It is almost impossible to read a newspaper today without coming across a depressing story about the current state of our Earth’s environment- articles on climate change, pollution, resource consumption, and wildlife habitat destruction dominate headlines. These issues are so large, so much bigger than ourselves, that is seems impossible to try and tackle them as an individual. We are constantly bombarded with these stories yet are not regularly reminded of the tools we possess to make a difference. It is a daunting task to face, changing the world, but in the words of Margaret Mead, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
This presentation will define zero waste, its goals, and describe the pathway of how to get there. I will also describe the fallacies surrounding recycling, and how we need to shift society away from a system that enables and encourages waste. I will show participants tools they can use to achieve zero waste and leave people feeling inspired and optimistic about the future. This talk is intended to encourage participants to think creatively, use their imagination to devise solutions to help reduce their environmental footprint, and believe that even individual changes can have a big difference. I want to ignite people’s desires to break from complacency and search out radical lasting innovations.
Emma Cohen is part of the Pollution Prevention Team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a nuclear weapons facility located in New Mexico. She is currently getting her masters from Harvard in Sustainability and Environmental Management. Emma is involved in spreading sustainability knowledge throughout the laboratory and working toward the zero waste initiative. Emma’s goal is to help create a sustainable culture at LANL by spreading environmental awareness and education. Emma is also involved in community outreach programs and makes monthly appearances at local schools where she leads waste minimization demonstrations and art projects involving trash.