Posts Tagged ‘trash’

Afroz Shah, a lawyer in Mumbai, hasn’t had a weekend off in four years. But he hasn’t spent this time writing briefs or preparing for court.

His mission? Saving the world’s oceans from plastic pollution.

It’s a calling he found in 2015 after moving to a community in Mumbai called Versova Beach. He had played there as a child and was upset to see how much it had changed. The sand was no longer visible because it was covered by a layer of garbage more than five feet thick — most of it plastic waste.

“The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic,” he said. “It repulsed me.”

The unsightly mess Shah had stumbled upon is part of a global environmental crisis. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year — the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

The results are devastating. More than 1 million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish die from plastic pollution each year.

“The marine species have no choice at all,” Shah said. “We are attacking their habitats, their food. Plastic in (the) ocean is a killer.”

In October 2015, Shah began picking up trash from the beach every Sunday morning. At first, it was just him and a neighbor, and then he began recruiting others to join in. Word spread and with help from social media, more volunteers got involved.

Shah hasn’t stopped since. He’s now spent 209 weekends dedicated to this mission, inspiring more than 200,000 volunteers to join him in what’s been called the world’s biggest beach cleanup. By October 2018, Versova Beach was finally clean and Shah’s cleanups expanded to another beach as well as a stretch of the Mithi River and other regions of India.

All told, the movement has cleared more than 60 million pounds of garbage — mostly plastic waste — from Mumbai’s beaches and waterways.

For Shah, the work has always been a personal journey, but it has earned global attention. After he was honored as a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations in 2016, Bollywood celebrities and politicians embraced his mission and joined in his cleanups.

While he continues to work as a lawyer during the week, Shah now devotes nearly all of his free time to this cause. He said he believes that people must accept responsibility for society’s impact on the environment.

“This problem of pollution is created by us. … If this huge ocean is in a problem, we’ll have to rise up in huge numbers.”

Today, Shah is also working with coastal communities to tackle plastic pollution at one of the sources. In areas lacking sufficient waste management systems, trash often ends up in creeks and rivers that empty into the ocean.

Shah and his volunteers educate and assist villagers in reducing, managing and recycling their plastic waste.

For years, Shah’s work was strictly a grassroots effort that he coordinated on social media. Recently, he started the Afroz Shah Foundation to help spread his mission across India and around the world.

“This world talks too much. I think you must talk less and do action more,” he said. “Every citizen on this planet must be in for a long haul.”

CNN spoke with Shah about his work. Below is an edited version of the conversations.

CNN: You’ve said that beach cleaning is not just about clean beaches. What do you mean by that?

Afroz Shah: Beaches are like nets. They trap the plastic. The ocean is telling us, “Take it — take it away.” So, as the beach gets clean, the ocean is also getting clean. There’s a dual purpose. Volunteers who come to pick up are also getting trained to handle plastic. Anybody who sees plastic here will not buy plastic later. They’ll say, “No, no we don’t want this! We had to clean up so much!’ So, it’s creating awareness.

Cleaning is one part, but it’s not the solution. We are drowning in plastic. The bottles, packets, wrappers, packaging to preserve the food is what travels and lands (in the ocean). You have to reduce garbage in this world and change the way our packaging is made. So, it’s about what you can do as a person and as a system. I tell people, “Please protect yourself and other species. Have you thought about how do you reduce your garbage?” We are a smart species. We’ll adapt. We’ll learn. And with these youngsters rising up, I see hope.

CNN: You’re also taking your message to students.

Shah: Twice a week I go to schools and colleges. I feel the urge to be with these youngsters and train them up on plastic pollution. I’m looking at creating leaders there. I tell the kids, “You exist with other species. Your habits should not hurt the other species.” The energy of these youngsters is infectious. I can see it in the eyes of those kids. They want to be the change. They want to take it up. I can see it, years from now — some will become lawyers, judges, politicians. This will become a huge thing all over India. If those kids get it right, the world will get it right. So, my idea is to put the seed there.

CNN: Having worked on this for four years now, what’s your insight into why this is happening?

Shah: There is a disconnect with Mother Nature. It’s about me, me, me — all the time. “I need a life of convenience.” But we exist with other species. You cannot by your choices attack their lives and habitats. Every wrapper, every plastic straw is a war on another species. So, our choices and lifestyle need to be balanced — all 7 billion of us.

I feel the need to do something for my planet, so this will continue for life. This is a mindset change. But this must reach every human being. What is happening with climate change, plastic pollution, climate injustice is going to hit all of us. We have 7 billion people. If each one could start — this journey could become marvelous. Can we do it together?

To donate to the Afroz Shah Foundation via CrowdRise, click here
https://charity.gofundme.com/donate/project/afroz-shah-afroz-shah-foundation/afrozshah

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/17/world/cnnheroes-afroz-shah-afroz-shah-foundation/index.html?utm_source=The+Good+Stuff&utm_campaign=2aa589d67e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_14_08_33&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4cbecb3309-2aa589d67e-103653961

By Rafi Letzter

A 210-foot-long (64 meters) monster made from grease and used baby-wipes has clogged up a sewer in Sidmouth in southwestern England. British officials said in a statement they expect that removing the gooey blob, which will happen in “exceptionally challenging work conditions,” could take up to eight weeks.

“Fatbergs” like this one have become unpleasantly familiar in the United Kingdom. As Live Science reported back in 2017, workers used high-pressure water jets to slowly break down an 820-foot-long (250 m), 143-ton (130,000 kilograms) “rancid blob” that formed in a London sewer. Eventually, that mass was converted to biofuel, but it took workers months to fully restore function in the affected area.

Part of the problem seems to be the British public’s habit of flushing used baby wipes down the toilet, as these can clump together and form the scaffolding for fatbergs. The issue has become serious enough that the government has proposed banning the wipes altogether.

https://www.livescience.com/64447-fatberg-part-deux.html?utm_source=notification

By MASSIMO BOTTURA

WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE of restaurants—what chefs will be cooking in the years to come—the first thing that comes to mind is garbage: day-old bread, potato peels, fish bones, wilted vegetables. We currently produce enough food to feed the world’s 7.3 billion people, and yet 795 million are hungry, according to the United Nations. The reason is waste: a 2013 U.N. report reveals that 550 million tons of food are discarded by distributors, supermarkets and consumers every year. The U.S. and EU have pledged to reduce food waste in the next 10 to 15 years. This is where chefs come in.

This year the 20th anniversary of my restaurant, Osteria Francescana, coincided with the Expo Milano 2015. In an effort to address the expo’s ambitious theme—“Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”—Francescana collaborated with the Catholic charity Caritas Ambrosiana and the culture maven Davide Rampello to turn a renovated theater in the Greco quarter into a think tank and experimental soup kitchen. This collaboration was baptized Refettorio Ambrosiano after Sant’Ambrogio, Milan’s patron saint. The word Refettorio has roots in the Latin word refice, to restore, and Refettorio Ambrosiano runs on salvaged waste and volunteer labor, including stints from the best chefs in the world.

In May, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park made a sweet pudding from day-old, discarded bread. In June, René Redzepi of Noma turned black bananas into mouth-watering banana bread. In July, Daniel Patterson of Coi produced the quintessential minestrone from a crate of dismal-looking vegetables. Osteria Francescana made weekly broths from vegetable scraps and peelings. The guests were not fine-dining regulars, but a selection of Milan’s homeless community. What surprised us all was just how fabulous salvaged food can become.

Every Refettorio Ambrosiano recipe is an ode to imperfection with revolutionary potential; these dishes could change the way we feed the world, because they can be cooked by anyone, anywhere, on any budget. For families in need, it’s a way to bring dignity back to the table—dignity based not on the quality of ingredients, but on the quality of ideas.

Chefs have greater social responsibility than ever before. Celebrity status has allowed some of us to become ambassadors of culture and advocates for artisans, ethics and change. But have we spent enough time and energy considering the waste that results from our work? Imagine a school where young chefs are taught to be as resourceful with ingredients as they are with ideas. Imagine chefs embracing imperfect, discarded food and treating it with the same reverence they would a rack of lamb or ripe tomato. Imagine changing the perceptions about what is beautiful, nutritious and worthy of being shared.

Cooking is a call to act. At its best it can unite, revive and restore. As populations grow and food supplies are threatened, we are called to educate and spread ideas that will be the motivational force behind the evolution of our kitchens, our communities and our future. Let us begin by turning our waste—in our homes and our restaurants—into food that’s ethical and delicious. Because something salvaged is something gained.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/chef-massimo-bottura-on-why-the-future-of-food-is-in-our-trash-1449506020

Police say a homeless man sleeping inside a garbage bin survived two compaction cycles after the bin was emptied into a trash truck.

Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said Tuesday the 44-year-old man was sleeping inside a large trash bin behind a restaurant when a trash truck collected it and used the compactor.

Bosques tells the Oakland Tribune the truck then traveled to a fast food restaurant, collected trash from another bin there and again used the compactor.

She says the man crawled out through an opening in the roof the next time the truck stopped at another store.

Bosques says the man was very lucky to have survived the compaction without serious injuries.

The man, who suffers from mental health issues, was taken to a hospital to be checked.

http://nypost.com/2015/12/09/man-asleep-in-garbage-bin-suvives-trash-compactor/

Adidas has just made a pair of sneakers using ocean-recovered garbage.

If you didn’t already know it, the oceans are indeed teeming with trash. Everything from consumer plastics to paper to discarded fishing gear litters the seas, polluting the water and threatening wildlife.

Adidas is hoping that its new kicks, unveiled earlier this month, will help to highlight the ocean-based environmental issue and promote efforts to get on top of it.

The concept shoe is the result of a collaboration between the German sportswear company and Parley for the Oceans, a New York-based ocean conservation group.

According to Adidas, the unique shoe upper is made “entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste.” It’s actually knitted using a method Adidas has been developing for a while and that’s already led to a range of lightweight Primeknit footwear from the company.

Adidas board member Eric Liedtke said, “Knitting in general eliminates waste, because you don’t have to cut out the patterns like on traditional footwear,” adding, “We use what we need for the shoe and waste nothing.”

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/adidas-ocean-trash/#ixzz3fcBROu00
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