce  street light hours in some areas. 

light saver notice
This is a sign on a street lamp 20 feet from my house in a local park. 

More information from the CfDS which has a handbook, ”Blinded by the Light”,  available from its website

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

K for Kids and education


I think I started on this blog topic partly due to playing a game with my 3 year old grandson at Christmas – it was a recycling game where he had to recognise which items the cartoon bear was sending to which bins..glass, plastic or paper. As I have started to look at the whole eco idea in more detail I have come across all kinds of educational tools embedded into the curriculum and into play. These children should be so aware of environmental issues and from the very start. It should be second nature.

One of the easiest concepts to get across is recycling and look at all the books aimed at the different ages there are – just a few visuals of the many out there:
50 things for kids to recycle book
board book for toddlers

For children there are even websites aimed at helping them work out their carbon footprint . Check out Planet Positive.  

They can play online food miles games. I would have loved a wormery as a child or been involved in some of the more garden oriented initiatives aimed at conserving water. 
Take this online water conservation game.

eco board game
recycle picture book
recycling lorry toys

Many of these educational tools have multiple applications with science and maths and humanities playing their part as well as the message about how responsible citizens behave.


J for Junk


A little interlude from all the heavy stuff on environmental damage - let's take a - related - break...

Little did I know when, as a young person starting out in life and I was standing in a queue to enter a Saturday afternoon jumble sale or rummage sale as they are often called – that I was being environmentally friendly. I have always loved buying second hand clothes. I know some people find it distasteful to contemplate but I have always felt that one person’s junk is another’s useful item. Sometimes when looking for clothes in shops I look at the price and then imagine them on the floor at a jumble sale and that usually means I resist the temptation!

One of my favourite songs as a child was “Secondhand Rose” which I used to sing along to with Barbra Streisand:
“Everyone knows I ‘m just a second hand rose ..From Second Avenue...”


picture from junk by Zac Freeman
I suppose it was because I had a choice that I never felt upset that I was wearing second hand clothes. The advent of the ubiquitous charity shop in the UK has added a bargain hunting dimension to the shopping experience and given charities much needed funds. Don't you just love some of the expressions to describe second hand things though – “pre loved” is my favourite! Then of course clothes from my youth are now called "vintage".

And then what about those inspiring artists who create wonderful pieces of art work from junk? American artist Zac Freeman creates portraits “made entirely out of collected junk, found objects, and general trash” and they certainly have a haunting quality.                                                                                                                                                 
self portrait Zac Freeman


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I for Insulation

If everyone in the UK installed 270 mm loft insulation, we could save nearly £500 million – and 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 100,000 cars off the road. Source: Energy Saving Trust.

heat loss house drawing
There are quite a lot of initiatives in the UK to support people on low incomes with roof, wall, cavity and loft insulation. Sadly I live in a draughty Edwardian house built in 1905 that has solid walls that lose twice as much heat as cavity walls. 
insulating fleece


Infrared imaging of house
The actual insulation has an eco angle with the filling products of natural wool, wood fibre, hemp [sustainable of course] and cellulose [from recycled newspapers ] at the eco friendly end to polystyrene foam at the other... chemistry degree anyone?


Diagrams abound on the heat loss problems with houses in  the northern hemisphere.                                                                                                                                                     
There is even a market in conducting thermal infrared house surveys to detect cold spots. Very pretty pictures that tell a chilling tale of heat loss, of course. 
This picture is courtesy of  Multiguard Solutions.
An hour ago I listened to the news on the radio and discovered that this is part of a Green Deal the UK government are consulting on. They plan to legislate so that if you want to improve your home by extending it, then you may only get planning permission if you pay for loft insulation and draught proofing at the same time. Watch this space!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

H for H20


Slight cheat but this blog is about water or H20 and as a Water Aid supporter this is a topic dear to my heart. Here at least I can lift my head up and say I live in a house which has replaced the bath with a shower. I have no dishwasher and no garden sprinkler and a water economical toilet. I save 12 litres of water by turning off the tap when I am cleaning my teeth. But I expect I am still close to the average English water use of 150 litres of water every day – if I had to walk 5 miles with that on my back I sure wouldn’t use that much!
Rob and Goobs blogspot - carrying water

Not only is water not as abundant as you might think it also uses energy and increases emissions of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

One in six of the population has no regular access to a clean water supply to drink. Energy saving Community website notes that

Around a half of the world’s food supply comes from the one-fifth of the cultivated land around the globe that is irrigated and keeping up with that level of thirst makes huge demands on available resources. In some parts of Europe alone, irrigation accounts for 80 per cent of total water usage.

Scarcity of water is not the only concern. One of the big issues about water is our addition of phosphates to laundry detergents to soften water, help break down dirt on fabrics, keep dirt from returning to fabrics and provide alkalinity for better cleaning. Their use, however, has been attributed to increased water pollution, leading manufacturers to develop phosphate-free laundry products. And I wish I could get on with these especially the eco balls that have come on the market – all tried and abandoned...how bad is that?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

G for Greenhouse gases

carbon footprint logo
It is very easy to worry about greenhouse gases, and our carbon footprint which is related – the footprint being the measurement in units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent of all greenhouse gases we individually produce.

There are opportunities everywhere to calculate the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burningfossil fuels for electricity, heating and travel. But how many of us have actually calculated them when faced with the information needed to work it all out. And then what? Are you really going to avoid going on a journey if there is only you in the car? Will you cut out that foreign holiday?

Most people believe that global warming is caused by an increase in the greenhouse effect.
myclimatechange.net image
image from gogreentravel.com
There are lots of controversies around carbon footprints and in particular 
schemes designed to  offset the damage like tree planting but if you look at it in more detail you find these described as feel good strategies that do not take into account the subsequent CO2 released when the tree dies. The arguments abound.
For some industries the issue has turned it to their advantage and made a virtue out of a  necessity– for hotels I imagine the “protect the environment and don’t have your towel washed today” message results in them reducing their laundry bill and feeling good that they are doing their bit. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

F for Food miles


Food miles (or food kilometres) describe the distance food is transported as it travels from producer to consumer. Choosing food that is local and in season means it does not have to travel so far. Reducing food miles can have a dramatic effect on reducing carbon dioxide emissions [more on that in the next blog].

Food miles illustration courtesy biegpozdrowie blogspot
It seems that in the UK the distance that our food travels from producer to plate has increased by over 50% in the last 10 years and estimates put the cost of all these food miles – which have more than doubled since 1975 – at £9 billion every year, of which more than half is due to the road congestion it causes.

banana
There is a lot of information aimed at children on food miles as it is a bit more tangible than other areas. Just looking at our choice of bananas gives us food miles lessons and also of course might involve human rights and Fair-trade issues too. But I still buy them even though the nearest banana to me in the UK is thousands of miles away - about 4,000 to be precise as they are most likely to come from the Windward Islands in the West Indies. According to New Scientist the banana is the most popular product on the world’s supermarket shelves ...and yes I still have the taste of my breakfast banana in my mouth as I write this. 

food miles book
Finally did you know that if you avoid “ready meals” or heavily processed foods your carbon debt drops by 200kg a year. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

E for excess packaging


Don’t you just fume when you see over packaged items in the shops and in deliveries to your house? 

I certainly agonise about what we are doing to the environment in choosing this sort of solution to sell off food worth a few pennies/cents – use of cling film and polystyrene tray for a tiny bhajee. 

over packaged food
In the county I live in the council have worked out that an average county home throws out around 4.6kg of packaging such as shrink wrap, cardboard sleeves and plastic trays every week - equivalent to 575 plastic bags. The point is made that food needs packaging but it is the excess wrapping that is the problem. We have all seen shots of a single banana in a tray covered in film...and opened pass the parcel style deliveries.

I was disappointed to read that last year our government chose to stall on setting up tougher measures on packaging. This image accompanied the article in The Independent. 

What's your excess packaging horror story?                                                                                                                                                                         
Independent newspaper waste image



Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D for Dump


I use the word “dump” deliberately because that is still a word we use here to describe the place we take unwanted things. We are always “going to the dump”. Our dumps used to be piled up in one inglorious heap with everything destined for landfill. Not so these days. Now every possible recyclable component is directed to its special place as we gear up to reducing landfill. The dump has become an efficient local recycling centre and every visit produces another revelation about the potential of recycling.

The word “dump” though has some truly awful images associated with it where barefooted children pick over rubbish which is piled high all around them – a terrible reminder of our consumerist lives and the wretchedness of some people’s existences.  

Mae Sot Dump

My first experience of dumps though had a kind of dangerous, romantic edge to it with the children’s book by Clive King called  “Stig of the Dump”, also loved by my sons...

Original Stig of the Dump book cover
What have you been delighted to find you can now recycle?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

C for composting

It wasn’t that long ago when I was gaily adding the odd bit of organic waste to my landfill bin believing that at least it would break down and be harmless. 

But not anymore because ....now I know that when waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste and as it breaks down it creates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, which damages the atmosphere. It is thought that half of our waste still goes to landfill. If we composted all the suitable food waste produced by just UK households we could avoid the equivalent of 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

But look at what happens when you compost it .... oxygen helps the waste decompose aerobically and hardly any methane is produced. Not only does that help the planet but after twelve months you get free fertiliser for the garden. Win win!
cut away compost bin

And I particularly like the idea of a wormery which seems to add another virtuous layer [as it were] to this process if I am not mistaken, but I have wriggled out of that one so far...
Wormery guide