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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.
87 Episodes
Max La Manna is the author of the new book: More Plants Less Waste, bridging the gap between vegan food and waste-free cooking.  Max is on a mission to turn the tide on plastic waste while eating healthy, and saving money. His cookbook offers 80 recipes with stories and photos in between. 
Ashwin Ramdas cofounded Denver's first zero waste grocery delivery service in October 2019 and joins the ZWC to talk about his journey.  
Beer is a fermented, antimicrobial, sustainable beverage that has been consumed for thousands of years. Daniel MacKinnon sat down with Laura to discuss sustainable beer making practices on his Canadian farm that's been in his family since 1784, using their own barley and local hops, and they take care of their waste responsibly.    Right from the growing process to the reusable kegs being sanitized for decades of reuse, beer can be a sustainable beverage from start to finish.   Every year the MacKinnon farm hosts a large party for thousands of people, that also operates with minimal waste. 
Dana O’Brien, Executive VP of Food and Agriculture at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association discuss the biotech industry from an environmental perspective.  Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association   Dana O’Brien, Executive VP of Food and Agriculture at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization   Biotech is important for feeding the world with nutrients, mitigating food waste, and developing crops that are more resilient for climate change. 
Riggs Eckelberry is the founder and CEO of the water technology company, OriginClear, which is delivering water solutions for industrial customers worldwide. OriginClear has developed and licensed an invention that treats industrial and agricultural waste water with very little energy, and no chemicals. Industrial users can treat theirwater right where they use it, using prepackaged “point of use” water treatment systems that have a life cycle of up to 100 years or more. Riggs is driving the disruption of the trillion-dollar big water industry that has fallen behind the times and is affecting the health of millions. Our billion-dollar centralized water systems aren’t coping with demand, and water quality is getting worse, but the solution is for businesses to do their own water treatment, using modular, prefabricated systems that are trucked right on site. They get better water quality,lower rates through recycling, and even improved environmental grades. Ten years after launching public company OriginClear, Riggs and his team are offering those truck-in-place modular systems in the USA, while licensees are building products internationallyusing OriginClear’s low-energy, chemical-free innovation.
82. Home Renos

82. Home Renos


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


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. 
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. 
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. 
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 ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
75. Green Philly

75. Green Philly


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


  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.  
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