Owen’s list began in the summer of 2017 when Owen and his dad Ryan had some batteries they needed to get rid of.
Ryan knew that batteries had chemicals in them so began researching where in Seattle to dispose of them. This was not an easy task. Locations start and stop accepting batteries and it wasn’t until Ryan’s third call that he found a safe destination.
Thinking that neighbors might also have dead batteries, Ryan decided to post on his local ‘Buy Nothing’ group on Facebook to see if he could bring others’ with him. People responded and Ryan and Owen picked batteries up from five of their neighbors and dropped off a large box to be safely disposed of.
Owen had many questions about recycling so he and Ryan started looking around their house for other things they could recycle. They were surprised to find so many opportunities. Light bulbs, electronics, clothes hangers, Styrofoam, plastic bags, clothing, and even Halloween candy were some of the items where they found better local alternatives than a landfill.
Each time Ryan and Owen found an item they would post it so their neighbors could also save their stuff from landfills. Pickups would get bigger and bigger and eventually word spread beyond Ryan and Owen’s neighborhood. Owen’s list was created to show Seattle how many products around their home can be diverted from landfills and to make it easy to get stuff there.