While the average American disposes of 4.6 pounds of trash per day, many businesses and individuals are catching on to the growing "zero-waste" movement. In an effort to maximize recycling and minimize the amount of trash sent to landfills, restaurants, schools, families and even manufacturing plants, such as Honda, have embraced composting food and recycling everything from aluminum and paper to batteries and appliances.
Boulder, Colo.-based coffee wholesaler Conscious Coffees promotes sustainable practices and pays growers more than the fair trade price of $1.61 a pound. Mel Evans-Glenn, co-owner with husband Mark Evans, delivers coffee via bicycle to restaurants and Whole Foods Markets.
In his new book, "Confessions of a Radical Industrialist," Ray Anderson pushes businesses to take from the planet only that which the planet can replace. His company -- Interface, which produces modular carpets -- has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82% and fossil fuel use by 60% while increasing sales by two-thirds.
Baltimore's 1,000 Friends of Maryland is offering to push for measures that would keep farmers profitable in an effort to combat sprawl. Environmental groups often have a contentious relationship with farmers, but if farms don't make money, their owners have no incentive to stave off development.
A dog park in Ithaca, N.Y., has become a composting park for dogs' waste. People put the waste in corn-based bags available at the park and toss it into a bin that a company dumps -- and keeps separate from food-waste compost. The company, Cayuga Compost, is still figuring out what to do with the compost.