FAQ

What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a grassroots movement in which people try to reduce the amount of trash they make.

I’m interested in trying Zero Waste but I’m overwhelmed. What should I do first?

Look in your trash can and recycling bin. What do you see the most of? Figure out what you throw away the most and then find a reusable alternative for that one thing, whether it’s coffee cups, hankies, paper towels, etc. Or you could take a look at our list of 10 Things You Can Do Today and start with one of those.

Do you have any upcoming events?

You can view all of our events here.

Where can I learn more about Zero Waste?

We have a full list of recommended blogs, books, movies, and podcasts on our website here.

Where can I shop with my own containers in Maine?

We are currently building a map with retailers that allow you to use your own containers so you can find one in your area. If you know that permits customers to use their own containers, please let us know and we’ll add it!

The store told me it’s illegal to use my own container. Is that true?

No. The federal government produced a set of model guidelines called the Food Code, which has been adopted by several states, including Maine. These are suggestions only; they are not laws or regulations. A retailer can certainly choose to follow those guidelines and they are perfectly within their rights to tell a customer that they do not allow people to use their own containers; you are perfectly within your rights to shop elsewhere.

There’s a lot of book recommendations. I only want to read one book- which one should I read?

OH THE PRESSURE! If you can read only one, maybe start with Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home. Some of her work is a bit aspirational, but you’re sure to find something that you can apply right away and it will give you lots of ideas for things you could do in the future.

I’d like to volunteer with you! What can I do?

Right now we are still getting things figured out and laying the groundwork, but we hope to start taking on volunteers soon! In the meantime, there are some less formal ways you can help. We are always looking to help fill in gaps on our Zero Waste Retailers in Maine Map (this project is still in development), so if you know of a retailer that offers Zero Waste options and lets you use your own containers, please share! We are also eager to feature Mainers and Maine retailers involved in Zero Waste here on the site, so please reach out to us if you would like to be featured. And finally, if you are organizing Zero Waste events in your community, we would love to help shine some light on your work and spread the word. Just contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

I’m interested in having you come talk with my community about Zero Waste. What should I do?

Contact us and we’re happy to work with you to figure out what sort of event would be the best fit for your needs.

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