Have you seen the documentary ‘Racing To Zero’ yet? It spotlights San Francisco’s efforts to achieve an aggressive Zero Waste goal of diverting 90% of its municipal waste from landfill by 2020. San Francisco leads the country in this endeavor, and in that regard has much to teach the rest of us. However, the film’s too sunny presentation of the City by the Bay’s recycling efforts to the near exclusion of ‘reducing’ and ‘reusing’ risks sending a message to consumers that could perversely result in more waste generation—and wasteful consumption, not less.
Why is selling sustainability so difficult?
After all “sustainable products, services and behaviors are the future. They are better for business, consumers and the planet, and increasingly consumers are asking for them.”
Recently I lectured in my hometown about the top 10 ways to take your office to zero waste. Based on feedback from that blog I was invited by Barbara Weigand, of Copper River Salon in Princeton, NJ, to audit her salon and advise her on how to become a zero waste business.
I was pleased to see, as I waked in, that Copper River had already started on the path to Zero Waste. They were recycling everything that they can recycle municipally and were running the Garnier Beauty Brigade for their cosmetic waste, a free way to turn cosmetic and beauty packaging into donations for non-profits!