If you’re interested in moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle while in Yucatán, chances are you’ve heard mutterings about Cero Basura Yucatán A.C. CBY was established in 2018 by four young locals who are passionate about raising public awareness around sustainability. They fervently wish to help us all figure out how to manage our daily lives without destroying our planet.

For the four women, Caro, Natasha, Alejandra, and Ingrith, education and example are at the heart of everything they do. They work with organizations, the Ayuntamiento (local city council) and the public as a multi-pronged approach to helping Mérida and its residents understand the need for an environmental step-change while also providing the tools to make it possible.

Courses and workshops

CBY offers free workshops and talks on all subjects zero-waste (in Spanish and English). Past talks have included residue separation, living a zero-waste life, and food consciousness. CBY has worked with the Ayuntamiento to help teach Mérida restaurants how to better manage waste reduction as well as offering talks and workshops to the general public. I have personally attended talks on residue separation and a workshop on how to make my own deodorant and I’m looking forward to attending others in the future. The foundation also offers workshops for children both in schools and in public spaces.

Redefining our environmental culture

It is now well accepted in many restaurants and at street-food stalls that you can take your own containers for take-out and leftovers. Thanks, in part, to the hard work of CBY, supermarkets will put your loose meats and cheeses into your containers, and Súper Akí has taken positive steps towards lessening its own ecological footprint following work with CBY. If you shop there, you’ll find a “green” checkout lane for people with their own shopping bags.

Mercado Cero Basura

Perhaps the most visible and accessible work of CBY is their monthly Zero-Waste Market, held in different locations every month. Shoppers will find local vendors selling a variety of sustainable products, from loose grains and legumes to locally-made snacks, self-care products, and clothing. Be sure to take along your own containers and bags and ask about the workshops they offer.

The times, they are a-changin’, and in Yucatán, it’s clear that much of the impetus for this change comes from young locals like these four remarkable young women.

Like so much that is young, new, and cutting edge in Yucatán, the best place to find more information is Facebook: Cero Basura Yucatán

Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Photography by Cassie Pearse for use in Yucatán Today


Do you want to start a more environmentally-friendly life? Reduce, reuse, and recycle!

In Mérida you can find several Puntos Verdes that accept different materials for recycling. Most of the recycling points in Mérida take:

  • Cardboard and paper
  • Aluminum and tin cans (cleaned and crushed)
  • Tetra Pak (clean and crushed)
  • Glass (clean and dry)
  • PET 1 – generally plastic water and soda bottles (clean and crushed)
  • HDPE 2 – generally containers for detergent and cleaning products (clean and dry)

From Wednesday to Sunday you can also visit the Mega Punto Verde in Fraccionamiento Las Américas to drop off other residues such a

  • Household oils
  • Electronics
  • Batteries

There is also a Punto Verde Móvil which visits different spots around the city. The calendar changes monthly, but you can check the website http://www.merida.gob.mx/sustentable/punto_verde.phpx to see what areas they’ll visit each month. They also visit some spots on a regular basis, like the Slow Food Market each Saturday morning.

Get more information on the cities environmental initiatives
FB: Mérida Sustentable

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