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“What is environmental awareness?” is no longer the question we’re asking, as we want to know how to increase our environmental awareness and what we can do for our environment. We cannot save the world in a day, but taking green steps together has a bigger positive impact on the environment.
Larsen’s mission is to educate the residents of Larsen houses and guide them to making greener choices. For this purpose, Larsen has shared laundry rooms, bicycle parks, waste sorting and, in the future, composting possibilities. One of our priorities is to encourage the residents of Larsen houses to prevent and reduce the generation of waste.
Larsen’s goal is to get the Green Key certificate. Step by step, we want to establish a more environmentally friendly living environment for our residents to inspire them to make sustainable choices.
Larsen has provided its residents with the possibility to sort their waste in six different categories: mixed municipal waste, mixed packaging, biowaste, paper and cardboard, glass packaging and batteries. Special bins for cigarette butts have also been installed in Larsen houses.
In order to make finding information on waste sorting as easy as possible for the residents, each accommodation unit has QR codes, which the residents can scan to gain access to sorting guidelines and tips on how to be greener today than it was yesterday :).
All the waste collected separately in Larsen will be sent off for further handling:
- Biodegradable waste placed in a composter at a composted site. Compost is used in the landscaping of Larsen's house. Biodegradable waste placed in a bio-waste container is sent to a composting yard, where it is turned into compost soil.
- Packaging waste, paper and cardboard are taken to follow-up sorting, where the material suitable for recycling is separated and released for circulation;
- mixed municipal waste is incinerated to generate energy and heat;
- batteries are recycled into new ones or the materials in them are used for the production of other goods;
- all cigarette butts placed in the special bins are recycled with the help of artist Ines-Issa. Ines uses the butts to create environment-themed sculptures and also for research where she is looking for ways to recycle the filters on cigarette butts. The artist’s goal is to achieve an environmentally friendly, reusable plastic material that would also be biodegradable. Keep an eye on Ines’s work here: Instagram @inesvillido, www.inesvillido.com
An international waste handling hierarchy has been established and it lists various activities in respect of their environmental impact.
Attempts to prevent and reduce waste generation is the highest priority. In order to achieve this, we all have to take a look at our consumption and behavioural habits and understand that waste is a resource, not useless rubbish. We generate less waste when we consume high-quality, long-lasting, non-toxic and resource-efficient products.
This is at the top of the hierarchy, followed by sorting the waste that has been generated, which helps reduce the quantity of waste that requires recycling. The waste that is generated should be reused (e.g. new jam should be put in an empty jam jar or clothes should be bought second-hand) first of all, which is followed by composting or released for circulation (e.g. waste paper is used to make new paper).
Incineration of waste holds the penultimate place in the hierarchy - although it generates thermal energy and electricity, any material in the waste that could be recycled is also burned in the process. Depositing waste in a landfill is the least advisable option of waste handling, as it removes valuable material from circulation and creates an extra burden on the environment.
- Cigarette butts are the biggest polluters in the world. Cigarette butts are the top plastic polluters, with an estimated two-thirds of the trillions of filters used each year tossed into the environment.
- We throw away 7.2 million tons of food every year, and more than half of it is perfectly edible.
- Humans now buy a million plastic bottles a minute. Most of this plastic ends up in the ocean. By 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
- The earliest account of waste recycling was in 1031 in Japan! The earliest account of waste recycling was in 1031 in Japan! They found a way to recycle paper, and sold it again as new in shops.
- With 25 plastic soda bottles, you could make one adult sized fleece jacket.
- How many resources are really spent on making disposables. Thought-provoking video: Story of Spoon
- Did you know that about 1/3 of our mixed municipal waste is biowaste