In my experience, it’s quite an unusual thing to find a piece of good news on the front page of the paper edition of the New York Times. (Granted, it was below the fold.)
That said, I’ll take it. It’s refreshing!
Across the nation, an antigarbage strategy known as “zero waste” is moving from the fringes to the mainstream, taking hold in school cafeterias, national parks, restaurants, stadiums and corporations.
The movement is simple in concept if not always in execution: Produce less waste. Shun polystyrene foam containers or any other packaging that is not biodegradable. Recycle or compost whatever you can.
Though born of idealism, the zero-waste philosophy is now propelled by sobering realities, like the growing difficulty of securing permits for new landfills and an awareness that organic decay in landfills releases methane that helps warm the earth’s atmosphere.
The funny thing here is that there’s a very fine thread connecting this post to the one I posted yesterday about the cell phone vs. the clown on a unicycle study at WWU.
The Times article mentions Seattle, but 90 miles north, here in Bellingham, sustainability is like the clown on a unicycle. To some extent, it’s a wonder that I even noticed the Times piece, given how much is going on here in the areas of reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, green building, alternative transportation, biodiesel, etc., and we even boast a zero-waste burger joint.
Regardless, it’s refreshing to consider how significant this is for the subject of zero-waste to make it to the cover of the Gray Lady, to consider how the massive reach of the New York Times can bring the concept to towns that have made significantly less progress concerning sustainability than Bellingham.
Refreshingly hopeful. Hope is sustaining.