Easy but boring

Avoiding waste and unnecessary congestion

As with energy-efficiency the most effective way of mitigating overexploitation is to help people avoid wasting food and materials or causing unnecessary congestion

 

As with energy-efficiency, the most effective way of mitigating overexploitation is to help people avoid wasting food and materials or causing unnecessary congestion. Many households in developed countries throw away around a third of their food – much of which ends up in landfill and releases the powerful greenhouse-gas methane. Recycling paper, aluminum, plastic and glass not only saves raw materials but potentially also energy (depending on issues such as how far the materials travel). Given that waste disposal is a growing issue in cities, it is especially important for governments to encourage urban recycling.

Likewise, to reduce congestion, public transport must not only be made highly efficient, but also more attractive. People drive their own cars to work not just because of the convenience, but often because they find public transport unpleasant. The alternative experience needs to feel far more sophisticated and stylish (terms not often associated with public transport) if it is to attract-over those who can afford cars, fuel, congestion charges and parking-costs. And to avoid city-gridlock, governments and automotive manufacturers need to take actions that accelerate the long-term development of partially-autonomous vehicles – especially taxis and minivans that can operate robotically in their own lanes, far faster and more tightly-packed than human-driven vehicles.