Why I Started

(updated July 4, 2020)

Like many people, I wanted an outlet to share my feelings and perspectives on a topic of interest. For some people it could be fashion, politics, hunting or any number of things, but for me it was waste. I have always hated waste. It never made sense to me. Waste is a byproduct of inefficiency. It is a nuisance. A sign of inefficiency, arrogance, a lot of things. I never understood why someone would discard something that still had value. I never understood why businesses would have opportunities to tighten their supply chains, but not take them.

The original name of this blog was UpcycleLA. I believed (and still do) the best way to run a tight operation is from the ground up. If the foundation is broken (in terms of inefficient processes) then the system will not function optimally. Unfortunately, the term upcycle has come to mean a lot of things, none of which translate to how I was using it. That caused me to change the name of my blog to Zero Waste Guy, and my consulting to Zero Waste Pro.

My values today

Fast forward more than seven years later, and I am still on this journey. Waste still drive me insane. Rather than focusing on just my personal waste , I am focusing on wasteful systems, processes and infrastructure. Studies show that when a person has to actively opt-in, participation is low, but when they have to use the same amount of effort to opt out, participation is much higher.

A perfect example to illustrate what I am talking about is the State of Michigan’s organ donor registration program. For years they struggled with getting people to opt-in to the donor program. Previously, when a person went to renew their drivers license they had to check a box to become a donor. The State decided to try out an experiment. Rather than opting in, they changed the language ever so slightly requiring people to check a box to opt-out. That tiny move helped dramatically increase their donor registrations because the process integrated registration in the program by default.

For More Organ Donors, Just Head to The Local DMV

Looking Back

Looking back on this post, I don’t know what I was even talking about. How does Einstein’s theory of relativity relate to waste? And, no, not that many people read my blog. (I’m just being honest. It’s about quality of readers over quantity anyway, right?) Ugh, the more I read this original post, the more I want to delete it! I’ll keep it though, as it has some historical significance (to me) ( I think).

And now, for the original post:

I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time, but can never seem to get anything going. There is just something about the fear of being “judged” by the people who will read it. People will read this, right? I am hopeful.

The purpose of this blog is to share a mix of my opinion and facts about relativity. Einstein spent a lot of time on relativity too (yes, I am comparing myself to Einstein).

The Oxford Dictionary says it’s “the dependence of various physical phenomena on relative motion of the observer and the observed objects, especially regarding the nature and behavior of light, space, time, and gravity.

Here is a brief example of how I interpret the preceding definition:

The Job Interview:

The potential employer always asks how much you made at your last job. The employer is trying to figure out how much you are worth relative to your previous job or the other applicants. It really is a lousy question. What that question says to me is, “Okay, how little do we have to pay this guy.” I feel like a much better approach would be to describe the job, say what it’s worth to them, then assess whether or not the person they are interviewing is a good fit.

There you have it!

I’d like to hear from you

What do you do for a living? Is your passion your work? If so, I’d like to hear about it. If not, what’s stopping you from transforming your work into something you’d find more meaningful and exciting? Share your experience in the comments below, or by sending me an email!

About the author

Jonathan Levy is an management consultant focused on creating lean supply chains to help businesses minimize costs and maximize profits. Focus is placed on shaping circular supply chains that take into consideration the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. Businesses who take care of their employees and are stewards of their local communities and the environment are often surprised as how profitable those actions are. When Jonathan isn’t knee-deep in a dumpster, you can find him entrenched in a book, hiking the San Gabriel mountains, or tending to his composting worms.

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