“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.” -Zero Waste International Alliance
Zero Waste is more than just about “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (compost).” Zero Waste is about fundamentally changing the structure of businesses and our society so that our waste is minimal. Even when we reuse products or recycle them, a huge amount of energy and pollution has already gone into their construction. A perfect example of a zero waste system is a milk company buying back milk bottles, washing them out and reusing them. Thus, the company is producing less milk bottles and ideally dramatically decreasing their negative impact on the environment from production costs (fiscal and environmental).
As we strive to make our campus a zero waste campus, it is important that everyone takes action into their own hands. You can learn more about zero waste at the Zero Waste Alliance webpage. In addition, we at Tuftsrecycles! encourage you to explore our website and learn more about changes you can make both at Tufts and at home to live a greener life!