Life without garbage: “zero waste” eco-style


Everybody heard how harmful are the dumps for the environment and what consequences the pollution can cause. In different countries the problem is being solved in different ways: some sort and recycle the garbage, others use eco-packages. And there are people who simply do not create waste. This is the case not only of certain people but also the whole cities.

Continuous growth of consumption results in growing amount of dumps and discarded rubbish. According to the statistics, in Europe an average annual amount of rubbish produced per person reaches half a ton. In Sweden this figure is a bit less – about 461 kilogram – but Sweden recycles 99% of its rubbish. It means that less than 1% of waste eventually ends up in dumps. This means everything is possible!


But not only recycling is the only way out. Today the new fashioned eco-lifestyle “zero waste” becomes more and more popular. This is a tangible, managed and realistic common behaviour on a daily basis. When you realize that it is necessary to abandon everything one-off, call attention to the possibility of further recycling of things, think of an alternative to harmful plastic and paper.

Zero waste is a new ethical boundary for consumers, but if people take fancy for it the producers will have to react on this. However, there is a big problem in accepting of this concept – in the essence of waste reduction there is an idea not to buy. Many people simply won’t accept the refusal of goods that do not meet standards of zero waste.

But there are those who not only accepted this but also changed their lives and even began to propagandize the eco-style “zero waste”. A young woman Lauren Singer is an excellent example. She is 23, lives in New York and doesn’t make rubbish at all. Popsop has found out how she does it.


Lauren works in the Department of Environmental protection and has been keeping her blog Trash is for Tossers for two years where she posts all her searches and decisions in the life without waste, and now people all over the world actively read and discuss it.

The lady tells everybody that it is necessary to call attention to product packages first of all to live in the manner of “zero waste”. For instance, Lauren buys grain, grits, nuts, spices and tea in a grocery and then divides them up in her own tins and fabric bags. And if there are goods that she can’t find without packing, for instance, ketchup or household chemicals, she makes them herself.


One more efficient method advised by Lauren to all followers of her blog is to grow vegetables and fruits at home. By the way, the lady does it on her balcony and she dreams to turn it into a real garden. As for skins, she doesn’t throw them out but keeps them in a freezer in a big dish and takes them to a compost heap.



For Lauren zero waste is also an eco-clothes and cosmetics, and what is more, refusal of plastic of any kind. In college the lady was an eco-activist, and once she discovered that her house is full of things made of mineral fuel. Today her house is cleared out of plastic things. Refusal of plastic has led her to the thoughts of refusal of all kinds of waste in her life.


In fact, many people heard stories of individuals who managed to live not leaving any waste behind, but what about the whole town?.. Residents of a Japanese town Kamikatsu seriously worried about the problem of ecology and after organizing together they managed to reach almost incredible and raise a point of garbage recycling to a whole new level.


In this town you can’t see any dumpsters in the streets because the residents do not leave waste in usual plastic bags. In spite of bunching garbage, they heartily sort caps, tins, plastic, paper – all waste in general in 34 (!) different categories. Then people bring the sorted waste in recycling centre where the workers check the correctness of sorting.


Of course, town inhabitants got adapted to the new system not at once, and not everybody agreed to mess about such an attitude to an ordinary waste. However, several years passed after introduction of the system and now Kamikatsu residents perceive the sorting of waste like something usual and habitual, and advise everybody to tap into such culture and zero waste eco-style.