Our New Name

Washington Citizens for Resource Conservation is now Zero Waste Washington!  This name change marks a new chapter in our 28-year history: An opportunity to engage in fresh conversations about solutions to the tough problems generated by the “stuff” we all use.


As our board and staff embarked on this deliberative process, we looked for a name that would distinguish us from other conservation groups, better reflect our vision, and increase excitement about our cutting-edge work.

  • Zero waste is a bold visionary statement that can generate creative ideas and fresh energy.  It’s about waste prevention and reuse, as well as closed-loop recycling.  As the saying goes, zero waste or darn close.
  • Zero waste is a design principle. It’s about looking at the entire life cycle of a product, and designing products with the environment and future generations in mind.
  • Zero waste reflects the elegance and efficiency of nature.  In all of nature’s abundance, materials are cycled over and over again. Waste becomes food.  In their book Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough and Michael Braungart describe a cherry tree: “Thousands of blossoms create fruit for birds, humans, and other animals, in order that one pit might eventually fall onto the ground, take root, and grow . . . the tree’s fecundity nourishes just about everything around it.”

John Muir said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  When we tug at the “stuff” we use, we find it attached to old growth forests, climate change, water and energy, mining and extraction, corporate responsibility, social justice, and future generations.  

As we keep tugging, the board and staff of Zero Waste Washington find ourselves asking deeper questions about recycling and the “stuff” we all use.  How can products be designed up front so they can be continually reused or recycled?  Why does per capita solid waste generation continue to rise?  How can we ensure that products are non-toxic and safe for the people who make them, use them, and recycle them?  Who is responsible for products at the end of their lives? How we answer these questions about our “stuff” will make a real difference to our families, our communities and our environment.

With this name change, we clearly state our intention to go beyond recycling toward an even more comprehensive and responsible approach to “stuff.”

Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 August 2010 10:38)