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The Zero Waste Countdown Podcast
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The Zero Waste Countdown Podcast

Author: Laura Nash

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Finding alternatives to single-use plastics, reducing our waste, and reducing our environmental footprint.
82 Episodes
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82. Home Renos

82. Home Renos

2020-02-1700:30:17

Matt Daigle joins the ZWC to talk about his company Rise, a place where we can see home rebates and incentives from every province and state across America! We talk about sustainability in New Brunswick, construction waste, efficient choices for renovations, and what it takes to become a Certified B Corp. 
What does fermentation have to do with zero waste living? Quite a bit, actually! Fermenting foods allows us to store and preserve fresh local food so we can eat healthy and reduce the packaging we'd otherwise need to buy.    Sandor Katz is a native of New York City and a graduate of Brown University, currently living in Cannon County, Tennessee. Since 2003 when Sandor's book Wild Fermentation was published, he's taught hundreds of  fermentation workshops and has empowered others to reclaim this important transformational process. The New York Times calls Sandor “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” His latest book, The Art of Fermentation (2012), received a James Beard award and was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  
80. Zero Waste in Hawaii

80. Zero Waste in Hawaii

2020-02-0300:33:221

Scott Cooney is the Founder and CEO of Pono Home Essentials, an organic zero waste company born on Oahu that has recently expanded to Las Vegas, and the energy efficiency company Pono Home in Hawaii.  His mission is to reduce waste and teach the world (not just Hawaii) on how to live in a healthier and greener home. Pono Home Essentials has a unique zero waste mission for customers to return their empty product bottles to use and Pono Home Essentials will BUY them back (this also helps customers recycle more while reducing waste).  Scott discusses the current litter situation in Hawaii, what it's like being sustainable in the middle of the ocean, and how his company operates without waste. 
79. Ocean Legacy Foundation

79. Ocean Legacy Foundation

2020-01-2700:30:32

Chloe Debois, co-founder and president of Ocean Legacy Foundation, joins the ZWC to talk about her work cleaning up beaches and shorelines around the world. They recently released a program called E.P.I.C.- Education, Policy, Infrastructure & Cleanup - a management strategy aimed to support ecologically sensitive areas and communities that are in a plastic pollution crisis. 
78. Zero Waste in Hong Kong

78. Zero Waste in Hong Kong

2020-01-1900:54:16

John Morris lives in Hong Kong and hosts his own podcast called Zero Waste Money. John gives us a glimpse into Hong Kong through a zero waste perspective and discusses his own personal purchases, and the cultural aspects of Hong Kong and waste. 
77. Recycling Coffee Cups

77. Recycling Coffee Cups

2020-01-0600:28:33

Coffee cup litter is a big problem in Canada and almost all municipal recycling facilities in Canada do not accept coffee cups in blue bins, because there's a thin layer of PET plastic on the inside of the paper cup to make it waterproof. There's a company who does recycle them though, and produces products made of recycled paper. Renée Yardley is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sustana Group, who produces sustainable, recycled fibres and paper products. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and MBA from McGill University, and an M.A. in General Management from Harvard University. Renée joined the ZWC in Philadelphia at the Sustainable Brands New Metrics conference in November 2019 to discuss the world of recycled paper and fibres.
More and more companies are reporting on sustainability and some stock exchanges around the world even require it to be listed. Alyson Genovese from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sat down with Laura at the Sustainable Brands Metrics conference in Philadelphia to discuss sustainability reporting, why it matters, and why it's gaining in popularity across the world.   This episode was recorded at the Sustainable Brands Metrics conference in Philadelphia 2019.    Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
75. Green Philly

75. Green Philly

2019-12-1100:29:40

Do you ever visit a city you've never been to before, and wonder how sustainable they are? One of the first things I do when I go to a new city is Google the city name plus "zero waste" to see if there are any zero waste shops!  Philadelphia didn't have one November 2019 when I was there, but I met Julie Hancher who cofounded Green Philly and hosts City Rising Podcast and got to hear all about Philadelphia's efforts to be a sustainable city with many different initiatives. 
Glass has been used to transport and store goods for thousands of years, and Egyptian glass is still around today that was used during the time of the pharaohs. Unfortunately we live in a time where companies prefer to produce and pay for new glass bottles instead of collecting, washing, and using the bottles they already bought.  Rebecca Davies is one of the founders of Remark Glass operating out of the Bok Building in Philadelphia, and she sat down with Laura at the Sustainable Brands Metrics conference and took her on a tour of the Bok building. Rebecca and the team at Remark Glass are leading the way to sustainable glass by repurposing bottles otherwise bound for landfill, and they are a certified zero waste studio.  Beer bottles in Canada are reused an average of 15 times in Ontario. 
Laura sat down with John Lanier, the Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, at the Sustainable Brands Metrics event in Philadelphia.  The foundation supports and funds projects that ensure future generations inherit a world where healthy and functioning natural systems support all life. John is the grandson of Ray C. Anderson, so he talks about his grandfather's business, the book they wrote, and some of the projects the foundation is currently involved in.   
Fats, oil, and grease (FOG) are a major problem for municipal systems around the world when they clog pipes and sewer systems and cost tax payers millions of dollars to clean up.  Brian Levine joins the ZWC to talk about how his company Greasezilla is filtering out this waste before it enters problem areas and converting that waste to useful biofuel.  We even talk about the future potential for tankers and cruise ships to use their own FOG waste for power! This would ultimately save FOG from being dumped in landfills and the ocean, while saving on dirty bunker fuel needed to operate massive ships, even if just while in port. 
Bloomberg writer Adam Minter takes readers through a series of stories from around the world, of people whose lives revolve around the thriving secondhand industry, in his new book Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade.  Adam lives with his wife and son  in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Find on Amazon
70. The Strumbellas

70. The Strumbellas

2019-11-0400:30:31

  Darryl James, the bassist for the award-winning Canadian band The Strumbellas, joins the ZWC to talk about the challenges of staying sustainable while on tour, playing shows all over the world, and having a busy schedule in the music industry.         The Strumbellas won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2017, and the Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year in 2014.     
When companies have a product or service to sell, they focus on that product or service and may not have the time or knowledge to manage their waste streams too, and that's where Elytus comes in.  Matthew Hollis is the co-founder and president of Elytus, a sustainable waste technology company that has partnered with big brands to save them over $11 million dollars, and conserve over 20 million trees. Elytus uses proprietary software to audit and improve all facets of a brand's waste streams (solid food, oil/grease, recyclables, and others), and is an innovative waste management company that helps clients save time & money on waste removal while becoming more sustainable in the process. Additionally, Matt has renovated his company headquarters to be a totally zero-waste facility.
Martin Stephan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, CARBIOS, Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE Martin Stephan is the Deputy CEO of Carbios, a French biotech startup developing a biological solution to be able to fully recycle plastics. Carbios’ technology leverages enzymes that fully break down PET plastic waste, and successfully produce consumer-grade, 100% recycled plastic as a result. The process enables an infinite recycling loop for waste, and accepts all forms of PET plastic, (e.g. soda bottles, colored plastics, polyester). For context, these forms of plastic generally fall victim to landfills, or spill over into our oceans. Major corporations, such as L’Oreal, Nestle, and PepsiCo, each recognize the value of Carbios’ tech and have all entered into a four-year consortium with the company.  
Dr. Melanie Bergman, from the HGF-MPG Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology at Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung joins the ZWC to talk about her recent study showing that microplastic is now in our atmosphere. Studying snow samples near cities, up in the Arctic, and in the Alps, Dr. Bermann and her team have demonstrated that microplastic is migrating through our air. In 1998 microplastic was found in human lung tissue but we don't exactly know what it's doing to our lungs. Plastic production has significantly increased since then and plastic air pollution is only going to get worse.  Teflon is all over the ocean floor too, and it's not healthy for us, so it's a good time to use cast iron or stainless steel cooking pans just in case it's getting into our oceans through our kitchen sinks, although this pathway hasn't been studied.  For more on Dr. Bergmann, you can read about her study here: https://www.awi.de/en/about-us/service/press/press-release/microplastic-drifting-down-with-the-snow.html   Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
66. Zero Waste Buildings

66. Zero Waste Buildings

2019-10-0100:33:131

Denise Braun is the Principal and Founder of All About Waste. She currently lives in LA but is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and she focuses on improving buildings to be more liveable, which includes zero waste operation and certification.   Living in Brazil, Denise began organizing beach cleanups and began researching ocean currents to find out why so much plastic pollution from Asia was ending up on her Brazilian beaches. Her environmental activism work led her to jobs in the sustainability field where today she's providing WELL Certification, Fitwel Certification, Healthy Materials Consulting, Sustainability Workshops, and Corporate Program Development. "Trash is directly related to issues around greenhouse gas emissions and social equity", says Denise, and in San Francisco that's a big issue. She's helped certify the world's largest zero waste building there and recommends Americans visit the following websites to show support for waste issues in California:  California SB54 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB54  https://www.cawrecycles.org/sb-54-ab-1080-bill-page Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/  
65. Plastic in the Arctic

65. Plastic in the Arctic

2019-09-2300:31:14

In August 2019 Swedish icebreaker Oden conducted a research expedition to the Northwest Passage. Disturbingly, what they found in ice core samples in the Arctic, was plastic.  Hear from scientist Jacob Strock from the University of Rhode Island's Oceanography Department about the research expedition, what they found, and what it means for all of us.  Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
David Rachelson is the Vice President of Sustainability at Rubicon Global and he works with businesses of all sizes, municipalities, and smart cities to find solutions to their waste.  Rubicon Global is a technology company that powers a digital marketplace, provides a suite of SaaS products for waste, recycling, and smart city solutions, and collects and analyzes data for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to help turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work, Rubicon’s mission is to end waste in all of its forms by helping its partners find economic value in their waste streams and confidently execute on their sustainability goals. The company is a Certified B Corporation, affirming that Rubicon meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance. Through its technology, Rubicon is transforming the entire category of waste and recycling. Rubicon Global is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and has core teams in New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Tinton Falls, NJ. Rubicon has been named a Great Place to Work in 2018 and 2019 and was awarded as one of Glassdoor’s “Top Ten Companies with Seriously Impressive Benefits” in 2018. David accepted an award in Davos on behalf of Rubicon Global in the Digital Disruptor category in 2017.   Episode Music Credits: Open Those Bright Eyes Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
63. Canadian Beef

63. Canadian Beef

2019-09-0901:04:41

"Stop eating beef, you're killing the planet!" is a message we see nonstop. But is beef really killing the planet? Large factory farms have a negative impact on the environment and so do cattle grazing on burnt out rainforest so we know that a lot of beef production is harming the planet. But what about Canadian beef? Quinn Curran is a 4th year biology student at Queen's University who has a keen interest in nutrition and works for a naturopath. Her father, John Curran, is a sustainable family farmer located a few hours east of Toronto. His herd is part of a natural cycle that arguably benefits the land while providing nutrition with hardly any carbon footprint. This episode explores the other side of beef, the sustainable side, and discusses how beef farming, if done right, can actually be beneficial for not only people but for the planet too.
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