Akira Sakano’s 34 ways to create a Zero Waste Home

January 19, 2017

Kamikatsu, Japan is the first zero waste city in the world. Akira Sakano is the dreamer responsible for bringing the zero waste city to life and for making the world a better place right now.

The zero waste city is built upon 34 principles that puts an end to the generation of waste. If you want to find out in depth why Akira began this project, how it is implemented in Kamikatsu including all the challenges faced along the way then have a listen to the extensive interview that Akira had with us at Better World here.

How would you feel if I told you that you could easily incorporate the 34 steps used in Kamikatsu into your home so that you could be the first zero waste home in your city? You’d be really interested right?

Great news! We are offering you free access to an easy-to-follow PDF, guiding you through the stages required to create your very own zero waste home. All you have to do to receive this PDF is enter your email address below. It couldn’t be simplier!

Step 1 – Recycle Aluminium Cans

Recycled aluminium cans can be used to create new aluminium cans.  So next time you finish a can a pop, be sure not to throw it in the bin!

Step 2 – Recycle Steel Cans

Steel cans are those tins in which our beans and tomato soup come in. Steel cans can be recycled time and time without losing their quality so make sure you don’t chuck these out with trash.

Step 3 – Recycle Spray Cans

Spray cans are the cans that our aerosols come in e.g. hairspray, deodorant. These cans are also recyclable; however, care is to be taken when these items are recycled to make sure all the chemicals inside are removed. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do this yourself at home! This will be done at the recycling centre.

recycle spray cans, changing the world


Step 4 – Recycle Metal Caps

Metal caps are found on top of glass bottles. These caps are to be recycled separately from the glass so make sure you don’t mix them up!

Step 5 – Recycle Clear Bottles

Like steel, glass is another product that can be recycled time and time again without losing it’s quality. We have three types of glass that can be recycled. The first type are the clear bottles.

Step 6 – Recycle Brown Bottles

Our next type of recyclable bottles are brown bottles.

recycle brown bottles, changing the world


Step 7 – Recycle Coloured Bottles (Blue/Green)

And finally there are colored bottles such as blue bottles or green bottles.

recycle coloured bottles, changing the world


Step 8 – Reuse Big Bottles

Big bottles – such as soy sauce bottles or beer bottles can be cleaned and then re-used by some manufacturers. See if anyone in your area can put these kinds of bottles to use again.

Step 9 – Recycle all other glass

Glass is used in the production of many household products including windows, mirrors and microwave doors. All the glass from these products are recyclable.

recycle glass, changing the world


Step 10 – Reuse Batteries

Single use batteries can be recycled but it’s a tricky process as they are hazardous waste. Try opting for rechargeable batteries that don’t get discarded after use.

Step 11 – Recycle Circle Light Bulbs

Light bulbs can be recycled but they need to be separated first (by those at a recycling centre)  as they contain metal and glass. There are three different types of light bulbs that can be recycled. Here we have the circle light bulb.

Step 12 – Recycle Straight Light bulbs

And here is a straight light bulb.

Step 13 – Recycle Broken Light Bulbs

And finally are broken light bulbs.

Step 14 – Recycle The Metal Part Of Light Bulbs

Once the light bulb is separated, the metal part can also be recycled separately.

Step 15 – Recycle White Plastic Trays (Used for Fish / Meat)

If you use these trays, they can be recycled, but make sure you give them a good clean before sending them on their way. They cannot be covered in anything such as oil when recycled.

Step 16 – Reuse Old Clothes and Curtains

Just because you no longer love your once favourite jumper doesn’t mean someone else won’t! Don’t bin clothes; take them to a clothes exchange or give them away to charity instead!

Step 17 – Recycle Paper Packs

Paper packs, predominately known for containing milk or orange juice, are recyclable, providing they have been cleaned properly first.

recycle paper packs, changing the world



Step 18 – Recycle Cardboard

Cardboard is able to be recycled into cardboard again. Also, people are always on the lookout for cardboard boxes when they are moving home. Do you have any neighbours who could reuse your cardboard?

recycle cardboard, changing the world


Step 19 – Recycle Newspapers

Nobody cares about yesterday’s news – except recycling centres! Once you’ve read your newspaper, be sure it gets recycled and not binned. 

Step 20 – Recycle Magazines And Small Pieces Of Paper

Like paper, magazines can be recycled. However, the quality of recycled magazines is poorer due to the foil and glue that is used.

Step 21 – Recycle / Reuse Wooden Chopsticks And Wooden Sticks

Wooden sticks can be recycled to make paper or burned for fuel. There’s also the option to get plastic, reusable chopsticks instead of using disposable, wooden utensils.

Step 22 – Reduce Use of PET Bottles

PET bottles are plastic bottles. If these get recycled they have to be perfectly clean, which can be difficult if bottles contain oils. Can you find a way to reduce your consumption of PET bottles? One way to do this is to have a refillable bottle which you can top up with tap water instead of buying bottled water.

PET bottles, changing the world


Step 23 – Recycle Caps of Plastic Bottles

Plastic caps on the top of bottles are recyclable. If you cannot avoid sometimes using plastic bottles, make sure you recycle the caps.  

recycle caps of plastic bottles, changing the world


Step 24 – Reuse Lighters

Stop using disposable lighters and opt for refillable lighters which don’t produce plastic ways. Even better, try to quit smoking so you don’t have to use any lighter!

Step 25 – Reduce The Amount Of Carpets And Mattresses Purchased

Carpets and  mattresses are difficult to recycle due to all the plastics and chemicals used to fuse the materials together. Make sure you get as much life out of your carpets and mattresses as possible to avoid buying new ones. Regularly deep clean carpets and flip over mattresses every 3 months to keep these products fresh and durable.

Step 26 – Reusable Diapers

Diapers are one the biggest landfill problems known to man. If you’re in the process of raising babies, try switching to reusable nappies which significantly reduce the amount of waste being disposed.

Step 27 – Reuse Kitchen Oils

It is possible to reuse cooking oil, although you may want to do some research before trying this as there are debates on whether or not this could be harmful for you. If you do decide to reuse oil, make sure you filter the oil first.

28 – Recycle Or Reuse Plastic Packaging

A lot of plastic packaging can be recycled as long as it’s clean from any food or liquid residue. Or, are you able to find anything else to store in your plastic packet so it is reused?

Step 29 – Reduce The Purchase Of Products Which We Don’t Have Any Choice But To Burn

Unfortunately, some items just aren’t recyclable and have to burned.  One example of a non-recyclable item is rubber – which is found in everyday items such as shoes. When purchasing your next pair of sneakers, have a browse at some companies who are manufacturing biodegradable footwear.

Step 30 – Recycle Old Tyres

Don’t dump old tyres; see if your local garage can put your old tyres to good use.

recycle old tyres, changing the world


Step 31 – Reuse / Recycle Furniture

If you are redecorating and feel that your old furniture doesn’t fit in with your new decor, see if someone else could make use of your old furniture or give it away to a charity shop. Furniture can also be broken down into parts and recycled if it is no longer in a useable condition.

Step 32- Recycle Large Electrical Products

Never leave your old electrical goods out with the trash! Arrange for them to be collected by an organization who deals with recycling old electrical goods.

Step 33 – Recycle Organic Waste / Food Waste

Food waste can be processed through a composting machine and turned into great fuel for the garden or farms.

Step 34 – Agricultural Plastic Bottles

A lot of these bottles can be recycled but special care is to be given to them due to the danger of the chemicals they contain.


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