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“Our advice to people who want to make change is to build relationships” – Sarah Currie-Halpern

Sarah Currie-Halpern, ThinkZero LLC

Organized at 14:30 PM GMT on 11th Apr, 2018


Sarah Currie-Halpern


Co-founder and Partner, ThinkZero LLC

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Pioneers & Changemakers is be Waste Wise‘s weekly interview series through which changemakers and pioneers in the fields of waste, circular economy, sustainability and sanitation will provide you access to the latest thinking, their sheer wealth of experience and inspiration.


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Kylee Neniska summarized the interview and Nadine Cavusoglu edited it.


SARAH CURRIE-HALPERN, Co-founder & Partner, ThinkZero LLC

Change will come with regulations but we need more cities to adopt bans on plastic bags, styrofoam and single use products.

  • I’m very impatient with the pace of change both at the government level and the public level.
  • On the public level people are not changing to reusables fast enough.

Switching to hand driers, reusables in school cafeterias, and to filtered tap water from plastic bottles in offices can provide significant cost savings.

  • Printing is a huge cost that isn’t necessary especially in conference rooms when the documents are on the screen for everyone to see.
  • Cloth diapers can also save a lot of money annually for families, this could be a difficult task but it possible if the effort is there.

Some regulations take a long time. The plastic bags regulation is a good example. It started prior to 2014 at the city level, did not pass and now it is at the state level and seems to have strong support.

  • We have a very strong legislative committee. We proactively reach out to city council members and share our legislative agenda. We are also very active in testifying in hearings.
  • Our advice to people who want to make change is to be proactive and build relationships
  • In our work, we can be much more creative and strategic when planning occurs early.
  • We want to plan the waste systems into the design of a building during the planning period. A lot of building owners don’t plan early and they risk meeting their zero or low waste targets.

We are going to be seeing a lot more about impact of waste and our behaviour on our food supply and I do hope that this will start more change in public behaviour and regulation

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