What is Zero-Waste?
When we talk with our community about zero-waste, we define it as a practice that utilizes the most common R's of waste reduction: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Rot, with Recycling being the least favorable option - and leaving the landfill behind. The goal is not to have absolutely zero waste, but to institute these practices into daily life- both on an individual and community-wide level. It is the collective result of instituting these practices that will reduce Berkshire County's waste, thus making our home a cleaner and healthier place to live.
Who We Are
Our mission at Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative is to grow and support a zero-waste culture in the Berkshires by working with our community to encourage meaningful waste reduction practices in addition to increasing recycling and composting efforts.
While our members have been working for waste-reduction for years, Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative was officially formed in May of 2019. Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative, or BZWI for short, is a part of the non-profit Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). BEAT has been working for years on many environmental issues that plague the Berkshires, Massachusetts, and beyond. BZWI became an arm of this high-achieving non-profit and focuses on waste-reduction, plastics education, and so much more. We love working with our community in a variety of ways, from serving on local boards to collaborating with local organizations and schools. Want to learn more? Click below!
What We Do at BZWI
We work to promote healthy, equitable, and fair practices in waste-reduction that will have the best outcomes for all members in our community. This includes connecting with local leaders on efficient and effective solutions, promoting waste-reduction practices, and giving our community a voice in state and federal forums involving waste.
At BZWI, we know that education is the strongest tool we have to spark change and inspire a transition to zero-waste. We continue to teach and educate our community on the individual level with workshops, in schools with presentations and programs, and with the community in various capacities.
Working as a team is crucial to overall success. That is why at BZWI, we continually partner with local organizations, public and private groups, schools, local leaders, and more on concrete solutions. We continually adapt our strategies and approaches in the Berkshires as we work with our partners, resulting in the most authentic and creative outcomes.
The average rate of materials that are thrown away each day by Americans. This is equal to the size and weight of a small pumpkin.
Out of all the plastics produced between 2002 and 2014, 45% was used specifically for disposable plastic packaging. This includes coffee cups, wrappers, shipping material, and more.
30 - 40%
Of all of the food produced in the U.S., 30-40% of it is wasted - thrown away - each year. This includes food that doesn't meet visual standards and household waste.