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Schedule and Speaker Information

Friday, October 9th 2015 – University of New Hampshire

3:00 pm: Breakout Sessions
Topics to be decided on in the style of Open Space Technology. Those in attendance: speakers, conference goers, sponsor representatives and PLAN staff will weigh topics of importance to the Zero Waste Movement. Together we will choose breakout session topics, divide into groups, and move among them as they interest us. See more info on the meeting style in the link above.

5:30 pm: Dinner (Pizza, provided by the Flatbread Pizza Oven Truck!)

8:00pm: Movie Screening
Our partners at Good Point Recycling have been making strides toward changing the electronics recycling industry. An industry that has received a lot of bad press for dishonest international dumping, Good Point is working on redefining the international E-waste industry with Fair Trade Recycling. Check out the trailer of their documentary here:

Saturday, October 10th 2015 – University of New Hampshire

   8:30am – 9:00am: Registration and Breakfast

9:00am – 10:30am: Keynote, Max Liboiron

Waste: Problem Definition, Scale, and Action

Different kinds of waste occur at different scales. Household waste is different than municipal solid waste, which is different than industrial solid waste. It’s not just that these types of waste are made up of different materials, but they also have different sources, hazards, actors, economies, and so require fundamentally different kinds of intervention for change. This talk outlines how many environmental actions mismatch the problem at hand, the scale of the problem, and the mode of action meant to address the problem, and describes a framework and gives examples for better matching problem definition, scale, and actions around reducing waste. Max Liboiron is an Assistant Professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research and activism focus on how harmful, usually invisible, emerging phenomena such as disasters, toxicants, and marine plastics become manifest in science and advocacy, and how these methods of representation relate to action. Liboiron is the managing author of the Discard Studies Blog, a public forum for audiences interested in waste and pollution. She is also the founder of Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), which supports citizen science projects for environmental monitoring. Prior to her current position, Liboiron redesigned New York University’s Green Grants program into one of the most successful campus greening initiatives in the country.

  10:30am – 11:00am: Networking break

11:00am – 12:00pm: The Global Waste Crisis Plenary
  • Food Waste presented by Sonya Buglion Gluck from UVM
  • The Hijacking of Zero Waste presented by Mike Ewall from the Energy Justice Network
  • Plastic Pollution and Toxicity in the Oceans presented by Lia Colabello from the 5 Gyres Institute
  • Living with Landfills presented by Ed Spencer from Justice for the River
  • Planned Obsolescence and Consumption Culture presented by Shana DeClercq from The Story of Stuff Project
  • Environmental Justice presented by Amira Odeh

  12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm – 2:30pm: Skill Building Workshops

Energy Justice: Coupling Your Zero Waste Work with Front-line Struggles

Presented by Mike Ewall (Energy Justice Network): This interactive workshop will be a discussion on how to connect campus-based zero waste work with the communities impacted by the waste that is “disposed” of when it’s sent “away.” We’ll talk about how to find these communities and local activists, how to best work with them, and how to use their stories to compel changes on campus.

Creating Campaigns: Aligning goals, objectives, strategies and tactics

Presented by Max Liboiron (Memorial University): This workshop uses an environmental communication framework developed by Robert Cox that breaks down the basic elements of an advocacy campaign into goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. Whether the campaign is for public education, to influence environmental legislation, community organizing, boycotts, or direct action protests, the act of persuading in support of concrete action or change—advocacy—includes these four elements. One of the challenges for advocates is ensuring these four elements align so that audiences and actions can be coordinated to move people and infrastructure towards larger goals. We will collectively workshop actual campaigns participants are involved in, but having a campaign in mind is not a prerequisite for participation. We will cover the general framework described above, then break out into groups to workshop a campaign. Groups will then report back to the larger group with their ideas, areas of struggle, and insights. We will then summarize best practices and lessons learned.

Big Ideas, Quick Pitch: Communicating Climate Change and Zero Waste

Presented by Chris Kane (PLAN) and McKenzie St. Germain (NextGen): There are more reasons than we can count for why people should be joining the Zero Waste and climate movements, but how do we effectively present them? This workshop will cover the skills of communicating the urgency and complexity of climate change, its effects on vulnerable communities, and zero waste as an innovative solution through tabling and “elevator pitches” before your audience can walk away. We’ll work together to build quick and effective talking points that you can bring back to campus to strengthen your campaign.

Engaging Stakeholders

Presented by Robin Miller (Clark) and Jenny Isler (Clark): Real organizational change is hard, and even harder within an institutional context – especially when students have only a few years to invest in the process. By creating a strong cross-sector network of stakeholders, lasting change has a much greater success rate. This workshop will provide the tools necessary for change-makers to identify and engage a diverse array of stakeholders to support the entire life-cycle of a change management process. Topics will include finding and cultivating allies in both expected and unexpected places; assessing power players and negotiating their support; turning objections into opportunities; designing effective communications to engage all decision-making levels; bringing everyone to the table as fully invested stakeholders and developing collaborative, shared ownership for long-term success. The presenters have experience changing an entire campus culture to zero waste by creating an environment rich in motivated stakeholders.

Do the Math: How do Campuses Measure Waste?

Presented by Erica Spiegel (UVM): This workshop will address data and metrics related to solid waste management programs. What’s the difference between weight and volume measures? What is the density of materials? Where does this data come from, what does it mean and how does it impact disposal costs for your campus? In this workshop, we’ll use scenarios and do simple calculations to explain recycling rates, waste diversion rates and discuss what measures are the most meaningful to track for achieving zero-waste goals.

“You’re a wizard, Harry.” Storytelling to Change the World

J.K. Rowling created Harry Potter. Harry Potter saved Dobby. The Harry Potter Alliance stopped slavery in the chocolate business. Stories have the power to bring people together, rally people to a cause, spark people to action, and create powerful movements. Join The Story of Stuff Project’s Shana DeClercq in exploring how the hero’s journey can be leveraged in your work. Because finding heroes and sending them on their quests isn’t just a way to get our organizations’ work done. It’s how we win, repeat our victories, spread the word, scale up, and ultimately, change the world.

The People Side of Project Implementation

Presented by Jen Jones (College of Charleston): This session hopes to spark a discussion with students about the little known side of project implementation: the people and relationships that you will need to build to be successful. I will overview the importance of building social capital, discuss how knowledge of organizational structure and culture can help your project move forward, and review “types of people” you may run into and give some advice for how to work with them. We will also complete some exercises that will help attendees understand certain traits about themselves so they can best utilize their skills to navigate the tricky field of human interactions. It is rare for this topic to be discussed with students when teaching them how to manage and implement projects, however it is a crucial piece to success.

One Weird Trick to Guarantee Your Student Group Will Still Be Around in 10 Years

Presented by Collin Rees (SustainUS): Does it seem likely that you’ll achieve the zero waste dream in only a couple years? If it takes longer, you’ll need to build an organization to outlast your time at school, and train up new leaders. In this workshop, you’ll learn to build a powerful, nimble student group that empowers new members and sustains itself over many generations. We’ll talk recruitment, training, leadership transitions, long-term planning, and more. Come find out how to build for the long haul and ensure continued work for a zero-waste world.  

Looking Beyond Free Pizza and T-shirts: How to Build & Maintain Your Volunteers

Presented by Ericka Canales (Surfrider) and Mae Henry (Surfrider): This Volunteer Recruitment and Management Skills Workshop is for student leaders and leadership teams who need “all hands on deck” and are looking for better ways to find and keep them coming back.  Learn how to reach out to different areas of campus, manage and maintain contacts throughout the years of leadership turnover, assign tasks efficiently and of course have fun. 

Grantwriting 101

Presenter: Alex Freid Description: TBA

Finding Your Rhythm:   Creating and Sustaining Balance as You Save and Savor Life

Presented by Mary Westfall: Do you make lists?  Is your schedule so full you sometimes wish for more hours in a day?  Are there things you enjoy that sometimes get pushed to a later time?  Do you or someone you know struggle to find a healthy balance, mind, body, spirit?  Does “burn-out” seem inevitable? During this interactive session we will explore the joys and limits of a busy life.  Are there ways to work with great energy for the things that matter to us most, while also creating a life-rhythm that supports rest and play, personal well-being and healthy relationships, open space for discovery and surprise?  Come with your questions and insights, your struggles and successes as, together, we explore what it might mean for you to find your rhythm and achieve balance.

Creating and Strengthening New Sustainability Programs on Your Campus

Presented by Nick Giordano (RIT): The toughest part of creating a new program on your campus is taking the first steps! Come and discuss the key component to starting your initiative- creating the plan. We’ll talk strategies, volunteers, finances, getting space to use, and effective marketing that will help your program succeed and thrive!

The Art of Communication: A Hands-On Create it Now Workshop ~ Guerrilla Style

Presented by Dianna Cohen (PPC): Your Challenge is to take the media at your fingertips and turn it into strategic messaging for campus advocacy. Throughout history, the Arts have been used as a communication platform to express all levels of advocacy from the personal to the political. Bring your ideas and craft them into messaging that will jump start your campus campaign. We encourage all forms – video, art, music, radio, social media, writing, dance, cartooning, graphic design, and mime. Please bring the materials that you will need to help realize your idea, anything from crayons, pens and computers to cell phones, guitars and other musical instruments!

  2:30pm – 2:45pm: Networking Break

2:45pm – 3:30pm: Solutions Plenaries

Zero Waste Lifestyle

  • Living Zero Waste and How to Encourage Your Community presented by Christin Walth from Toward Zero Waste Communities
  • Freeganism and Frugality presented by Sonya Buglion Gluck from UVM
  • Shrink your trash for good! Simple Ways to Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle presented by Andrea Sanders from Be Zero
  • Buying in Bulk and Gleaning presented by TBA
  • TBA presented by TBA from Whole Foods

Recycling Industry

  • Recycling and Economic Development presented by Neil Seldman from the Institute for Local Self Reliance 
  • After Market Markets presented by Alex Freid from PLAN
  • Styrofoam Recycling presented by Barbara Sherman from ReFoamit
  • E-Waste presented by Robin Ingenthron from Goodpoint Recycling

  3:30pm – 3:45pm: Networking Break/Transition

3:45 – 4:30pm: Solutions Plenaries

Campus Wide Zero Waste

  • Collaboration in Zero Waste Initiatives presented by Mason Towne and Max Weyrick from University of Georgia
  • Campus Compost presented by Kristen Jamieson from University of Hawaii
  • Food Service Solutions by Nicole Tocco from Bon Appétit 
  • Campus Wide Reuse presented by Ruth Davis from MIT
  • End Campus Food Waste and Community Hunger presented by Stephen Demarais from Food Recovery Network
  • Waste Solutions for Athletics by Justin DuRant and Austin Sutherland from University of South Carolina

Rethink and Redesign for Profit

  • Precycling presented by Ben Bowers from Timberland
  • The hazards of Polystyrene and Plastic in the Disposable Food Service Industry presented by Juliette from World Centric 
  • TBA presented by Mike Mooney from Hammer & Saw Films, Carlson Management Consulting

  4:30pm – 5:00pm: Networking Break

5:00pm – 6:30pm: Action and Implementation Workshops

Bags, Bottles, and Beads – Oh My! Going Plastic-Free on Campus and Off

Presented by Suzy Whalen (Product Stewardship Institute), Dianna Cohen (Plastic Pollution Coalition), Lia Colabello (The 5 Gyres Institute), Shana DeClercq (The Story of Stuff Project), and Candace Gregg (The 5 Gyres Institute)The problem with single-use disposable plastic is real. And so are the solutions!  In this hands-on interactive session, we’ll look at real-life campaigns that have taken on plastic bags, bottled water, and plastic microbeads – and won! You work with the teams from the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the Product Policy Institute, the Story of Stuff, and 5 Gyres to craft your own campaign strategy and get your campus ready to go plastic-free.

Running a Campus Thrift Store

Presented by Madilyn Jacobsen and Stanley Austin from The Clark Thrift Store: Learn about how students from Clark University started and continue to operate a campus thrift store! We will talk about staffing, inventory management, marketing & promotions, volunteers, day to day operations, and take questions from the audience.

Creating and Maintaining a Dynamic Student Internship Program

Presented by Ashlyn Hochschild (College of Charleston): This presentation will specifically help attendees looking to establish a student internship program in an institutional setting, specifically using the four year program at the College of Charleston. Harnessing student interest and energy can be the key to creating a more sustainable campus; however developing programming that maintains this enthusiasm while providing experience can be difficult to establish. As interest in sustainability has grown, the College’s Office of Sustainability has continuous altered, tweaked, and introduced new programming to develop a comprehensive internship experience for interns. This internship program has proven successful in giving students real world experience implementing solutions on campus while also providing a space for professional and personal development. With a relatively small full time staff and limited funding, this presentation will show how to establish a successful internship at any level that provides benefits to the office, campus, and student staff.

Creating Compost Culture on Campus

Presented by Sedona Stewart (Clark), Kirsti Carr (UVM), and Fatima Zavala Ruiz (Clark): Clark University and University of Vermont are very different colleges, but both have the goal of creating a zero-waste culture through composting on campus. In our workshop we will address the small and large obstacles that are necessary to overcome when broadening initiatives on campus to make composting second nature to students and faculty alike. Our goal is to facilitate a collaborative workshop in which people will share their experiences, successes, questions, and advice. By working together in small groups we will help each other to brainstorm the best ways to implement, expand, and naturalize compost culture on our respective campuses. We will also focus on key ideas such as commercial composting, implementing reusable tupperware and utensil programs, and other ways to cut down consumption on campuses. This workshop will also serve as an opportunity to network and hopefully find resources through other college students in order to further your efforts of spreading the compost culture throughout your college campus.

It Takes Two to Tango: ensuring that compost and recycle bins are used to their fullest potential

Presented by Jackson Vanfleet Brown (Carleton College), Audrey Lothspeich (Carleton College),  Andrew Woosnam (Carleton College): How can you identify what specific aspects of your composting or recycling system are confusing? How do size, shape, color, and location of waste receptacles influence the way we interact with them? Using blueprints and quantitative data from Carleton College, we will sketch out the ideal waste bins and discuss how to implement them in a way that solves some of the most common problems facing this kind of a system.

Developing Zero Waste Event Programs

Presented by Kate Blyth (Ohio University) and Jen Jones (College of Charleston)Events are a vital and regular occurrence on college campuses yet contribute to a significant portion of the institution’s waste profile. Our workshop will review how we have established infrastructure and programing to support Zero Waste events at Ohio University and the College of Charleston and will review how to establish it on your campus. Ample time will be provided to ask questions and troubleshoot existing problems.

Zero Waste Entrepreneurship: Student Obstacles & Opportunities

AKA: Starting a really friggin’ cool organization in the flurry of such a hectic schedule that you think you might just fail all of your classes… or drop out. Presented by Tessa Rosenberry (NYU) and Davis Saltonstall (NYU): Two self-defined waste nerds, Tessa and Davis, started their own waste-oriented organization, Return Recycling, last year. In this workshop they want to create a space to share and discuss obstacles and opportunities that students see in zero waste entrepreneurship. After a brief conversation on their own experiences in the worlds of waste and starting-up, they’ll open the floor to discussion on the complexity of turning ideas into organizations. Along the way they’ll introduce a handful of tools they found useful in “The Lean Startup” (ie. The Business Model Canvass) and how they can help you ground the development of your own organization without completely losing your mind. #shareideas #brainstormin’ #thisisthebestworkshop

How to End Campus Food Waste and Community Hunger

Presented by Samantha Cottone (University of New England) and Levi Saavedra (UNC at Greensboro): The workshop will start with the presenters giving a brief background on the issues of food waste and hunger in America and explain FRN’s mission. The students will then walk the participants through the steps to setting up an FRN chapter and tell them a bit about their experiences in setting up and running a chapter. They would then do a breakout session where participants talked about their experiences with food waste on their campuses and brain stormed ways to combat it, while the presenters talked with different groups and gave feedback, culminating in a group conversation about what each breakout group had come up with.

ABCs of Waste: How to collect data and interest on campus

Presented by Lisa Bjerke (COA), Brenna George (UW-Madison), Brian Keenan (UW-Madison), Breana Nehls (UW-Madison), Marie Faust (UW-Madison): This hands-on workshop will give you the tools and inspiration to turn a trash audit into a catalyst for change on your campus. Far more than picking through trash and compiling spreadsheets, audits are valuable tools for gathering qualitative and quantitative data about what we discard and why. We will cover the ins and outs of planning, implementing, and assessing a trash audit to inspire new strategies for waste reduction. First, we will demonstrate different auditing techniques through a live audit. Next, we will discuss how to use the results to increase diversion rates and awareness. Strategies include improves signage, bin changes, rubbish reports, and trash talks. Bring questions and experiences to add to the conversation!

Collaborative Troubleshooting for Implementing, Sustaining, and Improving Recycling/Composting Programs in Communities that do not Prioritize Sustainability

Presented by Matt DeCapo (Kansas State University): In this workshop, we share our experiences dealing with communities where very few others share our passion for proper waste management.  Participants will write down issues / successes with their programs and cultural barriers that are unique to their specific location.  For example, in some places in the Midwest United States, the relatively cheap cost of landfilling and lack of knowledge about what happens to our waste when it is picked up discourages the efforts to separate and beneficially deal with all waste.  For international projects, there can be very unique barriers that must be overcome to reduce the pollution associated with improper waste disposal.  All participants will learn more about the common barriers we all face in trying to improve waste management as well which obstacle they face are specific to their location.  We will emphasize how to overcome these obstacles through building communities able to use their diverse talents to make lasting change.

Getting from Zero to Zero: Starting a Zero Waste Student Group

Presented by Sara Velander (COA), Katie Tyler (Mount Holyoke), Maya Critchfield (COA) and Matthew Kennedy (COA): Learn how to start a successful zero waste group on a college campus. We hope that attendees will walk away with new connections and tools to effectively start a zero waste group with specific ideas of activities, meeting structures, and group management.

  7:00pm: Dinner!

About the Presenters

Stanley Austin

Clark University ’16

 Stanley is a senior at Clark University majoring in Asian Studies and has been involved with the campus thrift store since his freshman year as a volunteer, eventually being promoted to a sales associate position. He has just returned from a 9-month term abroad in Japan.

Kirsti Carr

University of Vermont ’18

Kirsti is a sophomore student at the University of Vermont and hails originally from Connecticut. She is majoring in Wildlife Biology in the Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources at UVM. She is an active member of the Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection Club on campus (called VSTEP) and is very passionate about spreading knowledge about the benefits of composting and waste reduction to all walks of life. In her free time she loves spending outside gardening, hiking and camping.

Samantha Cottone

Samantha Cottone

University of New England, Biddeford ’16

Samantha Cottone is an undergraduate senior at University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. She is majoring in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies with minors in Nutrition and Mental Health Rehabilitation. In February 2015, Sam co-founded a chapter of the national program, Food Network, at UNE.  Sam has recently developed a new club called “UNE Hunger Initiative” that encompasses FRN, on-campus community gardens, educational opportunities, and volunteer activities surrounding the issues of hunger and food insecurity in the US.


Shana DeClercq

Story of Stuff Project

True, well-told stories. Compelling images. Insightful research. And the tech platforms that allow people from all over the globe to come together. As Community Engagement Manager at The Story of Stuff Project, Shana uses these tools to reach 1.5 million people a week – and welcome them to a movement of individuals who are concerned about our problem with Stuff. Shana ignites the spark of everyday heroes and creates a pathway for them to journey from sidelined observers to active, passionate changemakers.

Marie Faust

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Marie is a fifth-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Environmental Studies, Biological Aspects of Conservation, and Modern European History.  She is an intern at the Office of Sustainability focusing on waste systems and trash audits.

Sonya Buglion Gluck

University of Vermont ’18

Sonya is a Vermonter with a passion for waste management, outdoor education and social justice. She is currently a sophomore studying Resource Ecology at the University of Vermont where she is also a Resident Adviser and an active member of Vermont Students Towards Environmental Protection.

Robin Inglethron

Goodpoint Recycling

Jen Jones

College of Charleston Office of Sustainability

Jen is the Sustainability Facilities Coordinator at the College of Charleston, where she received her masters of science in Environmental Studies.  She is a certified South Carolina Recycling Professional and for the past 3 years she has been working on getting the College to Zero Waste by 2025.

Max Liboiron

Discard Studies Blog, Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Max Liboiron is an Assistant Professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research and activism focus on how harmful, usually invisible, emerging phenomena such as disasters, toxicants, and marine plastics become manifest in science and advocacy, and how these methods of representation relate to action. Liboiron is the managing author of the Discard Studies Blog, a public forum for audiences interested in waste and pollution. She is also the founder of Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), which supports citizen science projects for environmental monitoring. Prior to her current position, Liboiron redesigned New York University’s Green Grants program into one of the most successful campus greening initiatives in the country.

Collin Rees


A climate justice and human rights activist, Collin works to transition from an exploitative economy based on extraction to a world that works for all. He specializes in communications, strategy, cross-movement partnerships, and direct action, and works on divestment, tar sands and fracking resistance, and new economics. Collin consults with many groups organizing for climate and economic transformation, including, Oil Change International, Energy Action Coalition, and Divest Harvard. In his spare time he helps run SustainUS, an organization working to train and empower young people to address systemic challenges in domestic and international politics.

Davis Saltonstall

New York University ’16

Davis Saltonstall is a senior at NYU double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. Over the past 3 years he’s served in various positions with EarthMatters, the school’s largest environmental student organization, worked as a Recycling Coordinator, interned the North East Clean Energy Council’s accelerator for cleantech startups, and co-founded Return Recycling. He was a 2014 Spark Clean Energy Fellow and a 2015 Udall Scholar.  

Ed Spencer

Justice for the River

Ed Spencer graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Religious Studies. He currently practices low-impact sustainable logging in West Old Town, Maine. In 2003, proposed expansion of the Juniper Ridge Landfill threatened his home so he added his voice to those in opposition to this state owned landfill. Since that time he has worked to bring transparency to waste realities in his home and beyond.

Austin Sutherland

University of South Carolina ’17

Austin is a Junior at the University of South Carolina studying Environmental Science. He is an intern at Sustainable Carolina where he focuses on zero waste and career development. He also promotes sustainability and recycling initiatives at the local university campuses in his home community of Hilton Head, SC.

Jackson Vanfleet Brown

Carleton College ’15

Jackson is interested in all that we can learn about ourselves, and the people in our community, by examining the things we throw away. He started the waste monitoring project at Carleton College to confront the stigma against interacting with and handling waste, and increase the accountability of the students, faculty, and staff who rely on Carleton’s waste system.

Max Weyrick

University of Georgia ’17

Max Weyrick is a 3rd year Environmental Economics & Management major. He is one of the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability’s Zero Waste Interns, focussing on recycling, composting, and material reuse projects both on campus and with the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division.

Lisa Bjerke

College of the Atlantic

Lisa Bjerke is working on changing people’s relationships to waste. As a master’s student at College of the Atlantic, she manages the school’s discarded resources while she studies human conceptions of waste.  Her passion for compost and other processes to reuse discarded resources has taken her around the world and back to Maine. She tries to understand how and why we see physical materials as something to toss or keep, the impact of our habits of discarding, and how to move beyond waste management. Lisa is from Sweden, and holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. In 2014, Lisa was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and visited Germany, India, China, and Japan to explore people’s relationships to compost and discarded organic materials.

Faye Christoforo

Post-Landfill Action Network

 Faye is Co-Director and Campus Coordinator at PLAN. She studied Sociology and Anthropology at Earlham College, where she was the founder of the EC Free Store and a leader in her school’s Responsible Energy Investment Campaign. Faye studied abroad in India, Tanzania, New Zealand, Guatemala and Mexico, where she researched waste management systems.

Ruth Davis

MIT Recycling and Materials Management Office

After spending her career as a manager in the communications field, Ruth Davis created the MIT Recycling and Materials Management Office in 2014. As manager of the office, she is able to blend her writing and publishing experience with her passion for preserving the environment. Ruth grew up on the beaches in South Boston and now spends as much time as possible in her Maine home where she is creating a bird sanctuary in her backyard.

Stephen Demarais

Food Recovery Network

Stephen is the Director of Expansion of Food Recovery Network (FRN). FRN unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses, and the surrounding community, and donating it to places that serve people in need. As the largest student-led hunger-fighting organization in America they have 150 chapters in 36 states and the District of Columbia, and donated over 800,000 pounds of food to date.

Alex Freid

Post-Landfill Action Network

Founder and Director of PLAN, Alex is an activist and organizer who has been working to end waste since high school. Alex was a co-founder of UNH Trash 2 Treasure and has received the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, the Udall Scholarship, and the Brower Youth Award for his work against waste.

Candace Gregg


Candace Gregg is a senior at UCLA studying anthropology. She is an intern with 5 Gyres and has worked to ban microbeads on the UCLA campus.

Jenny Isler

Clark University Sustainability Director

Jenny Isler is Director of Sustainability at Clark University. Back at the dawn of time while still in high school, Jenny started a recycling center: one of the first in New England. Then she helped to start the first (as far as we know) feminist-political-vegan-restaurant food co-op. A little while later after travelling the globe for 3 years, she started an organic CSA: it was one of the first 15 in the USA; followed by a community garden collaborative with 42 gardens in it. Now at Clark, Jenny works to integrate deep sustainability into institutional systems and has the honor of collaborating with inspiring students, faculty and community members to make real and lasting change happen.

Chris Kane

Post-Landfill Action Network

Chris is one of PLAN’s Campus Coordinators, as well as Director of Resource Development. He studied Environmental Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, with a focus on the implications of extractive industries in regards to Indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. While earning his degree, he worked on implementation, education, and outreach of waste management programs with the campus Sustainability Office, in efforts to reach the UC system-wide mandate of Zero Waste by 2020.

Audrey Lothspeich

Carleton College ’17

Audrey is interested in conservation, especially how conservation can be integrated into the larger part of human activities not traditionally thought of as “conservationist.” Human activities encompass a lot of things, including garbage! By working with the Carleton waste monitors, Audrey hopes to minimize the impact of human waste (and find some cool stuff).

Tessa Rosenberry

New York University ’16

Tessa Rosenberry is a senior at NYU majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Spanish, Studio Art and Cinema Studies. She works as NYU’s Office of Sustainability’s Student Engagement Coordinator, as well as helps to run the NYU chapter of Sprout Up. In recent years, she has worked as an environmental educator for GrowNYC, as a National Park Ranger Wannabe (intern) for Cape Cod National Seashore, and as a co-founder of Return Recycling (!).


Andrea Sanders

Be Zero

Andrea lives in Boulder, Colorado and is the founder & eco-educator of Be Zero, a mission to educate and share simple, sustainable, and zero-waste living techniques to individuals, families, and communities. Andrea has been teaching public conservation education programs within the marine and zoological fields since she was 14 years old. Her passion is making everyday eco-living easy, accessible, time and money-saving, and fun! You can learn more about her zero waste mission at

Erica Spiegel

Assistant Director of Physical Plant, University of Vermont

Erica Spiegel is the Assistant to the Director of Physical Plant at the University of Vermont. She has over 20 years of experience managing solid waste, recycling and organics collection programs in higher education facilities. Prior to her work at UVM, she spent 10 years in Michigan serving as a municipal recycling coordinator, a County Extension office agent, and a solid waste planning consultant.  She received an M.S. in Natural Resources Policy from the University of Michigan in 1989, and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Vermont in 2007.


Nicole A. Tocco

Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation

Nicole works for the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, the nonprofit arm of sustainable food service pioneer Bon Appétit Management Company. In her role, Nicole does research to inform and implement Bon Appétit’s groundbreaking social and environmental commitments, most recently spearheading development of the company’s Low Carbon Lifestyle program, waste prevention and reduction programs, and support of farmworkers’ rights through the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI). Nicole has a Bachelor of Business Administration from UMass Amherst and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. Before joining Bon Appétit in 2011, Nicole worked for the international conservation organization Rainforest Alliance, and did projects with the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, World Wildlife Fund and Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sara Velander

College of the Atlantic ’17

Sara is a junior at College of the Atlantic, class of 2017, and is majoring in human ecology with a focus on anthropology, earth sciences and environmental studies. After attending the zero waste conference last year and getting involved in the college’s first campus-wide waste audit, she became part of the first zero waste club at College of the Atlantic that aims to spread awareness on current human conceptions of waste and their social, environmental and economic impact through education, knowledge-sharing, community projects, and social activism.

Kate Blyth

Ohio University ’17

Kate Blyth is the Student Zero Waste Coordinator at Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio. Her main focus is on Green Event programming and implementation across campus, but she also works with the implementation of campus-wide Zero Waste projects and community and university partnerships. Kate is in her third year at OU studying Environmental Geography and Spanish.

Dianna Cohen

Plastic Pollution Coalition

Los Angeles based visual artist Dianna Cohen is the CEO & co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition. Having shown her work internationally at galleries, foundations and museums, Cohen uses plastic in her artwork to make a visual and social impact. With plastic bags as her primary material for the past 25 years, Cohen is interested in exploring its materiality through modifications and the material’s relationship to culture, media, toxicity, and the world at large and shared this in her TED talk. Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment.

Juliette Deal

World Centric

Juliette has been passionate about packaging since she was a teenager. While living in the Bahamas she was made increasingly aware of the issue of waste on the islands. She founded the Out Island Eco Company and began providing an alternative to Styrofoam™ in the form of World Centric products. Juliette has written for EcoBahamas addressing the specific needs surrounding waste diversion in the Caribbean and how compostables provide both a sustainable and economic solution.

Justin DuRant

University of South Carolina ’17

Justin works with EcoReps, serving as treasurer, and Sustainable Carolina, leading a team of interns who work on various projects to reduce waste across campus. He also manages the Tailgate Recycling program for football games, all while working on one degree in biology and another in music.

Brenna George

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brenna is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Environmental Studies and Operations and Technology Management.  She is the Student Leader at the Office of Sustainability focusing on recycling systems and student engagement.

Mae Henry

Stony Brook University

Mae Henry is a master’s student at Stony Brook University where she is studying Marine Conservation and Policy. She has received her bachelors in Marine Biology with a concentration in conservation from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also represented the university’s Surfrider Club for three years. Mae has previously worked for Soil and Water Conservation, Fish and Wildlife and non-profits such as Five Gyres, and looks forward to her future career in marine conservation.

Madilyn Jacobsen

Clark University ’17

Madilyn is a junior at Clark University, studying Geography with a concentration in Urban Development and Social Change. Since Fall 2014, she has been the Social Media and Marketing coordinator at the Community Thrift Store. This summer her internship with the Community Development and Planning Division in her hometown, Claremont, CA, heightened her interest in sustainable urban planning.

Brian Keenan

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brian is a 3rd year Environmental Studies and Economics major. He is one of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Sustainability interns, focusing on recycling systems and operations.

Robin Miller

Clark University

Robin Miller is the Graduate Assistant for Sustainable Clark at Clark University. Robin is pursuing a three-year dual master’s degree, and will be receiving both a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Environmental Science and Policy in 2016. Her interest and internships have lately been in the field of sustainable investments, including divestment; Robin has worked for prestigious Boston non-profits and financial services firms. Prior to attending Clark, Robin managed food service at a large summer camp and was an environmental educator with SCA. While attending Eastern Mich University, Robin was a student Eco Reps leader and spearheaded a collaborative community storm water mitigation initiative.

Fatima Zavala Ruiz

Clark University

My name is Fatima Zavala Ruiz, and I attend Clark University. I am currently majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. I have been part of Clark Composts for the past two years and have been extremely involved with spreading compost around campus. I am originally from San Francisco, in which compost is mandatory for houses and schools and that is where my desire to spread compost in my community grew.

Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Neil Seldman is co-founder and President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). ILSR was founded in 1974 as a community development organization in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC and now additional has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Portland, ME. He is senior staff to the Waste to Wealth Initiative at ILSR, directed by Brenda Platt. Seldman specializes in starting, expanding and attract recycling, composting and reuse businesses to add value to materials recovered from the discard stream, resulting in good jobs, small businesses and an expanded tax base result. Most recently, Seldman has been appointed as a director to Greys Paper Company, Kansas City, KN which plans to build small scale recycled high grade paper manufacturing plants in US cities and counties.

Sedona Steward

Clark University ’17

Hello! My name is Sedona Stewart and I am a Junior at Clark University. I became interested in sustainability during high school when I was involved in introducing composting into the cafeteria. At Clark I am involved in Clark Compost, an initiative to have composting available throughout the entire campus. Since my Freshman year we have been able to expand composting to nearly all the residence halls and the Academic Commons. As I finish my time at Clark I hope to continue to spread a culture of zero-waste at my school and in my community.

Mason Towe

University of Georgia ’16

Mason Towe is a 4th year Economics and Sociology double major. He is one of the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability’s Zero Waste Interns, focussing on recycling, composting, and material reuse projects both on campus and with the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division.

Christin Walth

Toward Zero Waste Communities

After years of living in Sweden, Christin Walth returned to the US and had repatriation shock regarding the amount of waste generated in households. She went Zero Waste in January 2011 and has been perfecting the lifestyle ever since through Refusal/Reduction/Repurposing – and then involving her community to develop new waste diversion streams and incentives to help friends and neighbors.

Suzy Whalen

Product Stewardship Institute

As the Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), Suzy maintains all outgoing communications and marketing while supporting and assisting staff in technical and policy-related projects. She also serves as the primary liaison between PSI’s members and partners, nurturing and consistently improving these relationships. She comes from an e-commerce background at an online retailer, where she acted as the primary content creator and community manager. With a degree in English and Environmental Studies from Boston College, Suzy is equally passionate about writing, editing, sustainability and all things eco-friendly. Outside of work, Suzy enjoys exploring new restaurants, going on long runs, trying new craft beers and cooking veggie-packed meals.

Ericka Canales

Surfrider Foundation

Ericka Canales is the Youth Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. She holds an MA in Environmental Planning & Policy from Towson University and has an extensive background in environmental campaigning, grassroots organizing, cause marketing and grant writing. Previous to Surfrider, Ericka worked as an environmental consultant in New York City, Federal Emergency Management Agency in Boston, CT Department of Environmental Protection, and is published with Eastern Surf Magazine, Shallow Water Angler and Florida Sportsman Magazine.

Lia Colabello

5 Gyres

Lia grew up surfing in the pristine waters off the North Shore of O’ahu in Hawai’i. She attended Punahou School before leaving the island for the University of Southern California, where she earned degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Anthropology. Prior to joining 5 Gyres, Lia managed global chapters and initiatives for the Surfrider Foundation and business development for SecondWave Recycling. She lives in Charleston, SC and enjoys paddle boarding and copious amounts of beach time with her husband and son.

Matt Decapo

Matt Decapo

Kansas State University

Matt is a master’s student in Geography at Kansas State University, where he also received his undergraduate in Physics and Environmental Sciences.  Matt has been active with Students for Environmental Action and Student Farm Club, which have given him the opportunity to apply his knowledge to addressing environmental and social issues in the community. In 2013-2014, Matt was fortunate to be able to study abroad at the University of Ghana and implement a compost project and biodiverse rain garden on the campus.  He has recently been trying to institutionalize food recovery and redistribution, improved waste separation, composting, and urban gardening at Kansas State University.


Mike Ewall

Energy Justice Network

Mike Ewall is the founder and director of Energy Justice Network, a national support network for grassroots community groups fighting dirty energy and waste industry facilities, leading to stopping many incinerators, power plants, and some landfills.  He wrote the zero waste hierarchy that Oakland, CA and the Zero Waste International Alliance used as a basis for their zero waste hierarchies, and helped pass zero waste laws in Washington, DC.  Active since high school in 1990, Mike has been a leader in the student environmental movement, working with the national Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), and in 2004, was a founding member of Energy Action Coalition, host of the PowerShift conferences.

Nick Giordano

Rochester Institute of Technology

Nick Giordano is a 5th year Management Information Systems/Political Science double major at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is deeply involved with sustainability initiatives around campus. He is the founder and program manager of RIT’s move-out collection program Goodbye, Goodbuy!, and currently serves as the President of the RIT Student Government. In his sparingly spare time, he enjoys bicycling, singing and theatre.

Ashlyn Hochschild

College of Charleston Office of Sustainability

Ashlyn Hochschild has worked with the College of Charleston’s Office of Sustainability since 2011. As the Internship & Student Coordinator, she manages the Office’s internship program as well as coordinates all events and collaborations with on and off campus organizations working directly with students. Ashlyn also works with the College of Charleston’s Dining Services to increase local and sustainable food purchasing for the campus.

Kristen Jamieson

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Kristen is currently studying Natural Resources, Tropical Plants and Soil Sciences at the University of Hawaii in addition to being the current Student Sustainability Coordinator. After getting used to composting in the cafeteria throughout her schooling in Washington, she was disappointed to see the lack of post-consumer food waste recycling on the island. So she decided to make a change. Since then, she has devoted herself to student-led initiatives in sustainability, including a pilot composting system in Faculty Housing.


Matt Kennedy

College of the Atlantic

Breana Nehls

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bre is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Geography and Environmental Studies.  She is an intern at the Office of Sustainability focusing on student engagement and operations.

Levi Saavedra

University of North Carolina

Levi is a Junior at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. He leads the UNCG chapter of Food Recovery Network and he aims to collaborate with the UNCG Office of Sustainability, undergraduate Nutrition Club and Dining Services on Project Clean Plate to ensure that students become aware of how much food is going to waste on campus.

Barbara Sherman from ReFoamIt

Barbara Sherman

ReFoamIt LLC

Barbara Sherman is the co-owner of ReFoamIt, LLC with her husband, David. Their company is one of the few in MA that densifies foam, which is the first step in its journey into new products such as picture frames, clipboards and rulers. Barbara received her teaching degree from Western New England College and Masters Degree in Human Service Administration from Antioch New England and works hard to let the public know that foam is recyclable.

McKenzie St. Germain

NextGen Climate

McKenzie is a community organizer with NextGen Climate, working to highlight the voices of granite staters as they demand climate action from our elected officials. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT in May, 2015, where she spent time fighting for campus divestment and connecting students working on climate justice across the state through the Vermont Student Climate Coalition. She’s always excited to meet and talk with people who are working on the many important aspects of the climate movement.

Katie Tyler

Mount Holyoke ’17

Katie is studying Mathematics and Economics and working towards a certificate in sustainability at Mount Holyoke College, class of 2017, where she is also a member of the varsity swim team.  She is a part of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign with the goal of a bottled-water-free campus.  Katie also is in the process of starting a Zero Waste Org at MHC.

Mary Westfall

The Rev. Dr. Mary Westfall knows about the joys and limits of a busy life.  Her work as a university chaplain, local pastor, activist and educator puts her at the epicenter of the challenge to “save or savor” life.   Her work increasingly seeks to engage environmental activism with authentic spiritual practice.  Along with her partner, she lives in Lee, NH.  Her two adult children live in Peru and Colorado. . . moving to their own rhythms!

Andrew Woosnam

Carleton College ’18

Andrew is simultaneously disappointed and fascinated by the concept of trash waste. He aims to help redefine our current misconceptions about waste and the treatment of waste in hopes that one day we’ll agree to replace our dumpsters with compost heaps, our manufacturing plants with edible plants, and our landfills with native marshes, grasslands, and forests.

Presented by:

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Founding Sponsor:

Promotional Partners:
Plastic Pollution Coalition
The Story of Stuff Project
Product Stewardship Institute
5 Gyres Institute
Food Recovery Network
Surfrider foundation
Copper Sponsors:
Klean Kanteen
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Aluminum Sponsors:
Preserve Products
U Konserve
Badger Balm
Glass Sponsors:
Planet Aid
Eco Lunchbox
Greener Grads
Campus Wall

University Sponsors:

Food Sponsors:
White Heron Tea
Flatbread Company
Young's Restaurant