Workshop gives tips on living waste free

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Do you need help finding ways to reduce the amount of garbage you and your family produce? A local group held it's first waste-free living workshop.

Vermonters were taking advantage to learn how to be more sustainable. Emily Piccirillo and her husband do their best every day to limit their waste for a better earth. "It helps you feel better that you're contributing in the right direction to try to have a positive impact," Piccirillo said.

This includes growing their own food, limiting what they consider to be wasteful utilities like a dishwasher, and recycling.

Piccirillo joined the waste-free living workshop to learn how she can do a better job. "It's really hard to sort all the stuff you want to get rid of and distinguish between what's true waste versus what can be recycled versus what can be returned," she said.

Waste Free Earth is a Vermont-based waste reduction, diversion, and management group that hosted the workshop. They specialize in organizing local events to be waste-free, but on Thursday night they taught Vermonters how to integrate waste reduction practices into their day-to-day lives.

"We'll be educating the crowd on how to reduce your overall waste consumption, so switching out from single-use items," said the group's Marina McCoy. "I'll be going over what is recyclable and compostable, because many people are confused about the recycling guidelines because it's changing all the time."

She says they also teach how to do it on a busy schedule and a tight budget. "I always provide tips to people that have a busy schedule, don't have the means to buy the zero-waste gear, everything that you need to start your zero-waste journey is already out in the world and it will be super cost-effective," McCoy said.

Vermonters say the Green Mountain State is a great place to pioneer a healthy, lean, and green-way of living.

"I think we're trendsetters when it comes to anything environmental, and I think if we're in that position we should take advantage of that," said Patricia Traton, owner of the Soap Box Gallery.

To many Vermonters, Piccirillo says living sustainably is less of a choice and more of an obligation. "I can also share that information with friends and family and hopefully engage others as we all try to make a difference, I mean everybody has a responsibility," she said.

This is the first workshop the group has put on, but it's not the last. McCoy says there will be more sustainable workshops in the next few months for local residents looking to grow a little green on their thumbs.