How habitsofwaste.org was born…
Our founder, Sheila Morovati, sees habitual waste throughout society and creates change to protect our environment. She successfully spearheaded the ban on single-use plastic straws and cutlery in the City of Malibu. She saw the problem of single use plastics during her work as President and Founder of CrayonCollection.org, an organization that redirects would-have-been trashed crayons from restaurants into the hands of the most underserved schools in our nation.
Sheila noticed that family-friendly restaurants all over the United States were throwing away over 150 million still-good crayons per year simply due to HABIT. The crayons, made from paraffin wax, ended up in landfill where they do not decompose. Meanwhile, teachers spent over $900 a year on classroom supplies, and art programs were disappearing due to budget cuts.
It took Sheila numerous restaurants visits to find a sustainable solution to support local schools and alleviate waste. This idea later became Crayon Collection (www.crayoncollection.org), which has grown to become a tremendous success with a presence in all 50 states and 9 countries. Her idea was to redirect would-have-been-trashed crayons from restaurants and well-served communities and distribute them, along with free art education curricula, to Title 1 Schools and Head Start Centers within 5 miles of the donor.
It was during these restaurant visits that Sheila would see glasses of water arrive to each table adorned with a straw in each. She knew that these were complimentary glasses of water that no one ordered – they just came. When refusing the straw simply didn’t work, Sheila realized that an iconic beach city like Malibu would create the ripple effect that was so necessary to create change. She began by asking the Malibu City Council to screen a film called STRAWS in order to inform the community about the trouble with single-use plastics. Once everyone was aware of the problem, Sheila went back to Malibu City Council and successfully made the case for a single-use plastic straw & cutlery ban.
The number of cities and countries that followed suit was awe-inspiring.
H.o.W was the evolution of much work that had been done to alleviate habitual waste from entering landfill.
Initially, we focused our efforts around single-use plastic straws and cutlery. Changing the habits around this simple object at a restaurant can make a huge environmental impact. Now, we begin to rethink ALL of societal behavior that is ENGRAINED in our daily actions. Many are no longer visible as they are so embedded in our daily routines and norms.
To optimize our impact, we have expanded our environmental efforts into Habits of Waste (H.o.W). Just as Crayon Collection was able to convince the world that crayons are not trash, H.o.W. does the same with a myriad of habitual behaviors that result in enormous levels of waste. Our efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of a throw-away society are key to making grass-roots change.
H.o.W (habitsofwaste.org) focuses on protecting our planet via a collective societal effort of individuals making change.
Every time each of us breaks a “Habit of Waste”, we shift our society to reach what we call “eco-normal”.
Learn more and join the movement.