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Zero Waste Movement

Inherent in the understanding of upcycling is the concept of Zero Waste.  Zero Waste is a philosophy and a design principle for the 21st Century. It includes 'recycling' but goes beyond recycling by taking a 'whole system' approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society.Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.

Zero Waste:

  • redesigns the current, one-way industrial system into a circular system modeled on Nature's successful strategies
  • challenges badly designed business systems that "use too many resources to make too few people more productive"
  • addresses, through job creation and civic participation, increasing wastage of human resources and erosion of democracy
  • helps communities achieve a local economy that operates efficiently, sustains good jobs, and provides a measure of self-sufficiency.
  • aims to eliminate rather than manage waste

Zero Waste makes recycling a powerful entry point into a critique of excessive consumption, waste, corporate irresponsibility, and the fundamental causes of environmental destruction. We have all gotten very comfortable with the idea that waste is necessary, or at least a necessary evil.  There is so much of it in our daily lives that conceiving of a waste-less world seems ludicrous at times.  But it is possible, and in many ways we are moving towards it.  In many parts of the world waste cannot be created because there is nowhere for it to go.  As we all become more conscious of and committed to this cause, the vision of a clean earth and a clean future become much more clear.

  • EVERYBODY Overwhelmed by RUBBISH Featured Blog Post EVERYBODY Overwhelmed by RUBBISH EVERYBODY Overwhelmed by RUBBISH

    Several months ago I clicked on a link in an e-mail entitled: “World Overwhelmed by Rubbish.” Up popped a photo essay from the Guardian UK that was actually entitled:... More »

  • Pam Longobardi, coastal Hero Featured Blog Post Pam Longobardi, coastal Hero Pam Longobardi, coastal Hero

     Time and attention get way too fragmented if you're not careful, especially in the Facebook Era. So I'm gonna protect my time and attention and just give you the link to a... More »

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  • Paper vs. Plastic? How about neither. Featured Blog Post Paper vs. Plastic? How about neither. Paper vs. Plastic? How about neither.

    What's so scary about Plastic? The following link will take you to one of the most frightening things you will see today.  You dont have to crank your volume, no one will... More »

  • Zero Waste Alliance Featured Article Zero Waste Alliance Zero Waste Alliance

    The Zero Waste Alliance is a group based out of Oregon that focuses on a vision of the future as a Zero Waste world.  They have some great links to national and international... More »

  • The Case for Zero Waste Featured Article The Case for Zero Waste The Case for Zero Waste

      "Although unheard of a decade ago, there is considerable recent interest in designing industrial production processes that produce zero waste…the goal is a worthy... More »

  • Eco-Cycle's Zero Waste Event Kit Featured Article Eco-Cycle's Zero Waste Event Kit Eco-Cycle's Zero Waste Event Kit

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    I hope everyone reading this takes cloth bags with them shopping and says no to plastic ones. But y'know, that said, there are always plastic bags lying around somewhere, so I... More »

Recently Updated
BAG MONSTER U.S. Tour Last Updated on 2010-09-18 17:22:08 Who Is the Bag Monster? We know that single-use bags are easy to spoof since they're such a bad idea, so ChicoBag™ company invented Bag Monsters®. ChicoBag™ inventor, Andy Keller, had been using a huge ball of 500 plastic bags to show people at farmer's market how many plastic bags an average American uses yearly - and one day he decided to wear it. Thus was the spawning of the first Bag Monster® (costume that is). The Bag Monster® is a costume worn by your volunteer to visually show the impact single-use plastic bags have on our environment. These flighty bags end up in trees, along roadsides and washed up on sea shores. Each costume is decked out with 500 plastic bags, the average amount an American uses in one year. You can remind your community about the Bag Monsters® that could be growing under the sink or in their kitchen drawers! Bag Monster® suits are the perfect... More »
Pam Longobardi, coastal Hero Last Updated on 2010-02-20 00:00:00  Time and attention get way too fragmented if you're not careful, especially in the Facebook Era. So I'm gonna protect my time and attention and just give you the link to a blog post I spent real time on this morning: it's about Pam Longobardi and some of her recent work. Check it out on my blog, visibletrash.net. That's the direct link to the coastal hero post, but to see the blog's homepage just click on the banner (in case you only get to reading this in, say, 2011). Since there's no art category on here, I'm using "dumps and landfills" because whether it's done on purpose or not, our seas and oceans are turning into dumps for the planet. Have you seen the gyres lately? More »
Copenhagen here I come Last Updated on 2009-12-06 00:00:00 I hope everyone reading this takes cloth bags with them shopping and says no to plastic ones. But y'know, that said, there are always plastic bags lying around somewhere, so I gather what I find and put 'em to good use. Like upcycling 'em into this mutant polar bear mask I made for Copenhagen... I'll be there from Saturday 12 December until Wednesday the 16th. Fun! More »
Obseletos Last Updated on 2009-09-07 00:00:00 Obsoletos is a project of investigation, creation and difusion of creative systems of transforming technological waste and residues, understanding as such, any electronic apparatus, storage media or hardware that has over time become obsolete or damaged: computers, peripherals, magnetic tapes, motherboards, etc.. The website is in Spanish. Here is a description of what they´re up to: Obsoletos es un proyecto de investigación, creación y difusión de sistemas creativos de transformación de residuos tecnológicos, entendiendo como tales todo aparato electrónico, soporte de almacenamiento o hardware que con el tiempo ha quedado en desuso o deteriorado: ordenadores, periféricos, cintas magnéticas, placas base, etc. Obsoletos está ideado y producido por Basurama, El club del ocio y Skot Pérez, un grupo de amigos que llevábamos trabajado de modo informal desde hace tiempo con... More »
over-STUFFed Last Updated on 2009-08-08 03:04:24 I'm reading a couple good books now: MADE TO BREAK – Technology and Obsolescence in America, by Giles Slade, and WASTE AND WANT – A Social History of Trash, by Susan Strasser. I haven't finished either book because I read about as slowly as I blog, but they both chronicle the evolution of consumer society as we know it. Slade's book (so far) looks at how marketing, particularly in the auto industry, shaped consumer habits, while Strasser (so far) focuses on the minutiae of household waste in the 19th century and the ways in which just about everything was re-used and re-purposed. If you think you're good, read that book and you'll think again! Housewives back then saved every useable bit of string or thread, even rescuing bits from garments they were re-sewing. And yes, there was a time before disposable feminine hygiene products... But seriously, consumption... sure we have to eat... More »