I am a baby boomer. My grandparents came from Holland and Germany. They farmed and raised their large families. As the local paper mill industry grew, family members found fruitful employment, raising families of their own.
After high school graduation, I worked in a paper mill for five years.
Economically, our area has benefited from the paper industry. Environmentally and health-wise, that is another question.
Today's science and technology has the ability to produce practically everything to be either biodegradable or recyclable.
We must choose to start down that road, the road to zero waste. We must take steps to limit the waste that is now going into landfills. Landfills are environmentally dangerous places, producing toxins not good for life-forms, including humans.
"Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use," according to the Zero Waste Alliance. "Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.