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How This Town Produces No Trash

In 2003, the local government in Kamikatsu, Japan decided to require that all residents comply with a new, rigorous recycling program - perhaps the most rigorous in the world.

Since then, the town composts, recycles, or reuses 80% of its garbage. It may not technically be 100% zero waste, as the remaining 20% goes into the landfill, but it’s a remarkable achievement for an entire community, in such a short amount of time. The impacts have been positive - cutting costs for the community drastically, as well as improving the conditions of the lush and beautiful environment that surrounds the town in Southeast Japan.

Read more: http://skr.cm/21uc0qk

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In 2003, the local government in Kamikatsu, Japan decided to require that all residents comply with a new, rigorous recycling program - perhaps the most rigorous in the world.

Since then, the town composts, recycles, or reuses 80% of its garbage. It may not technically be 100% zero waste, as the remaining 20% goes into the landfill, but it’s a remarkable achievement for an entire community, in such a short amount of time. The impacts have been positive - cutting costs for the community drastically, as well as improving the conditions of the lush and beautiful environment that surrounds the town in Southeast Japan.

Residents must wash and sort virtually anything that is non-compostable in their household before bringing it to the recycling sorting center. Shampoo bottles, caps, cans, razors, styrofoam meat trays, water bottles…the list goes on and on (literally) into 34 categories. At the sorting center, labels on each bin indicate the recycling process for that specific item - how it will be recycled, what it will become, and how much that process can cost (or even earn). It’s an education process for the consumer.

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Zero Waste ‘Eat-Your-Own-Art’ Masterpieces with Danling Xiao

Don’t miss one of Danling’s sculptures. Follow @mundane_matters on Instagram.

Yes, Danling Xiao (@mundane_matters) plays with her food, but she also devours it. “I call it ‘eat-your-own-art,’” the 31-year-old graphic designer says. “I’m really enjoying my zero-waste practice!” Three years ago, she toyed around with her first sculpture, a pumpkin doll, but last year, a stressed and anxious Danling quit her 9-to-5 job in Sydney to focus full time on produce. “Many people think I’m just doing cute fruit art, but what I’m doing reminds us where our food comes from and helps to raise awareness about sustainable living,” she says. Her only tools are a chopping board, toothpicks, a $10 knife and all-natural fruits and veggies — many of which she gets from shopping the “imperfect fruit” section at her local farmers market. They often work best for her quirky designs, anyway. “Imagination is key,” Danling says. “When you can imagine, the world is your oyster.”

This zero-waste grocery store has no packaging, plastic or big-name brands

Forget Whole Foods. The Germans have created a store with eco-conscious customers in mind. Well, at least in Berlin—the newest home of Original Unverpackt (Original Unpackaged). You won’t find any paper or plastic bags here—or any kind of bags for that matter. This new grocery store creates zero waste by allowing customers to purchase exactly how much they need, reducing waste in their homes.

Original Unverpackt doesn’t carry any products under popular brand names; instead, they carry mostly organic products. Original Unverpackt stocks their shelves using a bulk bin system with an assortment of fruits, vegetables and grains. Even shampoo and milk are dispensed from refillable containers according to Salon.

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Unconsumption is taking the rest of the weekend off, so posts will resume Monday. But now, for your ignoring-Black-Friday reading pleasure:

My name is Lauren. I’m a 23-year-old girl living in NYC and I don’t make trash. For real. No garbage bin, no landfill. Nada.

Quitting plastic meant learning to make all of my packaged products myself.

This included everything from toothpaste to cleaning products, all things I had no clue how to make and had to learn by doing a lot of online research. One day I stumbled across a blog called Zero Waste Home. It followed the life of Bea Johnson, wife and mother of two children who all live a zero-waste life in California.

By that point I had already eliminated almost all plastic from my life. I thought, “If a family of four can live a zero-waste lifestyle, I, as a (then) 21-year-old single girl in NYC, certainly can.” So I took the leap.

Read the rest here, it’s quite interesting: I Haven’t Made Any Trash In 2 Years. Here’s What My Life Is Like

The author, Lauren Singer, also has her own blog — with tips on going zero waste, personal stories, and some impressive pictures of “My Trash” (like the one up above, which apparently represents “Two Months Of Trash”).

Most recently she raised money on Kickstarter to start a small business making organic laundry detergent. More at her site: http://www.trashisfortossers.com/

How can students make a difference in the face of marine debris?

A Laysan albatross examines a plastic toothbrush on a beach in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo: David Slater/NOAA

This spring, students at ninety schools across the nation – from as far and wide as American Samoa, Hawaii, California, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands – came together to find out.

Between March 21st and April 22nd, these students took part in the fourth annual Students for Zero Waste Week campaign. Participating schools chose one of the five campaign weeks to focus on reducing land-based waste in attempt to protect the health of marine environments and animals.

Each school pledged to take the Zero Waste Week Challenge by setting week-long goals and designing unique activities to address the issue of marine debris. With this pledge, students set out to raise awareness on campus, at home, and in their communities of how anthropogenic debris is negatively affecting the health of our watersheds, national marine sanctuaries and the ocean.

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A fruity twist on kitchenware
An orange is a useful fruit. You can peel it and eat it, and extract a juice from it that has become a staple of breakfasts throughout the world. But being eaten isn’t the only pleasure it provides. You can also eat from it. Just ask Ori Sonnenschein.

As part of his final project at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, the Israeli student created an ingeniously simple and environmentally friendly line of kitchen utensils, from a cup, spoon and plate, to a salt shaker, bottle and bowl – all using the rinds of citrus fruits.

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Brighton’s newest restaurant SILO has adopted an interesting slant on sustainable behaviour by utilizing a pre-industrial food system which generates zero waste. Sounds great, but what does it mean?

SILO pride themselves on totally eliminating waste from their operation. They have opted for direct communication with farmers, sourcing local ingredients, employing re-usable delivery vessels, even the receipts are emailed to customers to prevent paper wastage. Any leftover food is added to a composting machine, so even the useless scraps are given a purpose.

The interior is made from repurposed materials, such as used school furniture and scaffolding shelves, which create a trendy, understated dining environment.

More at Pop Up City.

Zero Waste

Making an effort to cut down on garbage. Here’s a master list of resources: 

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Library reading - I found that every single one of the required texts for my English course were available on ibooks for free !! 🙌 They’re all classics so I shouldn’t be surprised but Im just excited because now I don’t need to buy physical copies of them all. I brought some date balls with coconut and cocoa that I made last night and they are delicious. An easy waste free, vegan snack. Today so far I’ve had an interesting tute and submitted a quiz and now there’s one more hour to study before meeting a friend for lunch 🌸🌿