Felt priviledged to be in the audience for Building a Movement for Good Jobs and Zero Waste at Aqus Cafe, Petaluma, couple of Monday’s ago as Laura Neish, ED, 350 Bay Area, and her friends from Recology, our waste hauler AND composting teacher, explained how new goals and new equipment and learning a lot about land management, our trash stream and how to recycle, reuse, restore can actually work toward Zero Waste for Sonoma County! Some GOOD NEWS for a change! Our newish trash hauler, Recology, is learning fast all throughout CA, engaging, with the Cities of LA and San Francisco and more to create and reach for doable Zero Waste goals (considered reached when 90% of trash is repurposed rather than going to landfill!) Sound incredible? Yes.

What is also incredible to me:
Recology boasts a full time ZERO WASTE employee, Lisa, a supporter of Renewable Sonoma, our just annonuced new Sonoma Compost facility – and our friend, Will Bakx, GOT THE CONTRACT! We used organic compost from Will’s previous Sonoma Compost to renew our soil at Oasis Farm and it provided truly amazing soil regeneration.

Other amazing report out:
– Recology boasts that No recycling goes to landfill! It is baled and warehoused till it is sold abroad.
– Recology is WORKER OWNER and part of a Teamsters union, so Marty Bennett of North Bay Labor Council explained their process for determining a Living Wage for these high-danger level workers which came in at $23/hr. plus benefits.

All this works to reverse global warming! Want to live longer? Have a healthy planet to turn over to your kids and grandkids? You’ll need methods that reverse global warming – and, as we now begin to understand, covering the earth with compost that is alive and well keeps the ground not only moist – it draws carbon out of the air big time, particularly when infused with manure, resulting in a great reversal of global warming! More on this in another blog – Marin Carbon Project has the science down and you can read up on it at their site.

All this seemed impossible when Sonoma County had to rely on its LAST trash hauler, Ratto Corporation, AKA, North Bay Corporation, cited at one point for directing 50% trash to its recycling collection, an action that would today just be verboten!

So, with the help of Recology, San Francisco now enjoys up to 80% reuse of its trash stream – WAY less to landfill! The goal of 90% is still reachable by 2020 – the year program developers have deemed will be “Zero Waste” – and there are even trials for collecting methane FROM landfill for reuse!

But what can an average person do to help bring the planet back to healthy? Begin to move to Life Without Plastic for one. A YouTube video shows a young woman who’s 180 days of trash all fit into one Mason jar – href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDQcBQUDpw” She shows how to make your own toothpaste! Deodorant not far behind; bring your own bags and bottles to bulk stores. Community Markets, Olivers, and of course, Whole Foods, all have a LOT of bulk; others like Safeway have some. Learn who has what and you’ll probably opt for a store or stores that fulfill nearly all your food and produce needs in the bulk isles. But this just affects your home, some others – overall, we must adopt practices including composting – that REVERSE global warming. Buy the book, DRAWDOWN and learn all the others ways documented there.

For us at Oasis Farm, we’re looking again at what we consume: organic chicken? Can’t get that for even sliced for sandwiches in a deli – and the plastic packages are NOT recycable so guess we’ll have to cook some chickens! Lucky for us, we have 60+ and some are beyond egg laying. No more chicken in restaurants, either as its factory farmed and chickens are neither safe to eat nor treated well while alive! And fish is suspect, too.

Did love the vegan “teriyaki beef” served at this week’s Future of Food Forum (but that’s an unwritten blog). Another land heard from: vegan “meats”.

So big changes in consumer habits coming our way if we are to be part of the solution to global climate crisis! Bulk buying is a start – taking containers to refill. And SO GLAD to know Recology won’t ever put recycling (which is picked up free) in landfill – “Illegal, the rep. told us; we bale it in our warehouse till we can sell it. Whew! No more images of cargo ships being turned away in China gives way to cargo ship reaching Vietnam and South Korea. Other countries are buying garbage, too!

So if we’re hoping for Life Without Plastic, we’re looking hard at loads of stainless steel – so what’s the ecological impact of stainless?

Here’s a quick answer: https://sassda.co.za/about-stainless/stainless-steel-and-the-environment/
“Stainless steel is a green product. It is 100% recyclable, as it is not coated with any toxic material it does not produce toxic run-off. A huge difference can be made by companies and individuals by simply choosing stainless steel over non-recyclable materials.

During production, stainless steel uses scrap metal as its primary raw material , with up to 70% of the product coming from recycled material. Increased efficiency in process technology has also decreased the amount of energy required to manufacture stainless steel.

Even if stainless steel is not recycled and it does find its way to a landfill or disposal site, it will have no detrimental effect to the soil or groundwater.

Stainless Steel is the preferred material for green building throughout the world. Its impact on the environment is minimal when compared to other materials and its life impact reduces significantly as it used and recycled.”

Finally, we’re in good hands with our recycling company – and we can make helpful, wise choices at home.
“Do what you can do,” says Gloria Steinem, quoted in this week’s Lion’s Roar online mag.

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