Featuring internationally renowned speakers, thought-provoking presentations, and real world examples of zero waste solutions, the 2017 edition of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference is being hailed by returning delegates as ‘the best yet’.
The theme for the 7th annual Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference held November 1, 2017, was ‘A Circular Economy Within Reach’. Throughout the day speakers and panelists stepped onto the stage ready and willing to support this confident claim. Inspiring talks, insights about the circular economy, and innovative waste prevention efforts solidified the conference’s reputation as a must-attend event for professionals working to advance zero waste principles and the circular economy.
But the day began with a viewpoint that was literally out of this world. Scientist and retired NASA astronaut Cady Coleman delivered the opening keynote speech for the conference – sharing the unique perspective she gained during her six months aboard the International Space Station. She emphasized the power of teams and collaboration throughout her talk – noting how sustainability goals on Earth reflect the zero waste innovations required to put humans on Mars.
“We need these technologies that you are developing for zero waste here on the planet. They are exactly applicable to what we need for space exploration. And on the other side of that, what we’re doing for exploration is exactly applicable to what you are looking for here.”
Throughout the day, ZWC panelists shared their expertise and experience in searching for solutions to food waste, textiles recycling, and ocean plastic. They highlighted circular economy strategies driving business innovation and influencing urban design. They examined the various roles government, industry, and the public can play in driving change and demanding zero waste principles inform our daily lives. Question and answer sessions gave the audience a chance to voice their own perspectives – highlighting concerns and issues impacting their work developing the circular economy.
Closing keynote Tristram Stuart’s presentation echoed Cady Coleman’s call to expand our viewpoints and our mindsets – with a far-ranging presentation offering a unique perspective of the audience’s collective raison d’etre. Speaking to his own area of expertise (food waste), Stuart pointed out that zero waste efforts come with a built-in benefit beyond simple waste reduction.
“We are in the business of up-cycling anger into joy, because the solution to all of those (food waste) problems are inspiring, positive, better ways of managing resources.”
Planning is now underway for the 2018 edition of the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference – to be held on November 8 and 9, 2018. Mark the date in your calendar and join us next year. The circular economy is within reach. Be a part of the community making it happen.
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