'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
what is Global Learning? CoreKnowledge Key Skills Values and Attitudes what is sustainability? what about climate change?
what about climate change?

Flattening the mountain

Managing our waste 


Most waste in the UK ends up in large holes in the ground, known as landfill. As waste rots down in landfill sites it produces two dangerous substances: methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change; and leachate, which can leak from landfill sites into water courses and so cause pollution.

There is another problem – waste from cities is often transported many miles by large lorries burning lots of fuel and creating even more pollution.

As spaces for landfill sites run out, an increasing amount of our waste is incinerated. (burned). Burning waste can release pollutants into the atmosphere as well as carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Burning waste actually only reduces its weight by two thirds; the third that is left is ash which then has to be disposed of…in a landfill site.
So, while there is no easy way to flatten our waste mountain, creating less waste in the first place and recycling far more would definitely help.

 

Moving the mountain elsewhere

"how our wasteful lifestyles impact on the poor"

Our increased wealth and prosperity have come at a price. We have built mountains of waste in the North and left scarred environments and societies in the South. It is often communities in developing countries that are badly affected by mining or logging, for example, to supply the resources to make the goods that we eventually throw away. Yet the people of developing countries themselves are often the least wasteful. 

There is a growing problem of e-waste in African countries, a problem created by old computers from Europe being dumped in Africa?

Every month a million second-hand computers are imported to Nigeria. Most of them are useless and soon find their way to waste sites. The European Union, where most of the old computers come from, have signed a special convention (the Basel Convention Ban Amendment) which is meant to outlaw the dumping of e-waste on the developing world, but this ban is being ignored resulting in millions of useless products flooding into Africa.

The mountains of e-waste piling up in some African countries are poisoning water supplies and damaging local people's health. Children as young as six search the dumps for metal scraps which are littered with the poisonous waste from thousands of broken computer monitor screens.

Campaign group Consumers International is now calling for stricter procedures to make sure that second-hand electronic goods are in good working order before being shipped to developing countries.

The group says that electrical equipment that is no longer working or needed should be disposed of or recycled in the country that it originates from in an environmentally friendly way, not dumped on poorer countries that are unable to deal safely with it.For more information and to view a video visit the Consumer International website.