Without a method in your home to utilise resources all around you, most household items are eventually recycled or disposed of as waste, which is a hugely carbon intensive practice.
If you make the decision to dispose of everyday materials, either to the recycling or residual waste bin, these materials become waste and enter the waste supply chain. The current waste supply chain is very carbon intensive. This applies to transportation of waste by heavy goods vehicles, as well as the infrastructure and techniques required to process waste and recyclables. Although many techniques nowadays get value from waste, such as incineration, which recovers energy from the waste, or anaerobic digestion which converts organic feedstock into gas or electricity and spreads digestate to land as fertiliser, many losses occur along the way. For example, 75% of the energy contained in waste when treated in energy-to-waste plants is lost, through transport, processing and the electricity distribution network.
Most low-grade recyclable materials are sent abroad and processed into new products. This is a carbon intensive practice, as every tonne of material is shipped aboard, transported to a carbon heavy processing plant before completing the cycle.
By converting every day materials into energy, before they ever become waste, means the useful outputs are used where they are needed most. Nothing is lost in transportation or requires processing in carbon intensive infrastructure. This massively reduces the amount of carbon generated.