Tom Szaky is the eco-preneur who launched TerraCycle. In his new book, Outsmart Waste (Berrett-Koehler, $15.95), Tom says that to outsmart waste, first we have to understand it, then change how we create it, and finally rethink what we do with it. Tom traces the roots of our current garbage crisis to 20th century social shifts and technological advances that resulted in historic changes in consuming habits–both the amount of garbage created and its longevity increased dramatically. We are now producing 5 billion tons of waste a year, and our ways of dealing with it are crude and even dangerous: burying it or burning it.
Tom says that everytime we make a purchase, we are voting for the kind of world we want. By becoming aware of the deeper implications of what we buy and how it is packaged, we can cast our vote for a waste-free world. If you are interested in the environment and want to be inspired to launch an eco-friendly small business, check out this book.