Bad pricing signals epitomize short-term thinking. Recycling itself is an attempt to avert two long-term problems:

1. Where to put all of our garbage?

2. How does our garbage impact the land, air and water?

Landfill costs are under priced today; as a result soon they will either have to close or double or triple in price overnight. When you make people pay for the costs of trash disposal, behaviors change. Where landfill costs have risen, recycling and composting rates have dramatically increased.

  • Recycling 1 ton of mixed paper saves the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline.
  • Recycling 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 207 million British thermal units (Btus), which is equal to 36 barrels of oil or 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
  • The recycling rate of 32.5 percent in the United States in 2006 saved the carbon emission equivalent of taking 39.4 million cars off the road.

Individual commitment paired with good policy can actually yield valuable progress.  The Nature Means Business Framework has the opportunity to create incentives and costs at every step of the value chain, from cradle to grave. For every product it’s sourcing and disposal have cost and revenue implications. Doing this would spur new business development and greatly reduce the environmental debt incurred by eliminating all kinds of waste. Indeed much garbage can be turned to gold.

Who is Taking the First Step


Amazon                                ASDA                                        Ben & Jerry’s

Better Place                          Chrysler                                     Cisco

Coca-Cola                             Dove                                         DuPont

Earth’s Best                          Facebook                                   Frito-Lay

General Moters                      Heinz                                        Hewlett-Packard

Hilton Hotels                         Honeywell                                   IBM

Intel                                     Interface                                    JCPenney

Kashi                                     Kohls                                         McDonalds

McKinsey & Company             Microsoft                                    Naked Juice

Nike                                      Odwalla                                      Pepsi Co.

PUMA                                    Samsung                                     Seventh Generation

Stonyfield Farm                     Suave                                          Tiffany & Co.

TOMS                                   Unilever                                       Walmart

Whole Foods Market 


Boston                            Denver                                           Los Angeles

Minneapolis                      New York City                                San Francisco

Seattle                            Toronto                                          Vancouver

Washington D.C.


Universities Waste Reduction Initiatives:

Auburn University                  College of the Atlantic           Hambold State University

Kalamazoo College                 Pepperdine University            Purdue University

Wake Forest University

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