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Memphis Takes the Lead: A Sustainable Symphony with Zero Waste

Memphis sustainability
How to better sort your waste on a daily basis? How do you raise awareness among the residents of a city? Memphis has developed a global system that works.

Memphis committed in 2005 to achieving “zero waste” by 2030. The tennessee city has since taken a series of measures and now exceeds 80% of waste recycled or composted.

1. What does zero waste mean

The goal adopted by Memphis is to achieve zero waste sent to landfills or incinerators, meaning 100% of its waste recycled or composted. The expression Zero Waste in English also translates to zero left-over: this is why the city also seeks to reduce the waste of food and resources.

2. Concretely, what does this imply for residents

The initiative has multiple implications for local residents. Plastic bags have been banned in supermarkets, replaced by paper bags (paid). But above all, it has been compulsory, since 2009, to recycle and compost all waste. Each home has three bins: a green one for composting, a blue one for recycling and a black one for the rest of the waste.

3. Three trash cans! But how do we fit this into our small kitchens?

Removing waste from the kitchen is certainly a good idea!This certainly makes one more trash can, but the size may be different. If the bin dedicated to recycling remains the same, that of normal waste can be much smaller because only rare waste (generally thin plastic) is likely to end up there if most of the waste is recycled or composted.

The organic waste bin may also not be too big: it is better to empty it regularly so that it does not smell.

4. How can we encourage everyone to comply with this system

Since it is complicated to charge each home based on the weight of waste generated, Memphis has set up a system providing financial incentives to recycle and compost.

The invoice specifically mentions the three bins, the charges for the green and blue being much lower than those for the black. For the latter, the cost varies depending on the size: if you recycle and compost little and therefore fill a large black bin, it will cost you much more than complying with the system and, ultimately, reducing its size, since the large Most of the waste will go to the other two.

5. We can also imagine that some people will put waste in the wrong bins to reduce their bill without making the effort to recycle

Yes, but checks are regularly carried out. Officers are crisscrossing the city and looking at the contents of trash cans. If they notice that the recyclable or compostable bin is obviously filled with bad waste, they leave a warning. After several warnings, the home concerned will pay a penalty on its bill.

6. What happens to the waste next

As in other US cities, recyclables are transformed and reused. Plastic, paper and even glass are sorted separately and can then be used to make new objects. Organic waste is transformed into compost. After a month of various treatments, they become very fertile soil and therefore very popular with farmers, who thus feed their crops while preserving the soil.

7. This is all very nice, but it must be very expensive

Not exactly! Studies show that a zero waste system actually costs the community less. Waste collection can be significantly cheaper by adapting the collection (regular frequency for organic waste, which rots quickly, but more spaced out for dry waste). But above all, the treatment costs much less than devices like incinerators, a solution very popular in Tennessee. And allows the creation of necessarily local jobs to properly sort waste, as automatic sorting techniques do not allow total sorting of quality.

This system also brings in money through the resale of recycled materials and compost. And it’s much better for the environment, because landfills produce methane and incinerators produce very toxic gases.

How to reduce plastic waste

Due to the properties of plastics and their low cost, their use has increased twenty-fold since the middle of the last century. Programs and initiatives have emerged to raise awareness and reduce plastic waste.

Almost 150 million tonnes of waste are already floating in the oceans (most of which are not biodegradable), and each year it is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastics end up in the oceans, the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck every minute! The production of plastics, still increasing, is set to double in the next twenty years (press release from the Ministry of Ecological Solidarity Transition and the Ministry of Economy and Finance).

Reducing plastic waste is a crucial issue. If current trends continue, it is predicted that 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste will accumulate on the Earth’s surface in 2050, the vast majority of which will end up in the oceans. Around the world, plastics account for 85% of the waste found on beaches.

As part of the transition to a more circular economy, the European Commission communicated its strategy to protect the planet, defend citizens, and support businesses. If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastic, there will be more than fish in the ocean by 2050

The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste through increased recycling and reuse. It is a challenge that citizens, businesses, and governments must tackle together, ”said Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for sustainable development. A real challenge: all plastic packaging on the European Union market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced, and the use of microplastics in products will be limited.

The “Plastics 2030” program

To support this strategy, PlasticsEurope, the European association of plastics producers, launched “Plastics 2030”, a program intended to manage resources better and promote actions aimed at curbing the loss of plastics in the environment and developing recycling & reuse and encourage innovation.

To meet the ambition of the European Commission, which hopes that by 2030 all plastic packaging placed on the European market can be reused or recycled and does not end up in litter, European plastic producers are committed to achieving high rates of reuse and recycling of this packaging. They are targeting an ambitious target of 60% by 2030, which should lead to reaching 100% reuse, recycling, and recovery of plastic packaging in 2040 in the European Union (PlasticsEurope press release of January 16, 2018).

When will global harmonization begin? The European Union also works with partners around the world to find solutions and develop international standards. In the meantime, everyone must be aware of the consequences of their actions on the environment.

Some instructions to remember: do not throw anything in the nature or on the public highway, and sort your garbage so it can be recycled properly! In Europee, we still have a lot of progress to make: France is only in 25th place in the European recycling ranking (2016 figures from PlasticsEurope).

Plastic initiatives

Great initiatives are emerging to educate and inform the public. You can for example follow the association “7th continent expedition”, which works for a preserved ocean by combining scientific, educational and media know-how around targeted actions ( You can discover his comic strip, The Plastic Monster, inspired by his expeditions.

Follow the Flipflopi expedition and its boat made from plastic waste and whose coating is designed from 200,000 used flip flops. This boat took to the sea in January 2019 for a three-month journey in the Indian Ocean, intending to raise awareness of proper waste management practices on the populations during its passage.

Offer you a pair of sea2see sunglasses made from recycled marine plastic waste …How about that?

How to renovate your kitchen at a low price

Renovating your kitchen is not always as expensive as you might think! The proof, these 7 ideas for the renovation of the kitchen will help you save while realizing this project which is important to you.

Be inspired by these solutions and most importantly, take notes. You could renovate your kitchen on a budget soon!

1. Use the table to make it an island

At the center of your kitchen, the island is a unifying element and it is very useful. It is used as an extension of countertops, as a bistro table, as storage space … If you plan to change your table, reuse its flat surface to make it an island, which will help you renovate your kitchen without spending too much.

2. Repainting the cabinets

When attacking the kitchen project, we often think of changing the cabinets completely. The least expensive solution here would be simply to choose a nice neutral color to repaint the cabinets already present. The kitchen will immediately take on value!

3. Change the cabinets for tablets

Your cabinets are irrecoverable? Do not panic! Many hardware stores sell solid, inexpensive wooden boards that will serve as beautiful shelves for plates, glasses and cups. In addition to giving a beautiful rustic character, this solution represents a simple and fast way to renovate the kitchen

4. Update the handles

And if in your kitchen, it was only the handles that were closing? Never mind, it will cost you a few dollars to choose new handles to your taste, which will marry better with the spirit that you want to see emerge from your renovated kitchen.

5. Add greenery

Nothing like a beautiful floral centerpiece, a hanging flowerpot or a huge fern to change the atmosphere and atmosphere of a room! Think about renovating your kitchen to decorate plants, to lighten the air while giving a new vocation to some unused places.

In this day and age, the greener the better. Some plants can add a great smell to the room and they provide a more natural look.

6. Be creative with materials already present

When you decide to renovate your kitchen, several materials accumulate as work progresses. Whether it is wood scraps or ceramic, metal parts or plastic, put it all together and see how you can use them to jaze the room even more.

This is case you have mace a small scale kichen remodelling. But if you are really changing many things, even tearing down some walls, then you may have a lot of debris, and you mighy need to rent a dumpster just to get rid of them.

7. Change the backsplash

Another option, a little more laborious depending on the tiles chosen, is to modify the backsplash. Whether you decide to repaint it or change the ceramic, the backsplash alone can greatly change the look of your kitchen. Be aware that there are much more affordable sticker models that you can easily remove and change.

All you have to do is list your options to renovate the kitchen! Get started now.

The Best Broadway Shows

There are dozens of Broadway shows that have been around for years. A lot of these shows are amazing in their unique style, culture, and story. While it is impossible to decide which of these shows are the best, we can name a few that have stood out in the last couple of years.

Here is a list of plays that are considered to be the best of Broadway. Again, choosing the best is like picking a favorite child. Hence, this list does not come in a particular order.

Phantom of the Opera

Known to be the longest-running show ever in Broadway, Phantom of the Opera has been continuously running for the past 21 years. Despite being introduced in 1988, the show has been and is still a favorite with its consistent sell-out tickets.

This classic is about a disfigured man who has been haunting the Opera House in Paris. This dramatic story is how this phantom falls in love with Christine Daae and teaches her to sing beautifully like an angel. It is an all-time favorite because of its timeless story, amazing production, and lovely music.

The Lion King

It is undeniable that the Lion King is one of the best animated movies Disney has ever created. It follows the story of Simba, a little cub who grows up to become the king that he is destined to be. The best thing about this tale is that it is dramatic, but funny at the same time. It incorporates innocence and growth beautifully that the characters are very relatable despite being portrayed in a jungle of animals.

Just like the Phantom of the Opera, the Lion King is one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway. It has won viewers’ choice awards over the years. Many who watch it are perhaps reminiscing their childhood, but the play has done a good job of creating new audience in the younger generations. It is a good play to watch for parents who have seen the movie when they were little and for children who are seeing it for the first time.


Although this show has left the stage since 2003, it is still known as one of the most recognizable shows in Broadway. So much so that it has been translated into 20 languages and is known all over the world.

With music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and story based on T.S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the play tells the life stories and adventures of the Jellicle Cats’ and the night they made the Jellical Choice. This choice is about deciding which cat will ascend and come back to a new life.

Les Miserables

Based on the novel written by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables is known as the longest running play in London. With music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel in the original French version and Herbert Kretzmer in the English libretto, this musical is known to be one of the most successful plays in the West End and Broadway.

Set in 19th century France, the story revolves around the peasant Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving child. The story is set during the revolutionary period in France where the idealistic youth were making their last stand.

A Chorus Line

This old classic has been revived due to the demands of the audience who love it. It has won several Tony Awards and is known to be one of the longest-running musicals on Broadway. The story is about seventeen ambitious and hopeful dancers who share their personal lives as they audition to be a part of the chorus line.

These shows are only some of the best and most known productions in Broadway to date. While most of these musicals have been around for a while, they still entice audience from different parts of the world. Next time you drop by Broadway, make sure to catch some of these shows. They are absolutely worth it.