Elyse and Sana here from the Zero Waste Team!
Earlier this month we were given the opportunity to both attend and present a workshop at the Post Landfill Action Network’s Students for Zero Waste Conference in Philadelphia, PA. This conference brought together 500 students, activists, and community leaders who are working towards Zero Waste in their respective universities and communities. Our weekend was filled with a key note address by Melissa Miles, a grassroots activists and organizer living in an Environmental Justice Community in Newark, New Jersey, and a variety of engaging workshops and panels! These workshops covered an array of topics, such as: food recovery, anti-oppression/ liberation in the Zero Waste movement, and community engagement.
One of our biggest take aways from the conference was the reminder about how intersectional the Zero Waste movement is and how our efforts in the movement must be purposeful and inclusive. The issue of waste is an issue of justice both for our environment and most importantly for our communities. Low income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by waste and the systems in place that allow for the waste to be created in the first place. This intersectionality also extends to the efforts that are already being made by so many communities who are fighting for environmental justice. Here at UC Santa Cruz, The Zero Waste Team is committed to recognizing the work that is currently being done by so many UCSC community members towards a more zero waste and just world. Your efforts fire us up and we are ready to work with the community on these efforts!