The idea of zero waste is based on the cyclical system of nature where the byproduct of one process is the raw material for another. Currently, our economic, political, and social systems are high consumptive and move through the materials economy in a linear fashion beginning with consumption and ending with disposal. This is unhealthy and ultimately unsustainable, for the planet and for business. To achieve the goal of zero waste will require a redesign of the system and Alaska provide a great opportunity for this as the lack of infrastructure and relatively remote and isolated communities allow for the opportunity to explore and develop models. in alignment with the natural biosphere that moves us away from a system of scarcity toward our natural state of abundance. In Alaska, there are several components to a closed loop materials economy or a “zero waste” economy. It starts with informed citizens reducing the amount of material they generate. This is supported by a series of progressive policies that further discourage the creation and import of products that generate waste. It is then the role of local businesses to effectively reclaim the material we do generate and locally process them into raw material and ultimately consumer products that support local economic systems.
ARK is working with organizations all along this spectrum and will keep you updated about the results.
Join the conversation on Facebook: Zero Waste Alaska
Watch: The Story of Stuff
Watch: Unwasted, The Future of Business on Earth