News about our global waste crisis has been pretty shocking and frightening lately.
The collapse of the market for recyclables is causing financial hardship for municipalities that are now scrambling for viable solutions. The town of Fairfield alone is looking at paying $75 a ton to process its recycling come July 1.
Recycling is broken and has been for some time.
We just simply need to use less, buy less, waste less and think before we act. Our consciousness about our impact on the earth is being raised, whether we’re ready or not.
I think we’ve finally hit bottom and at are a zero waste inflection point.
I’m calling it. I see a change in our culture, a dramatic shift, happening in profound ways.
Swapping, sharing, reusing, upcycling, repurposing, salvaging, rescuing, repairing and keeping things in use as long as possible are all becoming part of our culture, and an aspirational one at that.
Blind consumption is antithetical to living sustainably.
Take clothing. ThredUp is the online leader in buying and selling secondhand clothing and a fantastic example of the collaborative, sharing economy. The larger term for this type of economy is the circular economy – take, make, reuse – instead of the linear economy we’re used to – take, make, waste.
The circular economy is undergoing exponential growth and that’s a really uplifting thought to hold onto. Are you participating as a consumer or business or organizational head?
This Buyearchy of Needs (don’t you love it?) can be applied to any consumer good. Clothing, furniture, home goods, tools, cars….
I’m so excited to be a Green Partner of this Saturday’s Zero Waste Faire at Wilton High School where 15 Sustainne business members are participating. Wilton Go Green changed their annual event to a Zero Waste Faire last year and I think they’re messaging is spot on. Won’t you join us as we all endeavor to waste less?
Please gather your family and friends and join us on Saturday. Here’s what to do starting today to make sure you get the most out of the event and our must see exhibit, Sustainne’s Immersive Sustainable Living Experience.
1) Gather your used textiles, even stuffed animals, old linens, footwear and accessories, to recycle on the Bay State Textiles truck out front. Textiles still have value in the recycling industry, $100/ton to be precise, and that will be paid to Wilton Go Green as a rebate. Thanks for your support.
Check out what I rescued from the incinerator at my neighbor’s house!
2) Set aside unwanted items, especially large and bulky ones that might not be in a condition to donate, and bring them to the Faire. Drop off your junk on The Junkluggers trucks (while there’s room; maybe come early?) out front in the parking lot. When you head inside to thank them, chat about zero waste living in the Conversation Zone curated with upcycled furniture from their Remix Market. Remix works with local artists and artisans to repair and renovate previously unsellable items to keep them out of landfills as part of their zero waste mission. The Junkluggers is a Silver Sponsor of the Zero Waste Faire.
Switching to an electric vehicle is one of the most significant choices you can make to go zero waste. Burning fossil fuels is unsustainable and is detrimental to public health. 40% of CT’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the transportation sector and vehicles are the leading cause of carbon dioxide emissions in the US, surpassing power in late 2017.
4) Bring your broken items to the Fixit Cafe for repair. My teenage son, who can fix almost anything with the right tools and materials, will be there to fix your garden and yard tools including weed whackers and leaf blowers. Let’s keep them out of landfills. The cafe will be staffed by many talented volunteers, so bring your broken goods for assessment and possible repair.
4) Enjoy Sustainne‘s Immersive Sustainable Living Experience featuring a zero waste tiny shed/greenhouse by UnFOLD Creative made with upcycled materials from The Junkluggers in Stamford, an upcycled chicken co-op and edible raised garden bed by Back to Nature plus rainwater harvesting and composting systems, an electric scooter from Eugene’s Green Garage, electric mower from MowGreen Electric & Organic Lawn Care, vermicompost from Wiggle Room, energy saving ideas from New England Smart Energy, and ways to enhance and improve your home renovation project that are more environmentally responsible, resource efficient, cost effective or that will manifest a healthier outcome from Trillium Architects.
5) Sample allergen-free Fair Trade chocolate from Noteworthy Chocolates line of personalized edible chocolate gifts suitable for any occasion. Their packaging is 100% compostable in your yard since it’s made from newspaper. No industrial landfills necessary!
6) Learn about honeybees, beekeeping and taste and buy honey from Park City Honey Company’s beehives.
7) Learn to go zero food waste with Curbside Compost, the #1 way to remove 20%-25% of your household waste from the waste stream.
8) Go zero waste gift wrap with Spruce Fabric Gift Wrap, Made by hand in CT, some from recycled fabric.
9) Learn how to live zero waste from 100 exhibitors, vendors and educational exhibits.