The common U.S. grownup will produce 128,000 pounds of trash of their lifetime. Certain, it appears like a giant quantity. However what does it actually imply?
Nick Huzar, co-founder and former CEO of used items market OfferUp, wish to present some context.
Huzar this 12 months launched StuffTV, a nonprofit producing movies that delve into the local weather change impacts of the products we purchase and toss out, and steps we are able to take to scale back the harm from runaway consumption. The episodes characteristic Huzar interviewing consultants, enterprise homeowners and political leaders working to handle waste. And the segments embody images and charts capturing the problem.
“In an effort to drive actual change and seize folks, they should see the issue,” Huzar stated.
It additionally explains why he’s delivering the message visually, relatively than as a podcast, although the episodes will be consumed as audio.
Immediately, the day earlier than Earth Day, StuffTV launched a brief video illustrating the quantity of trash generated yearly by a single household by overlaying it on a soccer discipline.
StuffTV has 9 full-length episodes and plans to launch one per week over the 12 months. Friends embody Cayla O’Connell of Knickey, a sustainable underwear firm; Ryan Metzger of Seattle recycling startup Ridwell; and Surinder Singh of battery optimization firm Relyion Power.
Huzar is presently bankrolling the hassle, which features a crew of 4.
“Since I began OfferUp, I’ve most likely seen over $200 billion value of secondhand items alternate palms,” stated Huzar, who stepped down as OfferUp’s CEO in 2021 after main the corporate for a decade. “I’ve had a entrance row seat to the round financial system for over a decade.”
In that point, he started questioning about his personal waste affect. The knowledge that he discovered about particular person consumption tended to be scientifically dense or too dry for widespread enchantment.
However the query was too necessary to depart unanswered.
The U.S. consumes huge quantities of petroleum-based plastics and solely about 5% of that waste is recycled. The quantity of digital waste, or e-waste, retains rising. People produced about 46 pounds of e-waste per particular person in 2019. All of those items — together with clothes, meals containers, furnishings and extra — have important local weather impacts from their manufacturing, distribution and disposal.
Every StuffTV episode consists of steps that individuals can take to scale back their hurt to the planet.
Huzar and his spouse and children have began altering their very own habits to reside extra flippantly. That features forgoing plastic water bottles and all the time bringing reusable bottles when leaving dwelling. His children not get Glad Meals and their plastic toys that have been quickly discarded. The Seattle-area household is extra considerate about garments procuring, skipping objects like vacationer t-shirts that they don’t want.
Particular person actions like these admittedly gained’t transfer the needle by a lot. However Huzar desires folks to understand that everybody has a job to play. The scenario gained’t enhance, he stated, if everybody thinks it’s another person’s downside.
Within the Pacific Northwest, he’s not alone in making an attempt to drive change. The area is dwelling to quite a few efforts aligned with the problem:
- NextCycle Washington is a statewide initiative selling the round financial system, which incorporates efforts to reuse and recycle items relatively than ship them to landfills.
- Washington lawmakers this spring handed guidelines boosting battery recycling, discouraging the usage of plastic water bottles and phasing out the usage of mini shampoo bottles at lodges.
- Startups within the area are serving to folks waste much less, together with Ridwell; out of doors gear rental web site Geer Garage; garments recycler Evrnu; resale facilitator Sella; and dissolvable shoe producer Woolybubs. The Oregon-based media channel The Cool Down gives entertaining local weather training.
- Seattle’s Basel Motion Community, or BAN, is a longtime international chief in recycling advocacy and a watchdog of pc recycling, and Zero Waste Washington does analysis and coverage advocacy.
- Researchers listed below are engaged on higher methods to recycle plastics, together with turning them into fuels or new plastic items.
Huzar additionally imagines StuffTV initiatives past movies. He wish to create an affect rating akin to monetary credit score scores to assist folks to calculate their private waste footprint. He envisions granting awards to honor corporations having the most important optimistic affect within the house.
It’s all about beginning conversations and creating momentum that results in a motion.
“The mission is de facto enlightenment and motion,” Huzar stated. “As a result of if you are able to do that, that equals the affect.”