Change is a chain reaction. We’re starting at the top.
As individuals we can waste less by shopping responsibly. As businesses and the people informing decisions made in commerce, we can reduce that waste at much larger scales. Waste Not’s mission is to help reduce at the scale of business so we can make an even bigger impact, together.
Better sources should be open source.
Our planet demands a better supply: These sources shouldn’t be a trade secret. Waste Not originated from a list of resources compiled by brand builder & designer Michelle Mattar. Made public and built to grow so we can all audit and share great sources.
Meet our criteria
In the world of sustainability, biodegradable is a tricky term. We do our best to check sources to make sure biodegradable means within 3 years or less in normal landfill conditions.
Compostable & home compostable
Composting is a faster process, but only under the right conditions¹. Some things that say compostable need an industrial compost to break down, otherwise they may stick around for hundreds of years and become microplastics in the ocean. Because of that, we only list industrially compostable products that are also biodegradable.
Renewed and recyclable
This mean post-consumer waste or waste from another source that gets upcycled into something new, and can then be recycled. If it’s just renewable but the loop ends there: it doesn’t make the list.
While we don’t recommend companies to encourage all of their customers to dissolve products or packaging themselves because of drought climates, dissolvable usually means it degrades. We check that.
Meet our criteria
Most bioplastics need high temperature composting facilities to break down. As a result they often end up in landfills where, deprived of oxygen, they may release methane: a greenhouse gas 23x more potent than carbon dioxide.²
The U.S. recycling rate is only 32% according to the 2020 State of Curbside Recycling Report.³ Things that are recyclable doesn’t mean they get recycled. Globally, only 9% of plastic gets recycled⁴. Recycling isn’t the answer.
Upcycling is only a solution if what it yields is permanent and non-disposable. For things that get made and replaced, the loop should not end. If it’s made of waste and stops there, it’s better but not good enough.
We do our best to research a product’s resources, lifecycle, manufacturing impact and make sure that alternative materials are not just alternative: but better. This isn’t easy work and we’re always auditing and improving.
The beliefs we're built on
Being truly zero waste is costly and difficult. We believe in hatching a big plan, but taking immediate little steps as you can: right now. One switch can make a world of difference.
Our entire repository is on GitHub. You can learn from it, add new features, or help us audit and approve listings. Not on GitHub? You can still help: click the Open Source symbol on listings to report an issue –– we’ll send it there.
The end goal is to empower brands and consumers alike to waste not and want better. None of us are perfect. All of us can be better. Our planet demands a better supply, and Waste Not is a small step in making it easier.
Always working our way to better
Open source and open plans
We put our best foot foward to share these sources but we have more ideas. We’ve laid our plans out and are open source on Github, so you can explore anytime or even volunteer with us to help build new features.See our plans
Reducing our impact
Websites can Waste Not, too. From using dithered images to system fonts, to being careful about when we’re calling and fetching data: see how we’re tracking and measuring our own footprint.Read all about it
Q: How do we slow down the problem?
Sustainability: now a priority. While we keep wasting: things compound, damage gets greater –– and our environment and selves are hurt in the process. Commerce needs a considerable cleanup: take action.
Reach out and reimagine your footprint with us. We’re looking for partners to track and tell the story of reducing at scale. We’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org