Maggie Clarke, Ph.D., Consumption, Climate, Zero Waste and the Green New Deal

Solutions to climate change are usually limited to alternative energy, alternative transportation, energy conservation, and related topics. This is based on contribution of carbon to the atmosphere by electrical generation, buildings, and transportation sectors. But in 2009 USEPA presented a paper at a zero waste conference in Devens, MA, showing an alternative view of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. In this systems view, EPA showed that materials management, specifically, production, transportation and use of consumer goods, packaging and food accounted for about half of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Looked at this way, it becomes clear to professionals in the fields of waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting, that these methods, aka Zero Waste solutions, together are a long-neglected but productive way to combat climate change. And yet, this information, this EPA pie chart, is not known by those who have been devising Green New Deals or other programs to combat climate change. The purpose of this paper is to draw the connections between consumption, climate change, zero waste and the Green New Deals that are being discussed across the US so that those who are developing and voting on them will be doing so with this critical information about carbon sources and solutions …

Shashawnda Campbell, Meleny Thomas, and Greg Sawtell, Understanding Community Power in Influencing Change

SBCLT is a community land trust in Baltimore working to lead a just transition to zero waste and create development without displacement. The idea for SBCLT emerged through the youth led struggle to stop the nations’ largest trash incinerator from being built less than a mile from schools. Youth and community leaders declared the need for a democratically governed organization capable of implementing a development vision centered around the needs of our community, our health and our environment.