Zero Waste

Everything we buy has a carbon footprint, the screen you are reading this on, the chair you are sitting on, the food you had for breakfast, toothbrush, car, cellphone, boxes bags, you name it. More than 40% of our climate impact in the US comes from producing and disposing of our stuff and our food. These impacts are called “consumption emissions”. When looking for climate solutions, many people forget to see the potential in their trashcans and shopping carts. The more things we buy and keep throwing it away, the more energy it takes to make new stuff and the faster climate change accelerates. If we are not looking at all the sources of our emissions, we are not looking at all the solutions either. It is as important to look at trash cans as it is smokestacks and tailpipes to find ways to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Consumption emissions are low-hanging fruit; you and I and our communities can choose to make progress in waste management today and immediately start benefiting the climate. “Zero Waste” solutions can be so simple that future generations may wonder why we did not do this sooner. Zero Waste's goal is to reduce our resource use to a level the planet can sustain and also looks at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Image by OCG Saving The Ocean
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We can achieve

Sustainably Committee’s Role

It’s not just up to each of us to change, we need to change the systems around us. We need to invest in infrastructure like composting and recycling plants instead of landfills and incinerators and create policies that support their use. What do we get for investing in zero waste? We can reduce our climate impact by 40 percent, save money by buying less, which will create less trash and will make our landfills last longer. And we can do this immediately and inexpensively. Adopting zero waste policies is one of the quickest and cheapest ways a community can immediately reduce climate impact. So that's our choice, perpetuate the problem or prevent the problem and help reverse it.

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Ever wonder how long waste remains in the environment?

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