GAIA 10. 10 Years of Community Action for Zero Waste Solutions

GAIA’s first decade ended in December 2010-and we spent 2011 putting together stories and images to share a snapshot of the alliance’s collective work. GAIA’s values include taking the time to appreciate one another and to celebrate our success and work together. We hope this report, “GAIA 10: 10 Years of Community Action for Zero Waste Solutions,” will be an opportunity for collective reflection and celebration.

This four-part article series “Cultivating Climate Justice” tells the stories of community groups on the frontlines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

Zero Waste is a move away from this unsustainable linear industrial system into a circular system—a system where unnecessary extraction and consumption is minimized, where waste is reduced, and where products and materials are reused or recycled back into the
market.

In Zero Waste, the resources that we use can be safely and economically recycled, reused, and composted, or turned into biogas anaerobic digestion. Zero Waste also means avoiding the use of disposable products and redesigning products that are toxic-free and built to last. Zero Waste involves:
• Reducing consumption
• Reusing discards
• Product redesign
• Shift to alternative delivery systems
• Comprehensive recycling
• A ban on waste incineration
• Comprehensive composting or biodigestion of organic materials
• Citizen and worker participation
• Policies, regulations, incentives, and financing structures to support these systems