Waste: n. Any material or object for which no further use or reuse in intended. i.e. Trash; Garbage
Out of all of the materials purchased in the U.S. only 1% remains in our possession 6 months after we buy them. This means that of all the consumer goods purchased in this country, by a population of over 300 million people, 99% are discarded in some way, 6 months later.
Why should this concern us?
In nature when organisms consume raw materials they are eventually returned in the form of nutrients to be consumed by other organisms in a self perpetuating cycle of life. Human beings are the only species that break from this balanced ecological system of input and output. Instead, modern industrial society has created elaborate systems to extract raw materials from nature and alter those materials in such a way that they no longer have the potential to contribute to this essential ecological cycle of give and take that fuels and sustains all life on Earth.
Not only have these altered materials lost their ability to contribute to these natural cycles but many will actually now contaminate and even destroy the natural ecological systems from which they came. Through this system of manipulation of natural resources we have largely deprived nature of its potential to benefit and nurture the cycle of life.
What we consider waste today is simply a natural resource out of place. Waste does not exist in nature.
Waste is a human creation!
Throughout this website we examine the best available data surrounding this system, how it is managed today and what that translates to for the rest of us.