Sustainability. We all say it, but do we mean it?

Sustainability. We all say it, but do we mean it?

The ah ha moment  we realized it was time to make a change. Drowning in a pile of plastic baby stuff. (Eagle Rock, CA 2006)

Imagine a kitchen sink as a waste processing plant. When you do the dishes you need water and soap (resources,) room in the sink (space) and time. Plus lots of hand cream after. A small batch of dishes can fit in the sink and the soapy warm water will be enough to get the job done. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and watch a show after. But a  huge load of dishes won’t all fit in the sink, you’ll run out of soap, and it takes too long so you ditch it, while more dishes keep piling up. 

The reality is the amount of waste we produce far exceeds the ability to get rid of it all. Even with the best intentions, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable items need to be processed correctly for proper disposal. And the single use mindset makes it impossible to capture all that trash. We have to slow down the amount of waste, no mater how good it is.

Our goal is to WasteLess, but what are the sustainable options we have to deal with waste and what do they mean? Here’s a break down.


Sustainable option

what is it




Organic material is broken down by bacteria or fungi

Waste is naturally disposed into nutrient rich soil

- Conditions need to be just right 

- It takes a long time. 



Using water, plant scrap, and food waste, these materials are decomposed at an accelerated rate. 

-Turn food waste into nutrient rich soil. 

-faster than nature doing it on it’s own

- It takes maintienance. 

- It takes time

-  Doesn’t work for all compostable items  (ie. bio plastic food packaging)



Composting on larger and faster scale.

-Faster than home compost.

-can take other compostiable items (ie packaging)

-Commercial compost can be resold into the community and used to fertilize soil.

- keeps methane producing organic material out of landfills

- Need access to commerical facilities. 

- Some cities include it in waste managment but not everywhere.


Converting waste materials into new materials and objects. 

-Can make new items from waste.

-Some materials can be endlessly recylced (ie metals and glass.)

- Single use creates excessive waste and doesn’t get recycled.

- many products can’t be recycled because of multiple materials (ie plastic lined paper cups)


Ultimately, it will take a series of solutions to get us on track. Streamlining  systems, standardizing materials and investing in efficient ways to process waste is key. Commercial composting is a great option for dealing with organic waste. Endlessly recyclable materials are great since we don’t have to continuously extract raw materials for new products. Our part, to keep promoting that reuse and less waste slows things down, giving us time to create better, sustainable solutions.