Making zero waste strategies achievable

Hey Wildcats. What do you think of when you hear Zero Waste?

What does that mean to you?

When I think of zero waste I think of a system that creates zero waste in resources, zero waste in production activities, zero waste in products, zero emissions, and zero use of toxins.

That may sound unachievable, but I believe it is a good goal to strive for.

Why is a philosophy of zero waste important? Waste causes a great loss of value and resources.

To achieve a sustainable future, extreme efficiency in the use of all resources will be required in order to meet the needs of all of the earth’s inhabitants.

A Zero Waste strategy directly supports this requirement.

Are you wondering how you can contribute? How about hold a zero waste event.

Preserve Dishware is now available for Linfield events. Using this dishware eliminates the need for disposable dishware; therefore, nothing has to be sent to the landfill.

The dishware is made of 100 percent recycled material as well as it is 100 percent reusable.

There are three easy steps to using Preserve dishware: First, email reserve@linfield.edu with your desired quantity of plates, bowls, cups and flatware or select desired quantity on the Activities Event Planning Form.

Then, pick up your Preserve dishware from Dillin Hall the day of your event.

Finally, after the usage, return your used dishware to Dillin Hall.

Of course, don’t forget to make sure your event has a recycling and compost bin.

Currently we have a growing population faced with limits of resources from the environment.

Our society and industrial systems must move from being primarily a linear system to being cyclical.

Cyclical systems reuse everything so no waste is produced.

Materials must be used as efficiently as possible. Hosting events with Preserve dishware provides a great opportunity to make a difference and reduce our impacts.

I see Zero Waste as a solution to our needs and the key to our future. Zero solid waste, zero hazardous waste, zero toxic emissions, zero material waste, zero energy waste and zero waste of human resources will protect the environment and lead to a much more productive, efficient, and sustainable future.

The use of an endpoint goal of “zero” recognizes that making small steps without a goal may not achieve a sustainable future while use of a clear defined goal will lead to more rapid improvements.

Zero Waste promotes not only reuse and recycling, but also, and more importantly, promotes prevention – designs that consider the entire product life cycle.

These new designs will strive for reduced materials use, use of recycled materials, use of more benign materials, longer product lives, and reparability.

Thanks for doing your part in making Linfield a most sustainable place. Email us at sustainability@linfield.edu to tell us about your zero waste event or any ideas you have to forward Linfield on a more Zero Waste system.

Nicole Lewis

Office of Sustainability

The office of sustainability can be reached at sustainability@linfield.edu