Marin County, California, situated just North of San Francisco on the San Francisco Bay, is well known for its natural beauty, its vast parks, protected coastlines, preserved farmland, and the passionate conservationists who fought for, and continue to defend, its enviable environmental assets.
Marin’s outdoorsy residents tend to be ahead of the curve on environmental issues. Take waste. Marin County currently diverts over 70% of its waste from landfills, but has legislation on the books to achieve zero waste by 2025. Even Marin will have to do some heavy lifting to reach that laudable goal. Upcoming steps include mandatory recycling for multi-family housing and businesses. Soon every household and business will be required to separate out organic waste and recyclables as a matter of course.
To help things along, Marin is also rolling out a clever public service campaign, developed by the Marin Hazardous and Solid Waste Joint Powers Authority, community members, and San Francisco ad agency, the Hive. Each month for several months, a 30 second spot will be aired on local TV. Each spot challenges Marinites to make a small change to their habits that cumulatively will substantially reduce the county’s waste. Below is one of the initial series of five PSAs (from YouTube). We admire this smart campaign. We hope it wins many followers nationwide, and renders some of our craziest habits obsolete. Check back to see more PSAs from this campaign. And by all means, follow Marin’s lead at zerowastemarin.org.
UPDATE: Some of the text in the PSA is too small to be legible in our post. The sidebar in the video compares a plastic bag in 2011 with the same bag in 2025. The two look identical. That’s because the approximate decomposition time of a single bag is 1,000 years.