Recommended Viewing from Damascus College
A couple of years ago, Damascus College classes across the curriculum focussed on the dangers to our world due to consumerism. Waste is an inevitable corollary of a society whose focus is on consumption. It’s seen in the valuable mixed resources consigned to landfill as e-waste when a new model mobile phone renders the old one obsolete. It’s seen in the masses of single-use plastic packaging mandated by the convenience and risk-averse practices of food producers and retailers. And it represents a waste of energy and nutrients when foodstuffs, fresh or preserved, are dumped from our supermarkets or our home fridges. As a society, we have tended to see litter as a negative, but not the waste that’s binned for transport to landfill. “Tidy towns” have tidy bins, and a landfill site that is usually hidden too. Waste has tended to be a problem unseen.
The ABC’s program “War on Waste” returns this week. “War on Waste”, along with David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet”, and other reminders of a growing problem with plastic pollution in the oceans, lifted community awareness that all is not well.
And there has been a community-wide response. On microplastics in cosmetics, plastic straws, helium balloons and shopping bags, the realisation has come about that we as consumers can do something about reducing the demand for products that lead to plastic pollution in the environment. The old mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” is on posters throughout Damascus classrooms, along with other words that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle: remediate, replenish, replant, restore, and reduce.
Please take the time to sit and watch “War on Waste” with your children. If you have a child in Year 10, talk to them about their visit to the Port Philip Eco Centre. We get some great responses from classes to the challenge of waste. They can see environmental degradation as inevitable, if it’s all they’ve known and heard. They need to hear too of past alternatives to this reckless use of resources, and be encouraged to develop new ones. The program airs each Tuesday night at 8:32pm and repeats each Sunday Night at 6:00pm.