Sharing Our Way Toward Zero Waste
Zero Waste Washington is excited to announce our new project to model shared ownership and waste prevention: the Community-Powered Sharing Project. This is a community organizing project with the tangible result of a neighborhood sharing system. We don't know what products will be shared because that really needs to be determined by the neighborhood doing the sharing, and figuring that out will be part of the project. It might be tools, toys, durable party supplies, outdoor sports gear, or something we can't even imagine yet!
In our nation, we create vast amounts of waste and yet many people do not have all their needs met. We are heavily encouraged to be individualistic consumers when what we really crave in life are community connections, quality relationships, and a sense of belonging. The more individualistic we are as a society, the more we consume and waste. Yet it has been shown that the more we consume, beyond meeting a base level of our needs and wants, the less happy we are. We need a shift so that sharing and interdependence are the norm! We need alternative ways of relating to “things” and to our neighbors, but we lack vision and examples.
There are many products that people need or want to use only on an occasional basis. Most often, when these material needs and wants are met, it is done through individual households buying and owning the product. Shared ownership is an alternative model that allows for less consumption and waste, more availability of resources to low-income communities, and a shift from people identifying primarily as consumers to becoming interconnected sharers.
Some of the inspiration for this focus comes from the results of Zero Waste's strategic program planning process that happened throughout 2012. Through this process, we developed three strategic directions for where we want to prioritize our efforts over the next several years:
- Inspiring community engagement projects,
- Making change through policy and legislation, and
- Integrating prevention into our work.
Thanks to Sustainable Path Foundation and to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Public Participation Grants for the funding that makes this project possible!
If you want more inspiration for how to create a sharing society, check out the Center for a New American Dream's video and the resource links at the end.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:01)