spring at deep creek lake

What Does Zero Waste Mean?

Zero waste is a philosophy and mindset to reduce what we need, reuse what we can, recycle the obvious, and compost the rest. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) landfills are responsible for 16 percent of toxic methane emissions in the United States. The ultimate goal of zero waste is to remove trash and landfills from the equation all together. Here are some terms you need to know:

Linear Cycle

In our current system, natural resources are extracted to manufacture products designed primarily for convenience and eventually end up in landfills.  For every bag of trash we put to the curb, there are at least 87 bags of trash generated to make the products we throw away.  Zero waste is an approach to product design to steer away from the linear cycle that encourages waste and leans into a circular approach to prolong the lifespan of products and keep them out of landfills.

Circular Cycle

As an end to the current “one and done” attitude, zero waste takes the approach to maximize the opportunities to recycle everything.  In doing so, this ensures a reduction in consumption and products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.  Fundamentally, zero waste encourages products and services that prevent waste, pollution, and reduce the stress on the economy and environment.

Self Sufficiency

With a zero-waste program in place, communities create an economy that operates efficiently to sustain jobs, maintains a non-polluted environment, and promotes well-being among its citizens.  Rather than manage waste through landfills, the key concept of zero waste is to eliminate trash altogether. This paradigm shift will not happen overnight, but it will continue to challenge the mantra of ‘waste not, want not.”

No other species on earth generates trash, except humans. In nature, there is no garbage in the ecosystem, as one organism’s waste is another’s fuel.  In essence, humans can learn valuable lessons from nature in the way she reconstitutes everything in her path.  Zero waste does not happen overnight, but small steps lead to big changes. If you want to learn more about a sustainable lifestyle, contact us at Blue Moon Rising Resort.

 

Resources:

Going Zero Waste: What is it?

Environmental Protection Agency: Overview of Greenhouse Gases

Eco Cycle: What is Zero Waste?

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