Complete Life - Zero Waste

HuMuSz - Waste Reduction Alliance, Hungary -

HuMusz (Waste Reduction Alliance) since its establishment in 1995 has been a cornerstone of the waste related civil activities in Hungary.
We are known as very consistent and professional watchdogs, courageous activists and dedicated promoters of the waste hierarchy: prevention, minimisation, re-use, material recovery and proper disposal – strictly in that order.
HuMuSz is proud that whether they agree with our arguments or not, all the various governmental bodies, waste-businesses, the media, educators and researchers and the fellow civil non-profit NGOs recognise and respect our work and achievements.
HuMuSz – has a staff of six backed up by a core group of 12-20 regular activist and contributors together with a nation-wide network of capable and professional green civil organisations.
HuMuSz has literally dozens of activities and on-going projects: a quarterly magazine and a weekly e-newsletter sent to over 1000 addresses. an Eco-counseling office, and various forms of environmental awareness raising projects including`exhibitions, publications, out-of-class education for schools, street actions, regular media presence, a green office and a recycling service in more than 80 (!) buildings. HuMuSz is active member of international networks such as EEB or GAIA.

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Complete Life – Zero Waste

HuMuSz’ ZW programmes -

Can one live a complete life with wastes reduced to zero?! Yes, HuMuSz says, and it does not mean we must pinch ourselves and surrender a good life. It requires only some consciousness and creativity. Zero Waste compared to the traditional waste management is like sustainable development to classical environment protection. Structural problems cannot be solved within the level and framework that created them. The mitigation of negative consequences is very important, but far from enough. We must tackle the roots and connections. ‘Environment’ is not outside, its not surrounding us; we are part of the environment. The environment and other values can be protected for a short while, but we can not defend ourselves forever. We must reach equilibrium and peace within the circle of nature.. Right now, WE are the enemy, our recklessly careless lifestyle, injustice and greed is destroying the web of life that holds everything together.
“Sustainability, paradigm shift, cause and consequence, systems thinking, life cycle approach” Big words for a very simple thing. Waste is the most obvious sign of a unsustainable and polluting system. So lets look into our waste bins! Where did all this stuff come from?
Who produced it, and where? How and why did I get it? How did I use it and what happens to it now I have finished with it? What could be done differently? Everybody can give 8-10 ideas off-hand! Zero Waste is not a technological solution, but an approach with dozens of colourful little and bigger ways to step out of the todays linear “cradle to grave” production systems using secondary raw materials in residuals. Find the challenge in zero waste production and when shopping and living. Also, we have to realise, zero waste is not only the right thing to do on a moral basis, but it is in our basic economic interest too! Don’t have a green heart? Do it for your pocket then! After all, any idiot can produce trash. Isn’t it more exciting to find and live in sustainable ways, collect and share experiences, feelings, wisdom in a community instead of owning objects?

2009: Zero Waste Zero Hour

ZW Community and network, multilevel planning, flagship towns and more...

2009: Zero Waste “Zero Hour” in Hungary. HuMuSz runs 4 (!) major ZW projects, like in a game of football, we attack and stretch the whole field, using a variety of formations, targeting literally all audiences and stakeholders with zero waste messages. The overarching and pretty ambitious projects are sponsored by the National Sources, European Operative Programmes and the EEA Mechanism. A core activity is the “Complete Life – Zero Waste” Road Show. HuMuSz member organisations and activists stand at 36 (!) festivals in the season around the country. We distribute informative materials and involve kids and families in interactive games and teasers. The Dustbin Diet Competition (Kukadieta) is for households. Those who enter have to measure the amount and composition of their waste and take various voluntary actions from conscientious buying, consumption and composting towards Zero Waste.
First, we build and enable local Zero Waste Communities. HuMuSz partners local grass root NGOs, individuals and neighbourhoods that can be core groups and model communities. The Zero Waste Network receive regular newsletter from HuMuSz, actively exchange information and best practices, not only on Zwaste but also local community organising, activism, planning, fundraising, etc. We go to schools and a total of 360 schools will be hosting Zero Waste Classes and competitions. We expect to reach thousands of pupils.
A core element of the programme is the ZW Flagship Towns project. We selected settlements with different size and circumstances to start municipal zero waste planning and pilot projects. The towns of Csor and Varpalota are the first two that will develop a municipal Zero Waste Plan with the assistance of the HuMuSz, but fully based on the “genius loci” –using the wisdom and knowledge of local people and their situations. Facilitated Citizen Councils, workshops and fact-finding researches will be combined with desk planning and project development. We expect that by the end of the project the first 3-4 Municipal Zero Waste Strategies and Plans will not only be developed through a participatory consensus decision making process, but also formally adopted. We aim for elements of Zero Waste beyond the 1.0 idea, “municipal recycling”: local and neighbourhood composting, reuse centres, conscientious consumption, local and ecological food production and markets etc.
As in the past decade, HuMuSz continues to lobby at the national level for waste prevention and reduction alternatives. We participate in the revision of the 2nd and planning of the 3rd National Environmental Programme and the recent National Waste Management Plan. We focus on more effective use of product fees, differentiated waste service fees and the reintroduction of deposit-on-return systems.
The homepage addresses 9 stakeholder groups, the general public, the central and local governments, NGOs, waste management service providers and other businesses, the media, academy and education, facilitates communication and partnership. The page contains a massive amount of information, but also five funny HuMuSz Zero Waste commercials and a 54 minutes HuMuSz-Movie “(a 9 chapter documentary on wastes from littering to incineration) can be viewed, along with several other ZW videos. The project is supported by celebrities, although it was quite a struggle to identify popular and authentic media personalities for our ZW messages. It’s a long road to Zero Waste, but in 2009-2010 we take many little but longer steps.
Once again our slogan: Complete Life – Zero Waste… we’ll end up “humus” anyway.

Contact us: [email protected]