Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste.
On Saturday, November 21st I had the opportunity to attend the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival. A few of us went to Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste. It was an excellent film documenting how dedicated … you guessed it… San Francisco, California is towards becoming a Zero Waste city. I admire how passionate their city council members were and the systems they have put into place to obtain their goal of being a zero waste city by 2020. The film went through the various ins and outs of their recycling, compost, and renewable energy systems. Many of their systems are so successful they have become a closed loop system - grow, eat, compost, grow, eat, compost or make, use, recycle, make it again - which was extremely cool to see. After digesting what I saw I took away three points:
- Moving towards a Zero Waste city creates a gazillion jobs. In order to meet their goal, jobs have been created such as sorters, recycling centres, to compost auditors. It takes a lot of people to shift thinking.
- This is a huge city goal and no matter how many jobs they put into place to check in on things, if citizens are not willing to follow through items that should not be in the landfill will continue to be found there. Everyone needs to be committed to the goal.
- They interviewed the Goodwill Donation head office in San Fran and they stated that they can not keep up with donations. Everything is so cheap to buy new, then why fix it? Our donation culture has started to become a new landfill mentality. We consume beyond our means & when we need something we habitually purchase new vs. seeking out a used option. This has created another form of waste that we are now struggling to keep up with.
Ideas are contagious and it commendable to see what the city of San Francisco is attempting in a country where there is little weight on this topic. I truly hope the systems that Calgary has put in place will snowball into as much passion towards becoming a Zero Waste city!
You can check out more information about the film