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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.
72 Episodes
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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, FRANCEMartin 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-pageEpisode 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

2019-09-0901:04:13

"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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