What you have missed from our second newsletter:
Read Bea Johnson's full interview in “Nova Makedonija”.
1. How would you define the Zero Waste concept?
Zero Waste is not concept, it’s a lifestyle. By living it since 2008 and inspiring a global movement to do the same, my family has proven that is not an ideal, but a reality.
The Zero Waste lifestyle is about reducing as much household waste
as possible while living simply. It ultimately translates to a life based on experiences instead of things.
2. How does one put this concept into practice as an individual, in the family, at work, in the society?
How should one live and what should one do and think when going zero waste?
What we do to generate only one-liter jar's full of trash per year is quite simple. We follow my methodology ofthe 5R's, IN ORDER,
as laid out in my book, Zero Waste Home.
It can be applied to any situation: as an individual, in the family,
at work, in the society.
1. Refuse what we do not need (for ex. single use plastics,
junk mail and freebies);
2. Reduce what we consume (furnishings, clothes);
3. Reuse by buying secondhand and swapping disposables for reusables (that includes shopping with reusables such as cloth bags,
jars and bottles);
4. Recycle only what we cannot refuse, reduce or reuse, and
5. Rot (compost) the rest (fruit peels, lint, hair, floor sweepings etc).
3. To what extent is the Zero Waste concept known worldwide? Which countries would you mention as positive examples? What do the statistics say?
From the feedback I receive and the opening of unpackaged stores that my book has inspired all over the globe, I have noticed that waste-free living is growing faster in Europe thananywhere else. Not that Zero Waste is easier to adopt there than elsewhere (anyone, regardless of location can apply the 5R’s to their lives and enjoy its health benefits and time and money savings), but I have found that Europeans appreciate simple pleasures; they are not as afraid as Americans are,
for example, to live simply and buy secondhand. The statistics also show that this way of life interests the 25-34yrs old most.
4. Are you familiarized with the general situation in the Balkans where the waste selection and recycling still remains the true challenge itself - while you promote the Zero Waste living? In your opinion, how long would it take to raise awareness about such issue among the general population?
Contrary to what most people think, Zero Waste is not about recycling more, but less, by preventing waste from being created in the first place with the application of the 5R’s that I just mentioned. By the time you have refused, reduced and reused, you have very little to recycle and rot. This makes Zero Waste applicable anywhere in the world. So ultimately, I am not coming to tell people to recycle more, but less.
5. What is the purpose of your visit to Macedonia?
Where do you go from here?
Zero waste seems unachievable to many simply because 1- Our civilization is so set in consumerism, that it cannot imagine living otherwise 2- There are many stigmatisms attached to waste free living: People tend to think that it costs more and takes more time.
My vocation is to shatter these misconceptions so I am open to taking part on any project that supports it and the objective of my talk in Macedonia is to do just that.
I also secretly hope that a publisher will be in the audience and will want to translate my book to Macedonian! Every time my book is translated (in 14 languages so far), it makes all my practical tips available and allows for waste-free living to grow exponentially in that country.
What you have missed from our first newsletter:
Enormous quantities of food, rarely worn clothes, myriad of things, old magazines and all kinds of plastic stuff – most often packed
in seemingly biodegradable bags – end up in substandard landfills or in lakes and rivers or simply overstuff our pantries just in case we need them one day. One thing's for sure - they never go away. And we, we keep on waiting for the spring to come and wash away the odor of air pollution.
In Macedonia, 100% of the produced waste ends up in landfills – and stays there for about 30 years. The Macedonian households contribute with over 90% of the waste that “lives” at 54 municipal landfills and over 300 illegal ones, the Drisla landfill near Skopje being the only one that meets the standards, even though partially...
But there is a solution – it’s called Zero Waste! Contrary to the widespread belief that household waste selection and recycling is the (only) solution, there are people who do not throw almost any garbage simply because they do not make almost any garbage at all. What they do make can fit in a single mason jar – one per year!
The omnipresent waste constantly reminds us that healthier environment is possible which is why we decided to start from scratch and try to reach zero waste!
Want to join us?
Save 20 March in your calendars and sign up here. Bea Johnson will tell us how to fit our waste in only one mason jar per year – twice in the same day: first, at the University American College Skopje at 16:00 and then at Public Room at 19:00.
The lectures are free of charge, signing up is a must, the number of seats is limited!