Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Gandhi Way

It's been a few very emotional days (& weeks) where we learnt the horrible facts that there's another incinerator being planned not only here in Slovenia, but also in the lovely Glouceshire, where the MyZerowaste family & others are bravely aiming for zero waste!

Upon a bit of researching and getting dizzy looking at 'alternative' (fancier 'burn' technologies) one can easily wonder, with all those being so heavily promoted and 'pushed' worldwide, does it make sense to still push & do Zero Waste?

Then I started thinking: would I stop making zero waste (or at least trying to) if it were CERTAIN if everyone were making huge amounts of waste & everywhere in the world there would be horrible huge incinerators (or such?)

Hell, no.

I LOVE my cloth pads, and I love my (pretty much) zero waste (& zero toxics!) bathroom!!

No incinerator or fancy technology on Earth can make me convinced otherwise!

Also, no incinerator or fancy technology can make me convinced it's 'completely safe'. I have been allergic to iffy artificial additives in food when I was a wee kid - and officially, those are 'completely safe'! Hm!
So I learnt to separate 'highly toxic' from 'safe' (& learnt self-control at eating) at a young age already - to avoid a terribly itchy rash!!

Later on, my Dad cured his rheumatism by opting for healthier food (& lifestyle) - the very same artificial iffy chemicals were said to cause both arthritis/rheumatism, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other iffy diseases!

Why on earth would anyone want to poison themselves deliberately, even if there's only a tiny chance to do so?

(And what is worse, researching incinerators and such too much seems to give me a terrible cold and a runny nose! Am I allergic to incinerators and 'clean' technology too? Hm!)

So today I looked at this site: Village of Fruitvale - a village with a lovely name. And it gives me great hope!!

They have adopted a Zero Waste policy and in 2005 they were already 50% there!

Everyone has to pay for as much waste they make (my neighbours could do with this!) and they have an official policy and everything, and are working on manufacturer responsibility too... (links from their page)

So if anyone says, 'Zero Waste is impossible', please direct them to Fruitdale Village website.. If a village in Canada can do this, why not other villages and a bit bigger 'villages' worldwide?

If we remember that some incinerators still leave 35% waste (as ashes) - 50% diversion from landfill is already a great accomplishment, no?
(of course many may brag about leaving less ash or similar, but fact is most make some kind of potentially toxic by-product!)

So overall getting to 50% or more by just, uhm, minimizing and recycling (& collecting stuff separately) - not bad, eh?

EDIT: Mrs A just told me about a lovely village in Wales called St Arvans so I'm adding a link to her post about them too!!
They have achieved a diversion figure of 77% which is really awesome, I think!!
They have employed interesting strategies like door-to-door knocking, etc! Really an inspiration!

I would be interested to know how the current trend in recycling prices might influence this all (or not) so a bit more research on them would be excellent!!
Do tell if you know any other communities that have gone the Zero Waste route with such success!!


  1. Hi Layla - thank you for the link to Fruitvale. It looks fab. You might also want to google St Arvans the Zero Waste village in Wales. I blogged about it last year after I met with some of its residents and the recycling organisers. It's an inspirational place. Once you're on the route to Zero Waste, you realise how little you knew beforehand about all the issues you mention. I'm coming up to a reflective time because a year ago I did my Zero Waste Week. Knowing what I know now, I'm challenging myself to see if I can go back to my old ways to mark the anniversary of the event. It will be interesting to explore how our family has changed over the past year and whether we could now consciously throw bags full of waste into landfill. As I sit here now, I can't help feeling a Zero Waste Challenge was easier than the one I've laid out for myself. You're doing so well. It's great that you're spreading the word :-D x

  2. Thank you, Mrs A! :)

    I'll look up St Arvans!

    As for 'spreading the word' - I feel I'm still doing so little!!

    Gosh, going back to the wasteful ways... are you sure it's a good idea to spread awareness on zero waste? (am afraid some people might see it as, 'Oh she couldn't last/persist with this' or something?)

  3. Hi Layla!
    Great post! Surely you must go on to spread your awareness on zero waste! You are more clever than me! But I wanted to add that even here in Italy we have some Zero Waste villages too!
    They were called "Virtuosic Municipalities" or "5 Stars Municipalities" and they have also a site (in Italian... sorry!):

    There are 22 towns that adopted Zero Waste strategy. Very few for now. Unfortunately my town doesn't belong to this association, but I firmly hope it will be in the future! They are very brave because Italian politicians, you know, don't encuorage Zero Waste strategy.
    I think I could write a post about it... mmm let me organize! ;)

  4. Thank you so much for the link!!

    It's really exciting, that there are so many zero waste communities already!!

    22 towns is a lot!! :)

    I found them on Facebook, and there are other Zero Waste pages on Facebook too, very exciting!!

    Yes, please, write a post about them - when you have the time! :)