Waste is not the problem. We consider waste as an indicator that shows the wretchedness of linear economic model. The linear model does not only end up creating waste but also coerce consumers to take responsibility for them. Meanwhile there are not a few producers keep producing with lack of consideration in environment. To discontinue this system, we think imagining and aiming a city that is sustainably taken care of by all of its inhabitants are crucial.
We have challenged people and ourselves to be more eco-conscious: to live less or zero waste life since 2015. We created a project called “Kota Tanpa Sampah”—“A Zero Waste City”. The strategies are to reduce waste from pre-consumption, to use source or consume as minimal as possible, and to not carelessly throw anything and consider it as waste. Not only we reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste but we also produce knowledge by having discussions and sharing our obstacles and advantages that we face. From this challenge, we know that we are able to reduce our waste up to 95%. Nonetheless, our main problem is in the 5% gap—material that cannot be reused or recycled: small plastic packaging.
How, then, can we stop generating plastic waste? Our next action is Co-op Kampong. It is a movement to initiate co-operative (co-consumptive and co-productive) zero waste communities that are conscious about where and how they get source, produce and consume it without giving negative impact to environment.
We divide our action into five phases:
- Co-produce knowledge as a capital to develop pioneers of Co-Op Kampong
As we have previously described, we consider waste as an indicator of linear economic model’s vulnerability since it indicates pollution and quality degradation in our environment. The challenge is how to invite people in the kampong to understand our perspective. In this phase we already challenged them via Kota Tanpa Sampah project by asking, “can we live a week or two without producing waste?”.In this project household is people’s micro cosmos and laboratory. In other words they are flexible to do experiment. After the experiment, all of the participants share their knowledge to each other. As the collective knowledge is produced, the sharing session becomes the embryo of Co-Op Kampong’s network.
- Consumers become prosumers
At the second phase we will do social experiments to challenge a kampong to produce what they consume without generating waste. The goal is to boost their awareness about source around them and increase their willingness to eco-consciously explore it. We also encourage them to use long-lasting containers and avoid using sachet products. This phase also contains these steps:
-Bring the source near
We will enhance pioneer's and our knowledge about how to produce our own sources. We will do workshops and discussions about how to grow and cook the source. By getting knowledge about it we can produce source without plastic packaging that is possible to be waste.
-Map the daily needs.
After people in the kampong aware about what they have in producing their need, the next step is to map their daily needs. By doing this we will know what they necessarily need and their source limitation so they can imagine or create methods to consume it sufficiently or with zero waste.
As people know about the source limitation, they need to scale-up by searching and building relation to other people, community or kampong that can offer what they need. Our role as an initiator is to help them to meet each other and to create co-operative relation.
- Co-operate: co-produce and co-consume
The most essential phase of this movement is enhancing co-operation networks in the kampong. We will give triggers (challenges or experiments) to boost co-production and co-consumption in the kampong. We expect people to share their common needs and goals and to collaborate in achieving them.
- Economic Models.
Warung or small home-shops/vendors will be the center of their sources. In this phase, using multifunctional containers to replace plastic packaging and refilling products that they need are easier since everyone share collective knowledge about the importance of implementing zero waste life.
- Scale Up.
What community couldn't produce should be got from other communities. This opened connection brings up opportunity to scale up this initiative. The connection between community also run as co-ops model. So, the connection will be social, cultural, and also economical. It will redefine the structure of the city: Kota Tanpa Sampah (a zero waste future).
Currently we are in stage 3 heading to stage 4.