A Zero Waste world is a circular, regenerative system where materials, people, and communities are valued. The Zero Waste model presents an alternative to our current linear model – where resources are taken from the earth, transformed into products that are used for a short time, then thrown away, all while exploiting peoples, disenfranchising communities and cultures, and polluting bodies and ecosystems. A Zero Waste economy is a circular economy, where materials are designed to last and enrich, human and environmental health are protected, communities are empowered to thrive, and there is no such thing as “waste.” Zero Waste and social justice are deeply intertwined – we cannot have one without the other.
To be truly effective and sustainable, Zero Waste solutions must be intersectional. Below are some resources we have gathered to help us understand intersectional environmentalism, identify connections between the environmental and social justice spheres, and work toward just solutions.
- Leah Thomas, intersectional environmental activist and eco-communicator
- The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health – and a Vision for Change – book by Annie Leonard
- Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things – book by John C. Ryan & Alan Thein Durning
- THE PLASTIC PLAGUE: Connecting the Dots Between Extraction, Inequity, and Pollution – 7-part podcast series from Ecojustice Radio
- Global Alliance Against Incineration – alliance of grassroots groups, NGOs, and individuals working toward environmental justice and advancing solutions to waste and pollution
Written by Home ReSource Education Manager, Sarah Lundquist