Bailey Warren

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means mimicking natural systems, where all goods are reused, in our daily lives as much as possible. At Zero Waste Chicago, we provide resources and education for local communities and small businesses to reduce their waste. Through our educational programming, we aim to help people & entities understand the impact of our daily choices and daily operations within the context of existing systems and how small changes can have a big impact. We aim to promote a shift in attitude towards waste via thoughtful consumption, mindfulness of materials, and proper education around waste streams (i.e. repairing items, recycling properly, and composting). Our systems are not perfect, but we all have the ability to reduce our environmental footprint and be more sustainable every day. It depends on having access to the proper resources, so we wanted to start Zero Waste Chicago to highlight what & where existing resources are, how they can be accessed, and to expand resources.

What has been your greatest experience working towards a more sustainable Chicago?

My greatest experience working towards a more sustainable Chicago has been collaborating with communities and other entities. There is so much incredible work being done at the community level here in Chicago, and the opportunity to be a part of it and work with other organizations has been such a treat. Chicago isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about sustainable cities. Our city faces a lot of nuanced issues, but there is so much good happening.