I’m leaving waste behind me. Not literally of course; that would rather make a mockery of my efforts over the last two years. I’m leaving it behind in the sense that I am changing jobs and won’t be working in the waste field as of next Monday as I am joining another team in KSB (Going Carbon Neutral Stirling) to try and help local businesses and the local council reduce their dependency on carbon. I guess waste will still play a part in my new role, as recycling helps reduce carbon overall, but the major components of carbon output tend to be energy based – transport, fuel, heating, lighting, that kind of thing. Also, Waste Aware Business is set to continue, including this blog, so be sure to check back regularly to see new posts from new faces.
Anyway, I want to thank any and all of you for reading my musings over the months since I began writing both the Waste Aware Scotland and Waste Aware Business blogs. It has certainly been an interesting addition to my day job and a useful outlet for sharing ideas about climate change and waste in Scotland.
I am hugely looking forward to my new role, although I am of course sad to leave my friends at what is now Zero Waste Scotland. I am certain that, with the new Zero Waste Plan (pdf alert – launched yesterday!) the right policies are now in place to reduce, reuse and recycle all waste in Scotland over the coming years to eliminate the need for landfill altogether, or at the very least to meet the 70% recycling target by 2025.
I am convinced a solution to the issues of peak oil and climate change are out there, waiting to be discovered and implemented to create a world where concerned citizens no longer have to fear the environmental effects of economic growth, because that growth will be coupled with a sense of responsibility about the state of the planet for future generations. I am also glad to be living in Scotland at this time, as we seem to have understood this better than many other countries. Although we face challenges, I am certain we are beginning to find the right track to take us to where we need to be, provided we all take our share of responsibility for traversing the road ahead.
Now, if you will allow and indulge me, I would like to leave you with an idea, grounded in philosophy, which translates very neatly into a guide for everyday actions:
Immanuel Kant wrote the “categorical imperative” which he argued should be the basis for all human behaviour:
“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”
This simple statement sums up the solution to many of the problems we face. It asks people to think before they do something, to consider what would happen if everyone else was also to do it. If, in doing so, you create an unpleasant future, then refrain from that action. We do not live alone in this world. Your litter is my litter. Your pollution is my pollution. Your wasted energy is my wasted energy.
Thanks and good luck.