We believe the zero waste movement has many laudable goals, including promoting green jobs and educating society about the benefits of moving away from living in a throw away culture. We are glad to assist the zero waste movement and have created this page on our website to promote its goals.
According to the Californians Against Waste website, zero waste is "a concept aimed at eliminating waste and redefining the way in which we manage and use our resources. Zero waste looks at developing and creating products that would use fewer materials and could be easily reused and recycled back into nature or the market place."
Taken to the extreme, zero waste means exactly what it says: making no waste at all.
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The Marin Hazardous and Solid Waste Management Joint Powers Authority (JPA) has established a zero waste goal of achieving 80 percent waste reduction in the next five years and zero disposal by 2025.
To address how best to meet this zero waste goal, the JPA initiated a “Zero Waste Feasibility Study” which you can read on their website.
For decades environmental advocates and climate-change experts have encouraged the public to adopt better recycling habits. Now we're being encouraged to re-think throwing anything in a bin, and instead we're turning to new and improved ways to smartly reuse everyday items. Here are a few things you can do right now to start on the path toward zero waste in your household.
Be conscientious about the items you buy. Think about the packaging waste before you purchase, and support those companies who are doing their part to reduce excess packaging. Highly processed foods take more energy to produce. Organic foods have a lesser environmental impact in their production. Lucky for us, Marin has many wonderful, local, organic food providers such as Marin Organic and The Marin Farmer's Market.
Food scraps and food-soiled paper make up about 23% of Marin's residential waste stream. If you don't compost at home, please take advantage of our food scrap composting service so that your organic waste can be diverted from the landfill and turned into a nutritious soil amendment that can be put back in the earth, closing the "recycling loop."
Paper or plastic? Neither! Durable, reusable bags are not only handy, they go a long way toward reducing waste. It's a sobering thought, but less than 5% of plastic bags are ever recycled. And paper? Paper bags are made of mostly virgin pulp from trees.
Just say no to one-use bags. Opt instead for reusable bags. Keep some handy in your trunk and use them every time you go shopping (and not just for food!).
The Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition (BayROC), has some advice about what you can do to stop junk mail. Visit StopJunkMail.org to learn more
If you're used to a double soy latte every morning from your favorite local coffee shop, do the earth a favor and bring your own cup. Not only will you save waste, you may even save a few pennies—some places will give you a discount for bringing your own mug. Wonder how much waste you've contributed with your coffee cups? Use the coffee waste calculator.