How I reduced my waste to (almost) zero

By Joanna Chojnicka

I’m really happy to be able to live in Germany, where waste segregation and recycling are a big deal. I’ve been trying constantly to improve my habits and reduce the amount of waste I produce in my everyday life; however, I have to admit that I didn’t give it too much thought – up to a point. The point when I realised that the only waste going into my general waste basket were banana peels and used coffee. I then went and bought biodegradable organic waste bags that are supposed to go to the brown Biomüll containers. Since then – and it was a couple of weeks ago – the only thing that I have put into the general waste container was a vacuum cleaner bag.

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By Joanna Chojnicka

A friend of mine has recently shared a very personal story on Facebook about her experience volunteering at an orphanage in South Africa, inspired by the article “Volunteering in orphanages deeply misguided, harms children in the process, advocates charge”. According to the article, many children living in orphanages in Africa have at least one living parent; they are often given up due to extreme poverty, in the hope that the orphan homes would take better care of them. This means that the financial incentives and attention flowing in with international volunteering programs may actually be increasing the number of children staying in orphanages. Help should focus instead on the communities, empowering them to take care of children at their homes, so that they do not need to be brought up by strangers, in institutions.

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