Can you imagine a time when we recycle or compost everything in our household and send NOTHING to landfills or to incineration facilities?
The recycling rate for Americans has increased to 34% compared to less than 10% a few decades ago. Although we are headed in the right direction, the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on our municipal solid waste indicate there are still millions of tons of trash going to landfills.
For environmentally progressive cities and businesses, standard recycling programs are not enough. Zero waste is the new goal and the next step towards protecting our environment and conserving resources for future inhabitants of our planet.
I posted a new article on Native Leaf’s blog about San Francisco — voted the greenest city in North America— and its zero waste goals including how they plan to recycle textiles (because we in the U.S. send 39 million pounds of textile products to landfills each year). Click here or the photo below to view the blog post.
Recently, an organization called the U.S. Zero Waste Council awarded its first ever Platinum Certification to the Northern California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Excerpt:
…The goal of businesses participating in the Zero Waste Certification program is to divert all end-use material from landfill, incineration and the environment, while achieving a minimum of 90 percent diversion based on the standards set by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA). Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is exceeding this by 9.8 percent.
The sustainability culture at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is established during the first day of work, when employees are given reusable water bottles and reusable shopping bags. What a terrific way to set the tone and culture of sustainability…and for how the company works.
In addition to this recognition, Sierra Nevada also received awards from the EPA (Green Business of the Year), PG&E (Clean and Green Award), the state of California’s Waste Reduction Award Program, among their many accolades.
This is one beverage that environmentalist can feel good about drinking! For more on how Sierra Nevada achieved their 99.8% diversion rate, click here.
What if all major metropolitan cities and corporations set zero waste goals? With the way things are going and the strange world climate patterns we are experiencing, we may not have a choice….that is, if we want our grandchildren to live in a planet similar to what we now have.
I do wonder if the Philippines’ biggest beer (and largest food company) company, San Miguel is setting sustainability programs…
Related Lolako.com post:
Informative graphic from the U.S. EPA below. Click on the graphic or here for posters, facts and figures on municipal solid waste in the United States.