Written by Kayley Winkelman, ESLLC 2016-2017
In 2013, over 100 million pounds of waste was collected from the National Parks of the United States. This is an astonishingly high amount of waste being produced in areas that are designated to preserve the natural beauty of the land. An initiative was started in partnership with Subaru, a popular automotive manufacturer that has been working to help protect the environment. Subaru has been producing cars for 12 years now all the while creating zero landfill waste. Subaru reworked all off their manufacturing plants in order to produce as little waste as possible. The National Park system has partnered with them in order to help learn about ways to reduce park visitor waste. Subaru agreed to share their wisdom with the parks and they have started trials in three of the most iconic parks – Denali, Grand Tetons, and Yosemite – to determine the best waste-reducing methods.
This zero waste initiative has amazing potential to help decrease the amount of waste produced not only in the National Parks, but hopefully in the State Parks as well. It is ironic that a car company is doing so much to help protect the environment, when their product is contributing to carbon gas emissions. However, I believe that it is a noble effort to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint. It would be a great step in the right for other for other car companies to follow Subaru’s example and help reduce their waste practices as well. It is about time that National Parks are starting to take significant steps into reducing their waste and addressing the waste culture in the United States. National park visitors are overjoyed that there will be more options available at state parks to help them reduce their waste practices, for most National Park visitors are concerned about environmental issues and will be thrilled with this new initiative.
“We are delighted to be able to share Subaru’s expertise with our national parks. Subaru owners are passionate national park visitors and we are very pleased that we can make a positive contribution to a resource we all treasure.” – Thomas J. Doll, president and CEO of Subaru of America, Inc.