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  • Journey to Zero Waste: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

    When: Thursday, June 23, 1 p.m. ET
    Where: Folklife Studio, National Mall
    Category: Narrative Session
    Real-time captioning available

    Watch and comment on YouTube

    Watch our first Earth Optimism × Folklife Studio session that featured a discussion about the creative ways we are changing waste. One leader has written a book on zero waste, while another designs models for how festivals like the Folklife Festival recover resources and reduce waste. We heard from a creative designer working with the global maker movement, which encourages the recycling of all types of materials and a changemaker in the fabrics and fashion sector, working to extend the life cycle of our apparel. The conversation also visited the issues of urban trash and how U.S. college campuses are mobilizing themselves to lead us toward zero waste.


    This session in presented in partnership with Amtrak.

    About the Participants

    Gavin Shire is the associate director for the Office of Communications and Publishing at the U.S. Geological Survey. Shire joined the USGS from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he served for eight years as the chief of public affairs. Shire came to the communications profession following many years as a field biologist. He has worked to help recover the Mauritius Kestrel, at one time the world’s rarest bird, banded owls on Assateague Island, in Maryland, and piloted an ultralight aircraft leading swans and geese in experimental migration and reintroduction studies.

    Ciara Williamscurrently serves as the co-executive director with PLAN: The Post-Landfill Action Network. Williams was the outreach and engagement manager with the Philadelphia Government’s Office of Sustainability and is a collaborator with Mural Arts’ Trash Academy and the Board Chair of Reconstruction Inc. Her work is centered around civic participation, history, building intergenerational coalitions, and the principles of environmental justice.

    Eric Hollingeris an archaeologist in the Anthropology Department of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He applies his archaeological experience to study the Smithsonian’s waste (artifacts) as a member of the Institution’s Recycling Task Force and the One Smithsonian Plastics Reduction Initiative. He designed and helped launch the Folklife Festival’s award-winning waste diversion program, designed the restaurant composting operations for several museums and created the Banners-to-Bags Initiative.

    Stephanie Milleris the former director of climate business at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. She is the author of Zero Waste Living, the 80/20 Way: The Busy Person’s Guide to a Lighter Footprint. She founded Zero Waste in DC where she reaches a wide audience through keynote presentations and learning events.

    Diana N’Diayeis a cultural specialist and senior curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Prior to the Smithsonian, she served as a program officer at New York State Council on the Arts, and Curator in Chief at the MUSE Community Museum in Brooklyn. She is also a studio artist working primarily in textiles. Her work as an artist explores the impact of over-production of cheap clothing on to the secondary clothing markets in Africa.

    Laura Tufariellois an active founding member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, she helped spearhead the HOW2RECYCLE label and website. Beginning in 2006, as an adjunct professor, Tufariello developed and taught Sustainable Packaging at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Tufariello is the president and founder of the award-winning company Design & Source Productions, a global manufacturer that develops sustainable products for large, recognized brands.

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