The Sierra Club’s policy for reducing waste is based on Zero Waste.
Zero Waste is a design principle and planning approach for the
environmental management of resources. It aims to prevent waste by design
rather than manage it after the fact. Sierra Club’s Zero Waste policy
addresses not only the quantity of waste we generate, but also its
toxicity, its contribution to climate change, and the important links
between waste reduction and corporate responsibility.
The goals of the Sierra Club Zero Waste policy integrate social,
environmental and economic outcomes:
- Protecting public health and the environment from pollution and
greenhouse gas production.
- Conserving raw materials and energy in the production,
transportation, and disposal of goods.
- Reducing over-consumption by encouraging the consumer to eliminate
the purchase of unnecessary goods and packaging, especially for single
use, disposable items.
- Facilitating community economic development and local jobs in
repairing, refurbishing and recycling.
- Internalizing environmental and social costs in the prices of
products and services.
- Encouraging "Cradle to Cradle" design and management systems that
cycle all materials safely back into the environment or the marketplace.
The Sierra Club's Zero Waste policy
Composting Information from the Department of Environmental Protection
Of all the garbage we generate, 1/3 is packaging that gets thrown away
immediately. When we buy in bulk or in a concentrate form when possible,
and avoid excessive packaging layers, we reduce waste. Our habits should
include avoiding disposable products such as juice boxes or single serving
snacks, and since almost all products require some packaging, we should
choose ones with packaging that is recyclable.
Southbridge Landfill is about to become the largest raw garbage landfill
in Massachusetts. Casella Waste Systems plans to increase the permitted
raw garbage to over 400,000 tons of municipal solid waste - raw garbage -
there each year, including Boston and Springfield’s trash. Boston's trash
would comprise about 60% of the materials. At a mere 12%, Boston's
recycling rate is among the lowest in the commonwealth.
Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage
An award winning short 19-minute documentary about recycling and waste in
the US. By renowned author Heather Rogers. The film entertaining and
informative. It exposes the myth that recycling will solve all problems.
It also points out the real problems, over-production and industrial
pollution. Plus it explains corporate greenwashing and our economic system
of 'built-in obsolescence.'
The Story of Stuff
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in
our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is
hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced,
fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption
patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number
of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more
sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you
laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your
life forever. Click here.