While it is common practice to state the socio-economic benefits of sustainable business practices, we at Greenomics are committed to backing such claims based on an unbiased analysis that quantify the return on the investment. We also understand that that all the required data may not be available, and as such we are committed to being as accurate as possible using reasonable assumptions. As such, we are now conducting a national study to determine whether there are in fact economic and social benefits to pursuing Zero Waste as defined by the Zero Waste International Alliance Zero Waste Hierarchy. This decision was made by our Founder and President, Erich Schwartz, in response to a heightened sense of urgency based on his personal experiences from sailing around Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
In his 1988 Hunter 35.5, Orion, he circumnavigated Vancouver Island to escape the City of Vancouver, explore the “real” West Coast, and immerse himself in the seclusion and raw beauty that make the west side of Vancouver Island such an attraction. What he found however was that no matter how remote the location, there was garbage everywhere, both in the water and all along the shoreline.
Of the roughly two-dozen anchorages made, the Bunsby Islands located on the North West side of Vancouver Island were one of the more remote. As part of the B.C. Marine Park system, these islands are not only beautiful, they are also compelling to explore, as their diverse shorelines include cliffs, beaches, forests, and mudflats. However, not only were they amongst the most remote they coincidentally contained the highest concentration of waste. The garbage was quite diverse and included cans, bottles, plastic bags, clothing and tofu containers. Due to the concentration of the garbage Erich decided that we had to find its source(s), its impacts, and what can be done about it if the impact was indeed detrimental (not just an eyesore).
A preliminary review of scientific reports from the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has led us to conclude that the damage being caused by human generated garbage is manifest in multiple categories and needs to be addressed in an economically viable manner to not only stop the flow of waste but also develop solutions to address the damage already caused.
If you are interested in monitoring the progress of our analysis or if you have information and ideas that you think would be of value to our efforts, we would love to hear from you.