Other Worlds

On the Environmental Frontlines: Waste Pickers

November 26, 2012

By Neil Tangri and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Over the last 20 years, waste pickers— workers in the informal economy who recover recyclable materials from trash—in Pune, a city in the state of Maharashtra, India have transformed both their city’s municipal waste management system and their own lives. The waste pickers formed a union to protect their rights and bring dignity to their work. The union has been so successful that it has allowed the women and men to implement door-to-door collection of garbage segregated where it is created (e.g., home, business) and to separately treat organics. Moreover, waste pickers have been able to improve their livelihoods and working conditions.

Door-to-Door Collection Reduces Waste in Hernani, Spain

November 18, 2012

By Cecilia Allen

Facing a nearly full landfill in 2002, Spain’s Gipuzkoa Province proposed building two new incinerators. Citizen opposition was immediate and widespread. In response, some municipalities in the Province decided not only to reject the incinerator plan, but to implement an alternative to burying and burning. Usurbil was the first. This town of 6,000 people established a door to-door collection system of source-separated waste streams, including organic materials. In just six weeks, the amount of collected waste destined for landfills dropped by 80 percent. The resource recovery rate registered in the first year was 82 percent. In 2008, before door-to-door collection started, Usurbil was taking 175 tons per month to the landfill. One year later, the amount had dropped to 25 tons.

San Francisco: Zero Waste by 2020

November 2, 2012

By Virali Gokaldas and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Part 2 of "Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste"

East Coast residents have spent the last few days surveying storm damage, calculating how long it might take for water-clogged coastal towns to drain, and waiting half-days in gas lines before returning to cold and darkened homes. Meanwhile, more than 8,000 displaced by last week's cyclones in Chennai scrape together the basics of survival, Manila residents clean up from torrential August floods, and Beijing re-evaluates city infrastructure after July's deadly typhoon. The message is clear: climate change is real, and it’s serious. One way cities can significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent the escalation of global warming is by implementing zero waste practices.

“Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste” features new ways of thinking, acting, and shaping government policy that are circling the globe. Each week, we highlight a success story in the zero waste movement, excerpted from the report On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). GAIA is a powerful worldwide alliance of more than 650 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. Their collective goal is a just, toxic-free world without incineration. Other Worlds is excited to promote the work of GAIA and the organized communities it works with, and hopes that the stories inspire you and others to begin moving your home, town or city, nation, and planet toward zero waste.

The Day after the Elections in Woody Guthrie’s Country

November 1, 2012


By Beverly Bell
November 1, 2012

While all eyes and ears are trained on the elections, Woody Guthrie, whose 100th birthday we celebrate this year, offers up another perspective on politics. In his poem “This Is Our Country,” he wrote, “I seen the pretty and I seen the ugly and it was because I knew the pretty part that I wanted to change the ugly part. Because I hated the dirty part that I knew how to feel the love for the cleaner part.”

"Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste" Blog Series

October 29, 2012

Check out Other Worlds' latest blog series, “Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste,” featuring new ways of thinking, acting, and shaping government policy. Each week, we highlight a success story in the zero waste movement, excerpted from the report On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). GAIA is a powerful worldwide alliance of more than 650 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. Their collective goal is a just, toxic-free world without incineration. Other Worlds is excited to promote the work of GAIA and the organized communities it works with, and hopes that the stories inspire you and others to begin moving your home, town or city, nation, and planet toward zero waste. This introduction to zero waste is the first in a ten-part series on zero waste successes and lessons. Following weeks feature inspiring stories from around the globe. Check back regularly for the latest blogs!

 

Beyond Recycling: On The Road to Zero Waste

October 26, 2012


by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

This week Other Worlds launches the blog series “Environmental Possibilities: Zero Waste,” featuring new ways of thinking, acting, and shaping government policy. Each week, we highlight a success story in the zero waste movement, excerpted from the report On the Road to Zero Waste: Successes and Lessons from Around the World by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). GAIA is a powerful worldwide alliance of more than 650 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries. Their collective goal is a just, toxic-free world without incineration. Other Worlds is excited to promote the work of GAIA and the organized communities it works with, and hopes that the stories inspire you and others to begin moving your home, town or city, nation, and planet toward zero waste. This introduction to zero waste is the first in a ten-part series on zero waste successes and lessons. The following weeks will feature inspiring stories about zero waste achievements in San Francisco and waste pickers in India, to be followed by additional stories from around the globe.

“Our Ancestors Left This for Us to Protect:” Honduran Land Movement Celebrates Victory and Calls for Support

September 14, 2012

"At this very moment we have advanced our struggle. We succeeded in breaking the gate of shame in Vallecito!” wrote Miriam Miranda yesterday, September 13, in the latest communiqué from the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a human rights organization of the Afro-indigenous Garífuna people. Writing from Honduras, Miriam, the coordinator of OFRANEH, told about the first victory in the Garífuna’s most recent campaign to win back their legal and ancestral lands lost to mega-development projects.

First Victory for Afro-Indigenous Garifuna in Defense of the Land Campaign!

September 14, 2012

Latest communique from OFRANEH coordinator Miriam Miranda

We succeeded in breaking the gate of shame in Vallecito!!  We are achieving the re-surveying of our lands!!

3:28 p.m.  eastern time, (2:28 Honduran time)  Thursday, September 13, 2012  

Vallecito

URGENT ACTION: Honduran Land Movements Call for Support

September 12, 2012

The Afro-indigenous Garífuna people of the Northern coast of Honduras and the small-farming communities of the fertile Honduran valley of Bajo Aguán have put out urgent calls for international solidarity. Both are communities struggling, mainly through on-going land occupations, to reclaim land taken from them through illegal or suspect means by developers.

Take action now to support the Afro-indigenous Garífuna and the small-farmer cooperatives of Bajo Aguán.

URGENT ACTION: Ensure the Safety of Honduran Afro-Indigenous Community in Resistance

September 12, 2012

Please take a few minutes to take action to help our Garifuna brothers and sisters on the coast of Honduras working to reclaim their land, which for them is their life. OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, has organized the peaceful occupation. Send an email (see text you can copy into email below) or make a call (Spanish speakers). Learn more about the on-going Afro-indigenous Garifuna's Land Reclamation Campaign.  

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