Zero Waste examples at the Global Social Business Summit

Last week, November 8 and 9 we attended the 4th Global Social Business Summit in Vienna. This annual summit is organized by Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Creative Lab gathering more than 500 people from all around the globe to discuss and celebrate Social Business.  For those of you who could not make it to the summit we want to share some Zero Waste insights and great ideas we encountered there. 

We met quite a few social entrepreneurs who address Zero Waste issues with there solutions. Take, for instance, our friends Isabel and Jessica from x-runner, who provide an affordable and innovative sanitation solution – that is, a waterless mobile toilet – to urban households that do not have any access to water or sewage systems. People using their service exchange the full collection container with a clean one once a week. The waste is then being treated and composted into nutrient rich soil, while the containers are cleaned for reuse. That’s what we call a perfect Zero Waste cycle beneficial to everyone!

Another great idea is the project “Waste into Life” from São Paulo in Brazil. Ricardo and Carolina plan to setup a waste separation and collection system operated by those who are mostly affected – the people living in the city’s favelas. They tackle serious health and social issues generated by waste with a social business solution.

We met Inge from She provides education and sustainable thinking to make social change happen. An idea growing from our discussion is to develop a theatre play for school children to address Zero Waste.

Last but not least a group of Japanese students presented their idea of converting cosmetics waste into art material. All these examples from different countries and industries show how the broad range of waste affects all of us. They also show different ways to tackle the problems associated with waste.

Zero Waste is happening!

Michael Bauer-Leeb