That first R that got away…

by Dawn Quirk

That’s right, Tufts! While recycling is extremely important, there’s another ‘R’ that often gets forgotten and hasn’t yet received the widespread public attention it deserves: Reuse! It’s this overlooked ‘R’ that the Zero Waste movement champions in its support of a natural cycle of reusing and recycling in order to reduce our consumption to the point of ultimately becoming a wasteLESS world. The principles, laid out by Zero Waste Inc., are as follows:

1. The concept of eliminating waste is a foundational principle of our work.

2. We work to help people incorporate actions that eliminate waste in their daily lives.

3. We develop opportunities to overcome obstacles to achieve zero waste.

4. We work to create a new society in which resources are valued, conserved, and preserved, resulting in a natural cycle of reuse.

5. We hold everyone – individuals, corporations, institutions, and organizations – responsible for making decisions that diminish waste.

6. We are a forward-thinking organization, continually seeking new ideas and open to change in order to achieve our mission.Ideas about how exactly to go about Zero Waste are not lacking: from “ecoparks,” industrial locations that use waste as a critical component to production, or a drop-off location for waste disassembly, processing, and redistribution available to both business and residents, to implementing financial incentives for keeping waste out of landfills or a combination of many tactics. But while there are different schools of thought concerning the ultimate direction of Zero Waste, one thing is definitely agreed upon: we need to change our way of life and we need to change it NOW.


For more information about the Zero Waste movement, check out the following website: http://www.zwinc.org/principals.html.