ZWIA Blog

Let’s Do It World Meeting 2014

Pristina, Kosovo sounded a little exotic to me and Let´s Do It World Congress I know is exotic every year. There are always many participants from all over the world, this year more than 40 countries was at place and we all loved to be in Kosovo, a great country with great people.

The Estonian team is as always so well prepared, competent and nice – I love them all! Meeting the Kosovo team was a new and very happy experience, they are so devoted and full of energy, that´s what keep this movement going – and we are going great, always forward with a lot of new ideas, always open for, listening, acting and attack for a better environment.

I will thank everybody involved in this year’s event, not forgetting anybody, everybody counts and once again millions thx to all of U.

I´m also very happy to see that so many of U are getting more and more involved in Zero Waste movement. As U all knew waste is one of the most fast growing businesses around the world and also one of the largest problem we have to face in future. I´m particularly happy that so many of U have understood that burning or bury is not the solution.

This is the only and sustainable definition of Zero Waste, you can always refer to www.zwia.org to get printed.

  1. Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.
  2. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
  3. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

As you also understand:

  • Waste is proof that something is wrong in the society, it´s a true evidence. You can try burn it or bury it but still it´s an evidence of a society that’s not sustainable.

We had a great lecturing by Mr Joan Marc Simon about pollution, waste in our daily life and what we can do about it. A Zero Waste workshop was set up by Pal Martensson and Rodrigo Sabatini and it was a very good opportunity to connect people to Zero Waste and make them understand what we can do about it. We had a lot of interest and many new people got into new networks and as usual, Sabatini charmed everybody by his easy way to explain “What is waste?” Now we know: Don´t ever MIX! Report from other workshop was, great success and many good examples was shown, all participants was very satisfied with the topics.

Opening dinner was a blast, talking about food and drinks, puh puh, nightclub party was like a earthquake and the gala meeting was so good as good as a Golden Globe event. Fantastic catwalk by a fashion school from Pristine with models that had made great creations from waste. The audience couldn´t get enough, applauds never ended – congratulations!

A conference like this is a lot about networking, changing cards, FB and projects, every country made a little presentation, stories were told and you could feel the energy, power and determination – we gonna make it, we will clean up the world. You could certainly feel – you are never alone.

To meet all these people and get empowered is a gift of love, I´m seldom the youngest participant these days but I´m still around and I like to see and feel all the energy from all you young people, the force you are producing, how executive you can be and how easy you can make everything look.

I´m proud to be a part of all this and I will always try to be an good “wasteandcleanupexample”, because we are working for a better planet and for a better environment to those who will inherit our globe.

We all have a great year ahead, full of joy and happiness so Let´s Do It as good as we can.

Let´s be united in our struggle for a cleaner, smarter and Waste Free World.

It means wasting and attitudes that permit waste are unacceptable.

Waste means that there are product made that are wrong, we need a redesign of these products so they will fit in to a modern sustainable world.

Let´s Do It 2014 and 2015 in Latvia, looking forward to see you all again!

Pal Martensson

Zero Waste Week in Florianopolis

October 20-27, 2013

Going to the Zero Waste Week in Florianopolis was not a question of going or not – it was a need, because Mr Rodrigo Sabtini had called me. I had an invitation from the local parliament of Santa Catarina to come and participate in an immense program; everything was conducted and arranged by Zero Waste Institute Brasil. Coming to Brasil is like coming home, the people are so friendly and if you been there before you have some real good friends because that´s the way the Brazilians are.

Florianopolis is an island about 1,5 h south, by air, from Rio De Janerio. Hitting the city is like coming to San Francisco, you recognize the water, the bridge and the hills. And when you meet Mr Rodrigo Sabatini then you know you are in Brasil, the tempo is not fast, it´s furious. He picked me up at the airport: “Are you ready for a real hard working week?” he asked me. I responded: “You bet I am” and I had no idea what it meant to give that answer to this man. Anyway, he gave us all an incredible week, it was like a rollercoaster both considering the week program and the car rides with him – but we all loved it. Rodrigo Sabatini is not only a great entrepreneur, doer and nice person – he is a force! My first little work session lasted only for forty hours – then I hit the sack, totally exhausted but full of joy on a late Monday evening.

 

It was me, Leslie, Enso, Rick, Rodrigo from ZWIA and a lot of great Zero wasters from Brasil that made and had a fun time with tons of work, we all did it with the right Zero Waste glimpse in our eyes.

The program was packed:
visits, participation, speech, debates at the parliament, university, schools, public buildings, enterprises, private companies, homes, supermarkets, plenary, museums, parks, culture institutions and much more.

We met hundreds of fantastic people they were all devoted to Lixo and they had different solutions of the waste problem. But of course, we tried in every possible way to convince them to understand the Zero Waste System is the one and only solution – which is true.

Next morning I started with a beach run for one hour, Sabatini and Favoini

went swimming, the beach was 5km long and the morning was all black, slowly we saw the sun break through and another day started, scenery once again was unbeatable. One hour traffic jam cost me the breakfast, we were late to the first meeting at the Sapiens park, a think-tank area in the north of the island. Very interesting project loaded with big brains and devoted people; we spent three very useful hours there.

Lunch break and then off to Museo Lixo where we met about two hundred school kids, they were hungry for Zero Waste ideas in every level. Two more meetings and finally dinner time but in another city, paradise lost, Bombinhas this fantastic small town with its soul deep into the ocean and the first Zero Waste declared city in Brasil. The mayor, a young dynamic woman with charisma hugged and kissed us and was so enthusiastic about the declaration, the event and all the publicity her city got from the Lixo Zero Week. We had a terrific dinner at a restaurant by the ocean, the seafood was incredible and we ate and cheered for Bombinhas. An unforgettable evening with many nice and hundred percent Zero Waste people – nothing beats that.

Which day is it today? No, idea, everything seems to be floating, interact, days, hours, nights, days and people, the Brazilians know how to compose, conduct and orchestra an event and make it into super success. They also know a few things about speed and tempo that we are not aware of, we don´t talk about fast acting, we talk about moving forward with the speed of light or as we say “Sabatini speed.”

Thursday we spent at a meeting with ACATS, they organize all supermarkets in Brasil and is a large organization with a lot of impact. In Florianopolis there are many Zero Waste Supermercados and they are doing a good Zero Waste job, influencing employees and customers. The international group gave some speeches and Rick signed “certification papers/business principles” to the organization, we had a great photo session with diplomas and big smiles.

Mr Sabatini had a “graduation speech” for all the international speakers and handed over gifts and participation diplomas for the good and devoted work we been doing during the week.

Rating, speakers: Leslie, five star, Rodrigo five star, Enzo five star and Rich five star, great performance of each of U.

During the week there were more than forty different sessions going on in Florianopolis and Sabatini participated in almost all of them, he is the only person in the world with a pacemaker on turbo, sessions, intermissions, interviews, television, radio, newspapers, people, car driving, speeches, dinners bla, bla, – he is there, he is good, he has a huge heart, he is a true Zero Waste Hero and we all love him.

Friday was a day of recovery, we thought, but oh no, Sabatini kept us visiting, speaking in many different events, schools, companies and culture institutions – we went to a lot of interesting meetings and had a sum up in evening by a huge going away brazilin barbecue. We had meat, more meat and even more meat, it was so goooooood!

During the evening we made an activist action about plastic, you can see it on Instituto Lixo Zero Brasil´s FB-page.

We also had a ZWIA-meeting where Rodrigo gave us his outcast for a business plan and we discussed about it; he will come back with more details to everybody during the November Skype-meeting. We all look forward to be able to finalize this document and move on forward.

I believed that nothing ever would beat Rio+20 in tempo, but the Lixo Zero Week in Florianopolis did it, thanks to Mr. Rodrigo Sabatini he made a great job with his team to create an event, I or anybody else, ever will forget. Thanks also to the state of Santa Catarina, the administration, all the staff and great audience in the parliament.

Millions thanks to Instituto Lixo Zero Brasil, to Amanda, Rodrigo, Maria, Raoni, Lidi, Stefania, and all others that were involved in making this event to such a giant, fantastic happening. You are all devoted, you are all such great people and I love you all, thanks for a wonderful week in Florianopolis – now I need to rest 😉

Read more: www.zerowasteeurope.eu

Click here for pictures of the Brasil meeting.

Davos

6-10-oct 2013

Davos for me was always skate and ski record, Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain, a community devoted exclusively to sickness but also a book that pulses with life in the midst of death. It took place in a sanatorium in the late 1800s when tuberculosis was at its worst.
In recent years the Davos talks were “power elite gathering place” where politicians, bankers, industry representatives and celebrities as Bill Gates, Desmond Tutu, Angela Merkel and Richard Branson showed up and prophesied a bit about the future but also made ​​some wise decisions.

Is it a conference or a spectacle in which all that matters is to be, it feels like as if you’re not here, you are not, can this be so?
Going to Davos, one of my dreams came true when I was invited to go there a couple a weeks ago. It has always been a special place for me, not least for The Davos Economic Talks.

Now I am going there to attend the World Resources Forum where I will talk about Waste Prevention and give some good examples from all over the world.

Davos is like a street, a street where everything is close and cozy, I love the altitude and the alp air, you feel a little smarter when you are here, I don´t know why. Maybe because of all the brain capacity that´s been here before me, no other comparison.

I flew  Goteborg – Paris- Zurich, then the train Davos, missed a train in Landquart and had to spend 6 h waiting for the morning train, I knew this village after being there, walking the streets.

World Resource Forum is a conference that is technical but also has some good speeches, about behavior and  the socio perspective.

The opening was great and I learned a few new words like gamification (using game elements in a non game context), shamification, making sustainability fun and rewarding not punishing.

I checked the program and found many interesting workshops to attend, like:

  • Recovery of critical metals from ELV, end-of-life vehicles
  • Gamifying sustainability
  • Sustainable recycling industries
  • Eco-innovation observatory, tools and software
  • Liter of light
  • Global targets for a sustainable resource use
  • Resource efficiency in Europe
  • Journalism and media strategies for environmental sustainability
  • And many more seminaries, plenaries and workshops.

ZWIA, International Zero Waste Alliance, had a great workshop with speakers from all over the world, like Richard Anthony USA, Joan Marc Simon Spain, Jack Macy USA, Pål Mårtensson Sweden, Rodrigo Sabatini, Brazil, Tom Wright USA, Jessica Sabatini Brazil and Tom Wright USA. It was all about finding a smart and good way to end the waste problem which is the same all over the world. We need an international convention on sustainable resource use and we need to stop burning or bury resources as we do today, everybody knows this but the action programs are not coming through.

Pollution of the air, water and land can never be an accepted practice anywhere in the world – it has to stop and it has to be stopped with intelligence and smartness, let everybody participate to do well, because everybody matters when it comes to waste management. Zero Waste projects are not a utopia, in various parts of Europe.

We can´t use our natural resources and keep on destroying our ecosystem, we are already today putting futures generations at danger caused by irreversible damages.
“Zero waste might be an ambitious goal in our highly industrialized societies; but it is the right aspiration” said Commissioner Janez Potocnik in the EU-parliament, Brussels, the 7th march 2013.

I met Anders Wijkman from Club of Rome he´s been around for many years and is still full of energy for the world’s best. It is a different planet today compared with the 70: s, the first book they published was “The Limits to Growth” and the new book is called “Plundering the Planet” and the conclusions are the same: We have to slow down.
The UN estimates sustainable development initiatives could create 60 million new jobs, with recycling being one of the eight key sectors of growth.

Eco-innovation is a new market coming up fast, it is solutions that reduces the use of natural resources and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle. How can governments and business promote systemic eco-innovations and build circular economy?

Metal and electronics are very important to recycle as much as possible to stop the global takeout – our world is full of these items. The landfills are full of metal, every city around the world has miles of cables in the ground that is not in use for anything, and to extract this, we call it “above ground mining”.
When it comes to electrical and electronic equipment for recycling the potential is enormous and the waste generated in this area is gigantic. We need to collect more and recycle more because the production of electronics will increase in the coming decades at a rate of at least four percent annually which is more than growth of the municipality waste.

I attended also a workshop called Liter of light – it´s about bringing light to homes in underprivileged areas with recycled plastic bottles. Sometimes small things do make a big difference. In this case all you need is an old plastic bottle, water, some bleach and sunlight. This will give light to millions of huts in the slum around the world; it gives people better life quality without having to use expensive or unsafe electricity – very smart and good example of new simple inventions.

Today we have a fast urbanization and cities are the powerhouse of economic growth, the energy consumption, carbon emissions and use of natural resources. Soon 70% of the world´s population will be living in cities or mega cities; it also means that numbers of urban poor are growing fast. We need new and better design of cities because we have to take care of almost everything “in the city” to make the local economy strong. If we improve resource productivity and reduce the environmental impact we also contribute to the well-being of society.

I had a separate speech about Kretsloppsparken Alelyckan during a session called; Resource Efficiency and Governance. The audience liked the smart idea we are working with and many people asked questions about the concept. I was happy to put Goteborg on the international arena again and also be able to promote the “park concept” which is a new conceptualization of reusing items bound for destruction.

Where are we today, do we need to decouple economic growth and well-being from resource use and environmental impacts or can we generate growth which is both socially inclusive and environmental sound?

Thanks to the organizers of a very professional conference, thanks Davos for being so outstanding and thanks to all my fellow waste warriors from all over the world.

See you all in Peru next year and keep up all the good work you are doing.

Pal Martensson
Goteborg
Sweden
pal.martensson@kov.goteborg.se

 

Click here to see pictures of the Davos Forum