College living on zero waste

College living on zero waste

(Christopher Porter/Flickr)

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Food, Past Storyfest Entries

As the population grows we are constantly asked the question of, how to manage our waste? According to a study from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Americans disposed of 254 million tons of trash in 2013 (EPA, 2016). The same study by the EPA showed that recycling and composting materials contributed to the decrease of 87.2 million tons from landfills, which is the same as removing around 39 million cars from the road and due to that decrease, 186 metric tons of carbon dioxide was not produced  (EPA, 2016).

What this study doesn’t include is the trash that is discarded on the sides of roads, beaches, oceans, and other waterways that can harm wildlife and leach chemicals into the environment, according to Going Zero Waste. Due to the impact of trash on the environment, a new movement called the “Zero Waste Movement” aims to reduce waste produced so much that some people can fit their yearly trash in a mason jar. Most daily products we use are produced to be disposed of, rather than reusable everyday products, such as Tupperware for storing food rather than plastic wrap.

The Zero Waste Movement even tries to reduce recycling because, as Going Zero Waste says, many containers or local recycling programs aren’t actually recycled into being used again. In this podcast I discuss how plausible it is for a college student to contribute to the Zero Waste Movement.


About Zero Waste. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from

11 Facts About Recycling. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2018, from

Municipal Solid Waste. (2016, March 29). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from

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