Rubbish

An end to garbage? PICTURE: Ayotunde Oguntoyinbo/Unsplash.

Gaining momentum in recent years, the concept of 'zero waste' centres on the six principles of refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, and rot and aims at eradicating waste in the aim of living more sustainably. The idea has been adopted by households across the world as well as, increasingly, by retailers like Australia's NakedFoods and Package Free in Brooklyn, New York, which do away with packaging and instead ask consumers to bring their own bags and containers to carry goods away in (big corporations are also getting in on the act - among those which have reportedly set zero waste goals are Swedish furniture maker IKEA). Proponents point out that 'zero waste' doesn't just mean sending no waste to landfill; it's actually about living a lifestyle that produces zero waste with the reusability of products built into them during creation. Numerous national organisations have been formed around the world to encourage people to adopt zero waste lifestyles in countries ranging from the Australia to France, Canada to Brazil, and while the concept has been around a while (municipal authorities in the city of Oakland, California, for example, adopted a zero waste goal back in 2001), the person generally credited with popularising the concept in recent years is Frenchwoman and Californian resident Bea Johnson, blogger and author of Zero Waste Home, who has been grappling living without rubbish since 2009. The internet, meanwhile, is awash with tips for those who want to jump in - among sites worth checking out, as well as Zero Waste Home, are Trash Is For Tossers and Going Zero Waste.