| Ford Church

Journal Prompt for September 9, 2005

After much debate and discussion, we chose our Action Project topic this week – the Zero Waste Movement. According to the Ecocycle website: “Zero Waste is all about redesigning products and packaging for durability, reuse and recyclability. Instead of perpetuating our throw-away society, products would be designed using fewer material types that could be easily reused or repaired when they have outlived their usefulness. Zero Waste is a new way of looking at our waste stream. Instead of seeing used materials as garbage in need of disposal, discards are seen as valuable resources. A pile of “trash” represents jobs, financial opportunity, and raw material for new products.” The world has approximately 6.4 billion people living on the planet today. Zero waste is a sustainable solution for dealing with the waste we produce on this planet. If this is the case, why aren’t more people participating in the Zero Waste movement in their homes, businesses, and communities? If we have the technology to have Zero Waste on this planet, why is it not being widely adopted?

Categories: Journal Discussions

Back to Blog

10 Responses to “Journal Prompt for September 9, 2005”

  1. A_Carr

    There are two reasons I think people are not participating in Zero Waste. First, I think most people are unaware of the movement and how they can get involved. I did not know all of the Zero Waste activities going on until I did some research. The second reason is that people have misconceptions about Zero Waste. People either think it costs more money to go Zero Waste, Zero Waste is only for tree hugging hippies, or that it takes more effort than they are willing to put forth. If those thoughts are proven to be false, many more people would become active in Zero Waste.

  2. johnny_shu

    I think it’s because people haven’t been doing this for such a long time that they might think it would be too much work, it would take to long, or be a waste of energy. Maybe it’s another reason, but these are some responses I got from a couple of people I know. Even though we have the technology maybe some people can’t get access to it, and it’s just easier for them to look the other way.

  3. alicia

    The reason people are not participating more in the Zero Waste Movement is because they are either uneducated on the topic, and don’t know that there is something they can do or probably the biggest reason so many humans don’t do anything about their waste, is simply that they are too lazy and expect someone else to do the job for them. In this way, our waste is catching up with us, and forcing us, as human beings, to take a realistic look at our environment and decide if we are going to help preserve the beauty of this world, or die right along with it.

  4. gillian

    As said by a few people before me, I think the Zero Waste movement has not been widely adopted or even considered because of lack of knowledge around the community. Ford said this might be attributed to lack of funding on Eco Cycle’s part, but not even profitable companies like Whole Foods (I think…), who have adopted the Zero Waste ways, are doing much to educate the uniformed masses. When I was in Business: Marketing last year, Tas taught me that the only real way to get people to notice you is to get your name out there loud and strong. I think that’s what the Zero Waste movement is missing: a loud, strong image for people to notice.

    I don’t think it’s about laziness or the misconception that Zero Waste is only for a certain type of Environmentalist. People just don’t know what’s going on. We should stop asking, “Why haven’t you switched to Zero Waste?” and let people make excuses to, “Have you heard about Zero Waste?” and educate.

  5. alex stern

    With any great idea comes many challenges, and in this case this challenge is how to get the zero waste movement heard. As anybody would know from just reading the eco-cycle web site, zero waste is a new idea that could put trash dumps out of businesses forever. Sounds perfect right? Well not yet, that’s because nobody knows about it yet and they will not know until either they get publicly educated about it, or it would it would be convenient for them to make the switch. The first step is to make sure that everyone knows about zero waste. One way to do that is to get some kind of sponsor to help with a campaign. Apart from knowing about it we must now give them a reason why they should be involved. One example is if it were less expensive then a regular trash pickup. Those are some ways to get the ball rolling on this million-dollar idea.

  6. D.Jay

    When I sit down and think about it, It kind of seems like its just laziness. Whole foods is zero waste and breaks even, which leads me to believe that most businesses could be zero waste, but sense it does not benefit them they see no reason to change. Also a lot of people just don’t know about it. Almost half of the people I talk to about zero waste don’t have the slightest idea of what zero waste is. Its not there fault though, ecocycle does not have the funds to put out commercials and adds saying what zero waste is. So I guess my point of view is that people just need to be educated about zero waste, they need to know that its there and its a great way to help our planet off its course to a sure and certain doom.

  7. Brittany

    I think that people aren’t participating in the Zero Waste movement partially because people have no sense of the future. It seems to me that no one stops to think about their future and the future of everyone else around them. I mean, they might think about what they will make for dinner or possibly where they will travel for their two weeks of summer vacation, but nothing of true importance. There are a select few in the world that think so deeply as to how just their mere presence on the earth is affecting it. How many trees are cut down to provide them with the paper they throw away each day, how much room their trash takes up in the landfill, how much petroleum the plane that they take to enjoy their two week vacation uses. A plane like a Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel every second. Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons. The 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile. We only have 30-50 years of petroleum left, is that really what we want to be using it for? I don’t think that a real environmental movement of any kind is going to occur until the people start to see “substantial” harm being done to the world. I think for most people until it really starts hitting home they just aren’t going to care. Unfortunately when that happens it will probably be too late to salvage the world anyways. I think in general the majority of the people in our world today are to busy worrying about their own lives, how unhappy they are with their jobs and what drink to order at star bucks every morning, rather than what is happening outside of their puny existence. People don’t have time to make sure their children have a safe and healthy world to live in when they grow up; it just isn’t a top priority. Honestly, who really cares if we are destroying the earth? After all it’s only the earth we all live on and the place we all call home.

  8. jamie shapiro

    I think the reason that the zero waste movement hasn’t caught on has more to do with ignorance than laziness or simply not caring about the environment. People don’t blatantly try to have a negative impact on their environment, it is caused by many complex factors. The first is cost; no one wants to spend extra on something the majority doesn’t do. Now that I think about it, the cost issue doesn’t actually exist; it is actually a social issue. For instance owning a telephone, and having to pay for it, is something that has become so ingrained in how we function as a society, it is almost mandatory. In the same way, zero waste would need to become the social norm in order to take off. This has to start in a small way, the same as recycling, which has become quite trendy. If people knew about zero waste, and knew that other people knew, it could explode, and become ingrained in the way our society functions.

  9. Valerie

    I think that the reason more people are not involved in zero waste is for two reasons. I think that the first reason is lack of resources. People don’t know enough about zero waste to get involved. Before I started taking this class I knew very little, or even none about zero waste. I think the second reason is partially laziness. Some people just don’t want to make the effort to be zero waste, and some people are just to lazy to learn more about zero waste. I think if more people took the time, and became more educated about zero waste, more people would try and be zero waste in their homes, business’, and in the community.

  10. Jacob

    I think that there are a few reasons that Zero Waste is not being participated in as much. The major reason is because there are so many problems in the world of today, and people have lots of trouble choosing which one to run with. Zero Waste is just a new ideal to work towards…we already have enough. Also, there is a lack of knowledge about Zero Waste. I didn’t even know about it before this class! Finally, many people think that its impossible, and that the world will probably work itself out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.