Beyond the Mason Jar

Plastic pollution is a growing environmental issue for both the natural world and the livelihoods of millions of men, women, and children. The Zero Waste Movement (ZWM) is a direct response to plastic pollution by striving to create as little waste as possible to help protect the environment and the species that live within it, from phytoplankton to human beings. Beyond the Mason Jar discusses the need for change using research from scientists across the globe who are beginning to realize the gravity of our plastic pollution dilemma. Furthermore, I am striving to not only illuminate the growing ZWM but also discuss some of its shortcomings. To clarify, the “Big Bang” of the ZWM started with a TEDxTeen talk featuring an NYU graduate, Lauren Singer, who was able to fit three years worth of trash into a single mason jar, through a series of sustainable “swaps.” Beyond the Mason Jar lives up to its name in discussing why this is not a realistic expectation for those who are not privileged enough to make such sacrifices. Rather, true to Honors’ ideologies, I want to emphasize the importance of inspiring and developing a community of passionate individuals to make a monumental difference.