Paul Shultz has done a little bit of it all to help make Dubuque green. “I worked for the city of Dubuque for eighteen years, and I established the food scraps recycling program, I brought in the pay as you throw…”
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to fix. He explains, “I could keep going and going.” So he helped start an initiative: a green initiative called DARN cubed. “There’s so much waste and we don’t really have a plan in this area or community.”
The program was started by Green Dubuque and has gotten their funding, and their footing, on finding a path to zero waste. Paul emphasizes, “There’s just so many easy ways.”
The initiative is hoping to help each individual find what works best for them to reduce their carbon footprint. “Once they purchase an item they should have some responsibility for them to be used in a more beneficial way and so we want to help people to be able to do that and find their own path towards zero waste.”
But DARN cubed isn’t looking to help just individuals, they’ve set goals much bigger than that.
DARN intern Abby Willis explains their goal to get businesses as well as institutions involved in the program as well. “We’re hoping that that creates a wave and that’s where kind of if you do it at your house then it’s more normal when you go other places and do it to a business.”
This wave that teaches everyone from individuals to businesses and institutions is what DARN is hoping can help them reach their goal: minimizing 200 tons of wasted food from landfills in their first year.
And Paul sees the wave of change starting at the beginning. “We have a responsibility when we purchase something to see the best use of that product.”