If you had to guess the amount of times I have met another zero waster in person, what would be your prediction? Although I have virtually met some Zero Waste enthusiasts; there have been zero in-person so far.
But all of that will change this week when Atlanta hosts the 3rd annual U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) Conference at the Westin in Buckhead. This year's mission is "Creating Value Through Zero Waste,' which will streamline the benefits and efficiency of practicing Zero Waste in a business.
The Zero Waste business method is a bit different from mine as an individual practicing Zero Waste, but the mission is still the same. Business put a lot of emphasis on alternative uses for materials that would mostly be considered trash. I focus on not purchasing packaged products. Through their pursuits, Zero Waste businesses have diverted 90% of their waste from landfills.
When I found out about the USZWBC conference I knew I would want to be in the numbers. I'm mean really how often do you think I meet other people interested in Zero Waste consumption?
Here's seven things I am anticipating for this week's conference:
Closing the gap on unused resources. You may not look into your trash can and think. "Look at all that money going to waste," but depending not he material you very well could be wasting money. Zero Waste businesses are using methods that try to divert all materials from a landfills.
The network of Zero Waste enthusiasts will have an opportunity to meet. Plus, there will be a panel specifically looking at Georgia's sustainable pursuits including Georgia Recycling Coalition, Fifth Group Restaurants and Atlanta Recycles.
More businesses in Atlanta will adopt Zero Waste practices and have the chance to receive Zero Waste Business certifications as stewards of Zero Waste operations.
Learning more about the plastic film recycling in Metro Atlanta. Currently your only option in the city for plastic film recycling is dropping off at certain locations. Little awareness is brought forth so that all people can begin to recycle plastic bags, packaging, Ziploc bags, etc.
Introduction to local companies invested in sustainable practices. I have not lived in Atlanta for a long amount of time and although I become familiar with a few green companies in the city, this conference with give me the chance to get to know more.
Atlanta is ahead of the Zero Waste curve. When most think of top sustainable cities, Atlanta may not be the first to come into mind. But wight he city being the first to in the Southeast to introduce Zero Waste restaurants and now, hosting the 3rd USZWBC conference, it is making a name for itself.
What's Next? Continuous discussion about the future of Zero Waste practices. Just when you think your done, it is time to improve. I'm most interested in how to encourage more people to adapt Zero Waste lifestyles.
The conference is hosted by USZWBC in partnership with Sustainable Atlanta and Elemental Impact, and includes an exciting agenda with presentations by industry leaders including Laura Turner Seydel, U.S. EPA Region 4 Administrator Heather McTeer Toney, Scott Jenkins of the Atlanta Falcons Stadium, Cheri Chastain of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Marialyce Pedersen of the Walt Disney Company, John Bradburn of General Motors, Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, and so many more!