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Recycling should really be viewed as a last resort rather than the first line of defense, we need to be recycling less, not more. The zero-waste community is going above and beyond recycling by addressing the source of the problem: humans are producing far too much waste. Blogger Kathryn Kellogg has stored the bulk of her waste in a mason jar for the past two years. (Instagram Photo/going.zero.waste) According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generate more than 250 million tons of trash while only recycling about 1.51 pounds of the approximately 4.5 pounds of waste each person creates daily. Zero waste does not mean producing no waste at all; it simply means sending nothing to a landfill, said Kellogg. While the philosophy of zero waste does include recycling, it embodies a whole-system approach to the vast amount of resources consumed and waste left behind. According to the Grassroots Recycling Network, the movement’s goal is to maximize recycling while minimizing waste and reducing consumption.
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