Here, There and Everywhere

Archive for November, 2012

Nobel Prize for Malala

Gabriel –

One month ago, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala’s crime? She wanted to go to school, and ran a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

Malala has been an activist for years — when she was 11, she worked as an anonymous blogger for the BBC to expose information about her Taliban-ruled area of Pakistan. Now, even as she recovers from being shot in the head, Malala says, “All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.”

In response to Malala’s extraordinary courage, people all over the world are calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bonnie Lloyd, a professor of sociology in Rochester, New York, started a petition on Change.org asking Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been used for decades to bring global attention to important issues, from landmines to apartheid to the US civil rights movement. Bonnie believes the time is right to focus on girls being denied the right to go to school, and honoring Malala’s bravery is a great way to do that.

“The hopes and dreams of girls throughout the world are no longer hidden – yet there is much to do, as Malala’s wounds attest,” Bonnie says about her petition. “By nominating Malala Yousafzai, these global leaders will send a clear message: We stand with Malala and with girls everywhere in their fight for the right to equal opportunity through education.”

As two of the highest ranking women in the history of US government, a nomination for Malala from Secretaries Clinton and Rice would be a strong signal to the global community that Malala’s fight is important to people in the US.

Secretary Clinton has responded to petitions on Change.org before — last year, she publicly declared support for Saudi women’s right to drive for the first time and credited a Change.org petition. Bonnie believes that if enough people sign her petition, Secretaries Clinton and Rice will take a stand to support Malala and girls all over the world who just want to go to school.

Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition calling on Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Rachel and the Change.org team

A Kaleidoscope of Species

Dear Friend,

Hawaiʻi’s famous coral reefs are known to contain a kaleidoscope of colorful species like the tinker’s butterflyfish, dragon eel, and harlequin shrimp. Unfortunately, if we don’t act soon, Hawaiʻi could lose these vibrant sea creatures and the reef ecosystems that depend on them.

Voice your support for protecting Hawaiʻi’s corals now.

The multi-million dollar exotic fish collection industry is capturing hundreds of thousands of bright coral reef fish and fragile invertebrates—many that play a vital role in protecting these corals—from Hawaiʻi’s reefs each year.

Alarmingly, the state is ignoring its own laws that mandate an environmental review before issuing permits for this potentially devastating practice. What’s worse, the state has absolutely NO limit on the number of these tropical marine creatures that can be captured for private profit.

Demand that the State of Hawaiʻi examine the cumulative damage to reef ecosystems before granting permits that allow unlimited removal of marine wildlife.

Coral reefs across the world are already at risk of ecological collapse—faced with serious threats from climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution. And, studies have determined that herbivorous fish and invertebrates on coral reefs—the primary targets of the commercial aquarium industry—are extremely important to reef health.

Earthjustice attorneys recently filed suit to require the state to comply with the environmental review procedures that are mandated by the Hawaiʻi Environmental Policy Act. But we need your support to put additional pressure on the state.

Scuba divers and snorkelers have indeed witnessed a disconcerting trend in recent years on their local reefs. One of our clients, a Hawaiʻi resident who has completed more than 10,000 scuba dives, has observed that particular species targeted by the tropical fish collection trade have completely vanished from certain reef areas. These devastating changes are taking place in areas that are open to commercial marine wildlife collection.

Our tenacious team of attorneys is fighting in court to demand that Hawaiʻi conduct an official environmental review of the effects of commercial aquarium collection on the reefs, and to stop all collecting while the study is being done. Please support our efforts to safeguard our nation’s coral reefs by sending a letter today!

Thanks for standing up for coral reefs and all of the marine wildlife that depend on them.

Sincerely,

Caroline Ishida
Associate Attorney
Earthjustice, Mid-Pacific Office

Mammal Friends Murdered

About the Ivory
From Bloody Ivory.org

In 1979 there were an estimated 1.3 million African elephants. A decade later, widespread poaching had reduced that figure by half. Just 600,000 African elephants remained.

Africa’s savannahs and forests were no longer sanctuaries for elephants; they had been turned into graveyards.

In 1989, a worldwide ban on ivory trade was approved by CITES. Levels of poaching fell dramatically, and black market prices of ivory slumped.

CITES had saved the African elephant. Or had it?

Since 1997, there have been sustained attempts by certain countries to overturn the ban. In 1999, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe were allowed an ‘experimental one-off sale’ of over 49,000kg of ivory to Japan. Then in 2002, a further one off-sale was approved, which finally took place in 2008 – and resulted in 105,000kg of ivory being shipped to China and Japan.

Today, levels of poaching and illegal trade are spiralling out of control once again. In many areas, rates of poaching are now the worst they have been since 1989. In 2009, over 20,000kg of ivory was seized by police and customs authorities worldwide and in 2011, just thirteen of the largest seizures amounted to over 23,000kg. Countries continue to report localised extinctions of small vulnerable elephant populations and a number of range States (countries which have elephants) are edging closer to losing all their remaining elephants.

March 2010

Despite this, at CITES’ Fifteenth Conference of the Parties in March 2010, Tanzania and Zambia tried to reduce the level of protection their elephants are afforded and also sought approval for a one-off sale of over 110,000kg of ivory to China and Japan. Although their Proposals were in direct contravention of the spirit a nine-year moratorium on ivory trade, agreed by all range States in 2007, the final wording of that moratorium unfortunately had a loophole which Tanzania and Zambia tried to exploit.

Many feared that if approved, the ivory sale would again increase demand for ivory in the Far East and endanger the future survival of many of Africa’s more fragile elephant populations that simply could not withstand any more poaching pressure.

Due to the hard work of many, including the African Elephant Coalition (formed of 23 African elephant range States), CITES rejected both Tanzania’s and Zambia’s Proposals.

March 2013

Once again, at CITES’ Sixteenth Conference of the Parties in March next year, Tanzania is seeking approval to sell ivory – over 101,000kg of it. This despite losing almost a quarter of it’s elephant population between 2006 and 2009 and authorities seizing 19,800kg of ivory originating in or exported from Tanzania between 2009 and 2011. Once again elephants need your help.

Bloody Ivory.org is intended to be a central portal of information about ivory trade, elephant poaching and the impact of CITES on Africa’s elephants. It provides you with a voice to join in the battle to protect elephants, who still need your support to stop the trade in their ivory.

Say NO to the ivory trade and spread the word!

Museums Connecting Us All

Dear Gabriel,

Museums aren’t just rainy day activities. They shed light on accomplishments and cultures. They give us all a chance to encounter “celebrity” items while giving them contextual significance. In many cases, museums are the best available tools to truly connect the past to our present.

One exciting new museum will give us a chance to learn about American narratives too often shunted aside. Learn more about how you can help make African American history come alive for our country and for future generations.

Unfortunately, museums like this one are few and far between in America, despite the diverse available content. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all the more reason for us to show how much we celebrate treasures that illustrate African American history and culture!

As Americans, we all share the responsibility of preserving African American history and culture as best we can. Show your support for the celebration and preservation of African American history and culture today.

Thanks for taking action,

Claire K.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Keep Your Word Mr. President

Dear Gabriel,

“Don’t blow it.” That’s what I want to say to President Obama.

This is the moment that will define the future of the United States’ commitment on human rights. President Obama’s second term will determine whether the post 9/11 stains on the United States’ human rights record are an anomaly or the “new normal.”

President Obama promised to support and advance human rights. Let’s hold him to it.

When he was first elected in 2008, President Obama promised a new dawn of American leadership. As a new president, he acknowledged that the protection of human rights cannot rest on exhortation alone.

He offered the promise of an administration that would respect human rights — closing the Guantánamo prison, bringing detention practices in line with international law, repudiating secrecy and ensuring that human rights weren’t traded away in the name of national security.

It really isn’t a choice for the President to make. Under international law, the U.S. government is obligated to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, and ensure accountability for violations of those rights.

Tell President Obama to live up to his promises and uphold human rights.

The prison at Guantánamo, indefinite detention, unfair trials, unlawful killings with drones and other human rights violations committed by the U.S government undermine the rule of law in the U.S. and around the world. These abuses also create a climate in which other countries can point to a double-standard to justify their own human rights abuses with the refrain, ‘if the U.S. government does that, why shouldn’t we?’

By taking bold steps to restore respect for human rights President Obama can help ensure justice, security and accountability here in the U.S. and around the world. That’s why he must take three bold actions immediately:

Close the prison at Guantánamo
Stop unlawful killing with drones
Ensure the UN adopts a strong Arms Trade Treaty

President Obama has been given a second chance to keep his promises on human rights. Please stand with us today and call on the president to live up to those promises.

Thank you for everything you do to protect and advance human rights.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Nossel
Executive Director
Amnesty International USA

Natalie Portman Calls Us Out

Dear Gabriel,

For millions of the world’s poorest, struggling to survive on just a few dollars a day, FINCA is a shining light of hope—a chance to work their way out of poverty.

For 27 years, FINCA has been providing a hand up, not a handout, to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. By putting small loans directly into the hands of the working poor, FINCA helps people help themselves.

Yet as wonderful as it is that FINCA has made more loans this year than ever, the need for microlending services just keeps growing.

As a committed FINCA supporter, I am asking you to help us continue to provide these vital loans. Give today and your contribution will be matched – three times over!

FINCA expand its outreach to extremely poor people in some of the most desperate places on Earth. I hope you will be as generous as you can, because your gift will be quadrupled with matching funds.

FINCA’s loan clients are so resourceful. It’s amazing to see how hard these women work and what a huge difference a small loan from FINCA can make for them. Once they pay off their loans, the first thing they do is educate and feed their kids. Their determination inspires me to take action.

Please join me by taking an action of your own; please make a gift today that will go 4 times further than normal.

The deadline for these matching funds is November 30th, please don’t let them go to waste!

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,

Thank you for your support!

Natalie Portman
FINCA Ambassador of Hope

Hot Off The Press

My friend Deena Metzger has won the 2012 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award for Fiction!

You may know Deena from some of her previous work, which includes: Feral; Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems; From Grief Into Vision; A Council; Doors: A fiction for Jazz Horn; The Other Hand; Tree: A Sabbath Among the Ruins; The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them; and Writing For Your Life.

Read more about the book at: Hand to Hand Publishing.
Read more about the award at PEN Oakland

Renewables Rescuing Schools

From Nation of Change and Yes! Magazine
by Erin L. McCoy
News Report. 6 November 2012

Net Zero’s Net Worth: How Renewable Energy Is Rescuing Schools from Budget Cuts

As the new Richardsville Elementary School rose from its foundations on a rural road north of Bowling Green, Ky., fourth-grader Colton Hendrick was watching closely.

He would climb to the top of the playground equipment across the street and watch construction crews hauling in bamboo flooring and solar panels.

“He wants to be an architect some day,” recalled Manesha Ford, elementary curriculum coordinator and leader of the school’s energy team. “He would sit and draw, draw all the different aspects.”

But Richardsville Elementary would not only capture Hendrick’s imagination—it would come to inspire his classmates and school districts around the world. When Richardsville opened its doors in fall 2010, it was the first “net zero” school in the nation, meaning that the school produces more energy on-site than it uses in a year.

Solar tubes piping sunlight directly into classrooms eliminate much of the school’s demand for electric light, while a combination of geothermal and solar power cut down on the rest of the energy bill. Concrete floors treated with a soy-based stain don’t need buffing. The kitchen, which in most schools contributes to 20 percent of the energy bill, houses a combi-oven that cooks healthier meals and eliminates frying. This means an exhaust fan doesn’t pipe the school’s temperature-controlled air to the outdoors all day long. Meanwhile, “green screens” in the front hall track the school’s energy usage so kids can see the impact of turning off a light in real time.

These and other innovations make Richardsville better than net zero. It actually earns about $2,000 a month selling excess energy to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

But building a green school isn’t enough, according to architect Philip C. Gayhart, principal in the architecture firm Sherman Carter Barnhart, which built Richardsville and has helped the Warren County School District achieve Energy Star ratings for 17 of its 24 schools.

Three factors are essential to making a green school work: First, you need the participation of the community and the local power company; second, you can’t forget that a school is a dynamic learning environment; and third, you need to speak the language of money.

Green by necessity

Since the economic recession began in 2008, school districts have suffered. Local tax bases were shaken as property values plummeted, and states have cut back on funding to districts, which were pushed to cut funds wherever they were able. Addressing energy use made a lot of financial sense.

Few states have been harder hit than Arizona, where the 21.8 percent decrease in per-pupil spending was the highest in the nation.

Sue Pierce, director of facility planning and energy with the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix, watched as teacher positions were cut, furlough days were scheduled, and $6 million in annual facilities funding disappeared.

“We saw that energy was really an area where we could perhaps save money by simply changing behavior,” Pierce said. “I approached the superintendent and asked permission to develop a program.”

The district’s new energy policy aimed to cut energy consumption district-wide by 10 percent in the first year and 40 percent over the next five years. As part of the program, Pierce began to distribute monthly reports on energy usage, which included every school in the district.

Some schools took to the program more quickly than others.

“Just by changing behaviors, they were showing 10 and 15 percent reduction the first or second month,” she said. The reports then fueled a competition between schools, and by the end of the first year, energy use had been cut 15 percent district-wide.

Since that time, the district has hosted a pilot program that, for the first time, demonstrated the feasibility of geothermal power in Arizona. Another pilot used smart water sensors to cut outdoor water use, and was so successful that the cost of the sensors was recouped in less than three months. The district even won funding to build two “green schoolhouses.”

Including grants the district has won, Pierce concludes the district has saved more than $15 million.

And while the district’s commitment to environmental consciousness has never been stronger, Pierce thinks that broaching the issue as a financial concern, rather than an environmental one, was the smartest approach.

The school district initially adopted the changes “as a way to save money, to save jobs for teachers,” she said. “What started out as a way to save money for the district—and it has—has evolved into a commitment to sustainability.”

A foundation without a footprint

While Washington Elementary School District and many others like it were just kicking off their energy programs in 2008, Richardsville Elementary and the rest of the Warren County School District were already five years ahead of the game.

The district had kicked off its district-wide energy campaign in 2003 under the direction of a forward-thinking superintendent, according to district Public Relations Coordinator Joanie Hendricks. The district was growing by about 400 students per year, and construction projects seemed to be always on the agenda.

So Warren County became one of the first districts in Kentucky to hire an energy manager and was able to save $560,499 in the first year by making small changes.

That first year of savings inspired the ambitious plans that came next, Hendrick said. “When you save half a million dollars in just changing your mindset, it just becomes a simple idea.”

Since 2003, the district has offset more than $7 million in energy costs. That equates to 45 teaching positions. It’s a number that really speaks to people.

“It makes you think twice when you’re going out the door to turn around and turn the light switch off,” Hendrick said, “when you know that could save somebody’s job.”

By the time Warren County decided to focus on greener schools, the architects at Sherman Carter Barnhart had been incorporating newer and greener materials in their plans for years.

“The perception is—and it’s not all wrong—is that it’s more costly, and we think if it’s done correctly it’s not really more costly,” Gayhart said. “I think the real ‘green’ is the dollars you can save the client in the life of the building. That’s the legacy you want.”

Learning gets greener

In 2005, Alvaton Elementary in Warren County opened using 36 kBtus of energy per square foot annually. That’s less than half the national average for schools, which is 73 kBtus. A few years later, Plano Elementary was using 28 kBtus, and today, Richardsville and two net zero-ready schools in the district use only 18 kBtus per square foot.

Net zero-ready schools have everything a net zero school has, minus the solar panels, which Richardsville was able to afford with the help of federal stimulus grants that have since run dry. Bardstown City Schools Finance Director Pat Hagan said although his district is implementing energy-saving measures, the up-front cost of solar doesn’t make financial sense right now.

Bardstown, situated in north central Kentucky, has two schools with geothermal systems.

“They’re a little more expensive to put in but you get your money back pretty quickly,” Hagan said.

Still, all options are on the table for a new school in the planning stages for Bardstown, which expects to see a bid from Sherman Carter Barnhart.

“When they built [Bardstown] High School in ’59 I don’t think anybody thought about energy at all,” Hagan said. “Nobody thought about it even from a cost or environmental view. Now, that’s the first two things you ask.”

For the next generation, this outlook may become a way of life. The schools described in this article have all integrated environmental and sustainability components into their curriculums, and students have adopted these issues passionately.

Read entire article at Nation of Change or Yes! Magazine.

U.S. Parks Take Deep Breath

The Clean Air Act is now over 40 years old!
From National Parks Conservation Association

Clean Air

Air pollution is among the most serious threats to national parks. Dirty air can darken the horizon and ruin scenic views. It also damages plants, harms fish and other wildlife, and even affects the health of visitors and park staff. Most of the air pollution affecting national parks results from the burning of fossil fuels, especially by coal-fired power plants.

NPCA advocates for new regulations to clean up hundreds of outdated power plants spewing pollution that harms our lungs and parks. We’re also taking steps to protect America’s national parks from ill-conceived proposals to build new coal-fired power plants near the parks. November 2011 marked a major victory in the fight to reduce haze throughout the country—read about the consent decree that is set to reduce pollution in 43 states this year.

NPCA at work

For decades NPCA has advocated for park air quality protections and currently leads a national coalition whose efforts have resulted in an agreement mandating enforceable air plans for 47 states.

NPCA successfully fought an unnecessary power plant near Hampton Roads, Virginia. Thanks to more than 9,000 supporters who spoke out against it, Old Dominion Electric Company suspended its plans to build the plant. As a result, the air around several national parks will be subjected to less haze from airborne emissions, and people in nearby communities will be able to breathe easier, too.

NPCA recently reached a historic agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to retire some of its coal-fired power plants and reduce pollutants in the region.

NPCA’s California Clean Air and Climate program focuses on outreach, education, legislation and advocacy to promote cleaner air in the Pacific region. Field offices in Fresno, Joshua Tree, and San Francisco work with the parks, public, decisionmakers, and schools to fight for cleaner air.

NPCA helps coordinate a network of businesses in Virginia who voluntarily pledge to promote cleaner air. Learn more about the Virginians for Healthy Air Network.

National parks harmed by air pollution

Joshua Tree National Park has some of the worst air quality of any park, with record high ozone levels. On clear days, visibility is 100 miles, but haze pollution can cut views to 17 miles.

From 1999-2003, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks recorded 370 days with unhealthy air from ozone pollution. Over half of the Jeffrey and ponderosa pine trees are showing some level of ozone damage.

Ozone pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park has been higher than in urban Denver. On the haziest days, visibility at Rocky Mountain is approximately 57 miles- half the distance it should be.

The State of Florida has issued fish-consumption advisories in Everglades National Park due to high mercury levels in largemouth bass and other fish species.

Scientists at Mammoth Cave National Park have documented elevated levels of mercury in bats, including one species at risk of extinction—the endangered Indiana bat.

Estimated annual average natural visibility at Acadia National Park is 110 miles. However, air pollution reduces visibility to approximately 33 miles. Scientists measured some of the highest mercury concentrations in this park’s warm-water fish species, such as bass, perch, and pickerel.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park- our nation’s most visited national park, has spectacular overlooks that are severely impaired by haze. Scenic views in the park should extend for more than 100 miles, but air pollution cuts those views to around 25 miles.

Big Bend National Park has some of the worst visibility of any national park in the West. Scientists believe that mercury and other toxic compounds may be contributing to reproductive failure among peregrine falcons in the park.

Read more about clean air at National Parks Conservation Association, as well as information about all our countries beautiful national parks.

World’s Waste Potential

Beyond Recycling: On the Road to Zero Waste
by Beverly Bell
From Nation of Change
3 November 2012

Zero waste is both a goal and a plan of action. The goal is to protect and recover scarce natural resources by ending waste disposal in incinerators, dumps, and landfills. The plan encompasses waste reduction, composting, recycling and reuse, changes in consumption habits, and industrial redesign. The premise is that if a product cannot be reused, composted, or recycled, it just should not be produced in the first place.

Just as importantly, zero waste is a revolution in the relationship between waste and people. It is a new way of thinking about safeguarding the health and improving the lives of everyone who produces, handles, works with, or is affected by waste — in other words, all of us.

Zero waste strategies help societies to produce and consume goods while respecting ecological limits and the rights of communities. The strategies ensure that all discarded materials are safely and sustainably returned to nature or to manufacturing in place of raw materials. In a zero waste approach, waste management is not left only to politicians and technical experts; rather, everyone impacted — from residents of wealthy neighborhoods to the public, private, and informal sector workers who handle waste — has a voice.

Practicing zero waste means moving toward a world in which all materials are used to their utmost potential, in a system that simultaneously prioritizes the needs of workers, communities, and the environment. It is much like establishing zero defect goals for manufacturing, or zero injury goals in the workplace.

Zero waste is ambitious, but it is not impossible. Nor is it part of some far-off future. Today, in small towns and big cities, in areas rich and poor, in the global North and South, innovative communities are making real progress toward the goal of zero waste. Every community is different, so no two zero waste programs are identical, but the various approaches are together creating something bigger than the sum of their parts: protection of the earth and the natural riches which lie under, on, and over it. Here are a few examples of what is working:

* Through incentives and extensive public outreach, San Francisco has reduced its waste to landfill by 77 percent — the highest diversion rate in the United States — and is on track to reach 90 percent by 2020;

* A door-to-door collection service operated by a cooperative of almost 2,000 grassroots recyclers in Pune, India — now part of the city’s waste management system — diverts enough waste to avoid 640,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually;

* Aggressive standards and incentives for both individuals and businesses in the Flanders region of Belgium have achieved 73 percent diversion of residential waste, the highest regional rate in Europe;

* In Taiwan, community opposition to incineration pushed the government to adopt goals and programs for waste prevention and recycling. The programs were so successful that the quantity of waste decreased significantly, even as the population increased and the economy grew;

* An anti-incinerator movement in the Spanish province of Gipuzkoa led to the adoption of door-to-door waste collection services in several small cities, which have since reduced the amount of waste going to landfills by 80 percent;

* In the Philippines, a participatory, bottom-up approach has proven that communities have the ability to solve their own waste management problems;

* A focus on organics in Mumbai, India and La Pintana, Chile has produced real value from the cities’ largest and most problematic portion of municipal waste;

* In Buenos Aires, Argentina, grassroots recyclers focused on cooperatives and took collective political action. As a result, the city began separating waste at the source, an essential step toward its goal of 75 percent diversion by 2017.

While few locations are bringing together all the elements of a comprehensive zero waste plan, many have in common a philosophy driven by four core strategies:

1. Moving away from waste disposal: Zero waste moves societies away from waste disposal by setting goals and target dates to reduce waste going to landfills, abolishing waste incineration, establishing or raising landfill fees, shifting subsidies away from waste disposal, banning disposable products, and other actions. Government policies that promote these interventions are strongest when they incentivize community participation and incorporate the interests of waste workers.

2. Supporting comprehensive reuse, recycling, and organics treatment programs: Zero waste is about creating a closed cycle for all the materials we use — paper, glass, metals, plastic, and food among them. Such a system operates through separating waste at its source in order to reuse, repair, and recycle inorganic materials, and compost or digest organic materials. Separate organics collection ensures a stream of clean, high-quality material which in turn enables the creation of useful products (compost and biogas) from the largest portion of municipal waste.

3. Engaging communities: Zero waste relies on democracy and strong community action in shaping waste management. A lengthy initial consultation process can pay off with better design and higher participation rates. Residents must actively participate in the programs by consuming sustainably, minimizing waste, separating discards, and composting at home.

A successful zero waste program must also be an inclusive one. Inclusive zero waste systems make sure that resource recovery programs include and respect all those involved in resource conservation, especially informal recyclers whose livelihoods depend on discarded materials. The workers who handle waste should be fully integrated into the design, implementation, and monitoring processes, as they ultimately make the system function. In some communities, where waste workers come from historically excluded populations, this may require ending long-standing discriminatory practices.

4. Designing for the future: Zero waste emphasizes efficient use of resources; safe manufacturing and recycling processes to protect workers; product durability; and design for disassembly, repair, and recycling. Once communities begin to put zero waste practices in place, the residual fraction — that which is left over because it is either too toxic to be safely recycled or is made out of non-recyclable materials — becomes evident, and industrial design mistakes and inefficiencies can be studied and corrected.

Read entire Op-Ed at Nation of Change.

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