Though there are many definitions for Zero Waste, it is simply a "no-waste", sustainable approach to managing the production and life cycle of goods. Such an approach is very much in keeping with the Vermont traditions of thrift and conservation. That's why CVSWMD adopted a Zero Waste implementation plan in 2004, and, although we have changed and updated our plan since then, we remain committed to providing programming that supports zero waste efforts in our community.
More and more local, national, and international governments, waste management companies, municipalities and others are realizing it is an achievable goal.
Working toward zero waste means that we do all we can to salvage resources so they can be reused and recycled. Manufacturers adopting non-toxic, recycled, and recyclable materials in production, and offering take-back recycling programs for their products and packaging is key to successful zero waste efforts. Zero waste systems ease the economic and environmental burden of raw resource extraction. Sound consumer choices play a role as well.
“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 International Alliance
Watch this inspiring video about NYU graduate Lauren Singer as she talks about going Zero Waste.
This video puts some perspective on the waste we create in the United States.
Check out these tips for reducing waste in the home and in your daily routines. From kitchen to bathroom, shopping and dining - follow these ideas and see how you can learn about easy ways to create a Zero Waste lifestyle.
Learn about how you can organize a zero waste backyard-party, community supper, or even a festival or wedding. These pages include quick tips you can read here, or a printable pdf guide for planning your event on a timeline.
More on Zero Waste...
Eco-Cycle is a non-profit located in Boulder, CO, and is considered a pioneer in recycling and Zero Waste. This video (right) provides a good explanation of Zero Waste systems.
Zero Waste Alliance
"Creating a prosperous and inclusive future without waste"
"A future without waste and toxics is not just a dream; it’s a necessity".
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
"Building community, strengthening economies"
Building a Zero Waste World, One Community at a Time
Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives
"Follow nature's example, realize waste's potential"
Grass Roots Recycling Network
(Great online Zero Waste resources!)
"We are the voice of all those who recycle and want to waste less and do more."
Zero Waste Saves Money and Prolongs Landfill Life - Cassandra Hemenway
How to Reduce Kitchen Waste - Bon Appetit
Building a Zero Waste Lifestyle - Charlotte Lowe
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - CVSWMD