Humans are depleting Earth’s resources faster than it can replenish them. If everyone lived like the average American, we would need about 5 planets to replenish the resources and absorb the waste generated in one year. You can calculate your Ecological Footprint here.

What is Zero Waste?

Zero waste aims to transform our linear economic practices to a cyclic system, where nothing is wasted and every resource is reused, repurposed, and recycled.

Zero Waste Home outlines the process:

  • Refuse what you do not need
  • Reduce what you do need
  • Reuse what you consume
  • Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse
  • Rot (Compost) the rest. 

Middlebury’s Efforts to Reduce Waste

At Middlebury College, the dining halls compost 99% of pre-consumer food waste totaling at 300 tons of food waste every year. Middlebury dining also uses reusable to-go containers and has a 100% recycled paper policy.

How You Can Help

One billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US every year. Switching to degradable toothbrushes or saving toothbrushes for cleaning can make a big impact. Find out more in this toothbrush infographic

The next time you’re in the dining hall, think about reducing your plastic use and food waste. And the next time you use go/papercut, remember the trees being impacted and don’t forget to recycle.


Addison County Recycles – Zero Waste 

List of Some Zero Waste Swaps 


10 Ways to Reduce Waste

Eco-Friendly Tips for Students