VHS takes a few steps closer to zero waste


The buckets of trash that are shipped away after lunch pictured here. Photo by Caroline Marsden

Caroline Marsden

From ten cent grocery bags to the debate on plastic straws, some are lost on where to start when it comes to reducing waste. Making reducing waste a number one priority is a lifestyle commonly known as “zero-waste.” This is exactly what it sounds like, cutting out all landfill waste from disposable utensils to plastic toothbrushes. From afar it may sound daunting, but here are some reasons why people have decided to partake in the movement.

According to learner.org, “The United States generates about 4.6 pounds of trash per person per day.” It has become evident, as increasing numbers of people change their lifestyles to be more eco friendly, that people may be looking at these statistics and deeming that amount of waste excessive and not at all necessary. According to rubiconglobal.com, “9 out of 10 people said they would recycle more if it was easier.” You don’t have to switch completely to zero waste, but here are easy ways to get one step closer to being completely zero waste.

The buckets of trash that are shipped away after lunch pictured here. Photo by Caroline Marsden

1. Use a reusable water bottle
Although you may have heard this a hundred times before, use your reusable water bottle. It’s cheaper, much healthier than soda, and most importantly eliminating demand for single use plastic products. According to isustainableearth.com, “Americans use on average 50 billion water bottles each year and climbing, though only recycle 23 percent of the plastic bottles… 38 billion of those water bottles were trashed, leading to increased pollution and landfill waste. This also has an economic impact by producing more than $1 billion in wasted plastic each year, equivalent to 912 million gallons of oil.”

2. Embrace the thrifting trend
Nowadays a lot of people get their clothes from thrift shops. Not only can you score some cute clothes, but it’s much cheaper than new clothes, and according to greenpeace.org, “It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one T-shirt,” and “ three out of four garments will end up in landfills or be incinerated.” Shopping secondhand can greatly reduce waste.

3. Check out the Refill Shoppe
Just a little while away from VHS, this store on Main St. sells all sorts of packageless products. Just bring a bottle and get it filled with things like shampoo, lotion and toner. This gets rid of wasteful packaging and supports a local business.

4. Get a reusable straw
Jump on to the band wagon and get a reusable straw to save plastic. According to strawlessocean.org, “If we don’t act now, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.” Also, “Americans use 500 million plastic straws per day.” Buy a reusable straw for a few dollars, and prevent plastic from infiltrating our ecosystem. Senior Delaney Valdez commented, “I always make sure to bring my reusable straw everywhere, because the plastic waste can really add up.”

5. Zero waste snacks
Instead of eating snacks like chips with tons of plastic packaging, opt for a healthier package free option like fruit.

Freshman Jack Schatzman comments on the issue, ” I only really use the recycling bins when they are close.” Photo by: Caroline Marsden

Some Ventura High students commented on the problem. Senior Katharine Marsden said, “I use the recycling bins when I can, but not always.” Freshman Jack Schatzman stated, “Yeah, I think the trash is sometimes used, when we could be recycling or reusing the waste at school.” To some students, zero waste may seem daunting but even small changes can make the biggest difference.