Reducing, reusing and recycling waste plays a vital part in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Waste management activities cause carbon dioxide emissions. In fact the products we use are responsible for the production of CO2 at each stage of their life cycle from raw material extraction, right through to final treatment or disposal.
The manufacture of materials such as paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and the aluminium found in drink cans consume natural resources and energy and are responsible for a large proportion of our CO2 emissions.
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" is our mantra for the litter and waste theme, but also plays a vital part in reducing our CO2 production. By reducing, reusing and recycling we cut down on the need for new raw materials, preserving valuable resources and saving the energy consumed in their extraction, manufacture and transportation. Saving energy also leads to a reduction in CO2 production.
What You Can Do
Calculate your waste related CO2 emissions
Use a carbon calculator to estimate your school's waste-related carbon emissions. You can download a carbon calculator from the Irish Eco-Schools website http://www.greenschoolsireland.org/ or check for other carbon calculators that can be used in your country.
Source: HSBC Eco-Schools Climate Initiative Teachers' Manual