The United States Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the average American generates 4.5 pounds of trash every single day. This makes us one of the most wasteful countries in the world. The zero waste movement is made up of a collective of people who want to minimize the amount of trash that gets sent to the landfill. This movement invites people to minimize their overall impact on the planet by being more intentional about the way they consume our planet's finite resources.
This aspirational goal of zero waste does not happen overnight or without a deeper understanding of what kinds of waste we are even trying to minimize. To understand where to start, we can gather helpful data by performing a zero waste audit. Imagine yourself face-first in a garbage can, emptying its contents on the floor for a better look. A zero waste audit encourages you to get up-close and personal with your consumption habits.
To be considered a zero-waste business, you must divert at least 90% of your waste from the landfill.
During the audit, I emptied out all the trash from the bins and organized them into categories on the floor. I weighed and photographed each category and found that most of Cura's waste comes from their suppliers including packing materials, clothing hangers, and plastic film. With that new information from the zero waste audit, we were able to design some simple solutions including creating a plan to divert the largest waste categories away from the landfill, continuing to find creative ways to make sustainable products in-house, creating resources to help Cura customers understand where purchased items go at the end of their useful life, and more! Cura already values sustainability and utilizes two great sustainable resources for e-commerce businesses: Econenclose for 100% recycled and recyclable shipping boxes and Sendle for carbon-neutral shipping. Performing a zero waste audit gave Cura clear next steps on new areas to explore their sustainability journey.