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A World Without Waste article in Common Ground

Apologies for Cross-Postings - Great Article on Zero Waste!

January 2007
A World Without Waste
Advocates of Zero Waste Believe in Life After Trashcans
By Andi McDaniel

Aside from Oscar the Grouch, few people would argue that trash is a bad thing. In addition to being stinky, ugly and a pain to lug out to the curb, the detritus of modern life causes problems on a far grander scale. Landfills and incinerators have been linked to a host of human health issues, and as for the environment ? you don?t have to be an ecologist to know that lingering piles of plastic, metal and toxic goo are bad news all around.

Yet, we continue to throw things away ? and how could we not? What else would we do with that annoying cellophane packaging? The to-go boxes? The packing peanuts? The after-dinner scraps that even the dog won?t touch?

Part of the solution is as simple as a blue bin. Curbside recycling is still an incredibly effective way to save energy and divert tons of plastics, cans and glass away from landfills. Another answer is composting, which would address more than 60 percent of what ends up in residential dumpsters.

But in addition to getting the word out about these tried and true solutions, a new movement is taking a more holistic approach. Rather than focusing solely on what to do with existing waste, the ?Zero Waste? movement looks at a product?s entire life cycle ? and redirects the conversation toward usable options for every step along the way. The ultimate goal is to eliminate waste as a concept entirely ? a lofty aspiration indeed. But Zero Wasters say loftiness is part of the point ? after all, creating a trash-free world is going to take nothing short of revolution...

For the full article, go to:  < http://commongroundmag.com/2007/01/index.html>

Andi McDaniel is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Whole Life Times. Her work has appeared in Utne, Ode and Experience Life.

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