By Julia Niehoff

Over the last 10 years, the human population has produced more plastic pollution than in all of human existence. This frightening fact has caused many to stop using plastic all together. In fact, some young people try to produce no waste at all. This effort is called the Zero Waste Movement, and consists of much more than reuseable water bottles and bags. These people go thrift shopping, buy organic unpackaged food, and pursue many other tasks that do not harm the environment.

For example, the creator of the company Simply Co., Lauren Singer, has put all of her unrecyclable trash into a small mason jar. This is all the trash she has created in 4 years. Her journey toward Zero Waste began with frustration with a fellow classmate. She says on her blog, Trash is for Tossers, “a fellow environmental studies major would bring lunch to class every week in a single use plastic bag, a disposable water bottle, and a plastic takeout container. I would sit there and think, we are supposed to be the future of this planet and here we are with our trash, messing it up.” This passion for the well-being of nature led her to create her company of recyclable and environmentally friendly products, such as laundry detergent and tote bags. Her transition into this lifestyle has been difficult, but worth it. Now, she has made it her career to make the world more sustainable through her youtube channel and her company.

Although it may seem to be difficult to accomplish such a task, this up-and-coming movement reuses glass jars and refuses to buy products with packaging. Bulk stores, or just any farmers’ market, gives its customers to buy their product using reusable bags. Whole Foods (Morristown), Kings (Mendham), Dean’s (Chester), and Shoprite (Everywhere) have bulk sections. Also, asking for a drink at a restaurant without a straw or bringing around a reuseable water bottle helps to reduce waste in the long run. All it takes is little steps, especially because high schoolers have little to no ability of living green at home if their parents are uninterested. With some effort, anyone’s carbon footprint can be decreased exponentially as long as they make little sacrifices.

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