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Road To Zero Waste

Block Leader Profile: Vernon Berger

When this Block Leader’s neighbors have a Zero Waste question or need help hauling an item, Vernon Berger is their go-to guy. From Recycling to Reuse, Vernon grew up with Zero Waste in his heart. As a kid, his parents taught him the value of fixing or salvaging items with the hopes of using them again and ensuring that few things are ever wasted. Vernon firmly believes that education is vital and he’s doing his part to inch Austin closer towards Zero Waste.

Why did you decide to become a Zero Waste Block Leader?
I am interested in Zero waste and what better way to educate myself and people that I come in contact. This way I have a better understanding of the preferred way to achieve that goal.

 What are some fun ways you introduce zero waste to your neighbors?
I am not sure about neighbors but with interacting with people to bring up recycling. Whenever we have a family gathering some relatives are outside of Austin, we discuss where food waste/save/trash goes. My approach is more of a one on one in an actual situation.

 Which do you prefer more – recycling, composting or reuse?
They are all important. I am more of a recycler/reuse person. I like creating repurposing objects into something functional (lamps, tables, clocks or art.)

Man showcasing a restored wooden chair Man showcasing artwork made from reused materials.

Man holding up artwork from a reused chair leg.

What are some challenges you face trying to be more Zero Waste and how do you overcome them?
My current main challenge is to separate items into the proper category, especially now with the plastics ban adding to the confusion.

How have you made the Zero Waste lifestyle easier to follow in your home, for your family, or with your neighbors?
I do like the graphic representation to make sure we are putting things in their right spot. I pick up some recycling from other places and try to check if it needs to sorted better.

What do you think is the best way to reduce the materials we use every day?
Education is vital and more of it along with visuals on containers.

From which part of your house do you get the most recyclables?
We get the most from the kitchen and most goes into the compost.

Man putting banana peel into plastic container. Man stirring a compost pile.

What do you do with non-recyclable material?
Ours is sorted into trash or recycling, mainly the plastic.

What do you look forward to the most this coming year?
Finding new and better ways to cut down on waste and education/outreach.

What are fun ways you get kids involved with Zero Waste?
When our daughter visits, we discuss how she does things where she lives compared to our process.

Tagged: Zero Waste Block Leader, recycling, Composting, reuse, Art

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About this blog

Road to Zero Waste features tips, how-to's, stories, news, and inspirational ideas on rethinking your waste. Follow our blog to learn about how you can make a difference and help Austin achieve its Zero Waste Goal by the year 2040. Together we can all help keep Austin weird, eco-friendly and beautiful.