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Zero Waste Conference paying dividends

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Participants around the region participated in Guam EPA Zero Waste Conference gaining a wealth of knowledge.

Guam EPA's Zero Waste Conference came to a close today after a week long certification and conference for those in the solid waste management fields, participants from around the region gained and shared a wealth of knowledge they can know take back to their perspective homes one of the participants was Fiji's Catholic Women's League Susana Evening, the grass root women's organization is committed to protecting the environment.

"The women are the main managers of waste in the home and we advocating our women how to separate rubbish start from the home and then go out into the community and then on the national level we try to advocate our women," she said. Evening says her participation is another level for her grass roots organization and has gained an understanding of what good practices are being done by other countries in the region which she is excited to take home with her and share with the women in her organization.

"I'm really excited about talking about the recycling of plastic and I look at what women here are doing there's another way of recycling plastic which is the rubbish you just throw," she said.

So many thing can be done with plastic bottles instead of just throwing them away, participants learned how they can transform plastic into art such as flowers, bags, wallets to reusing them for organic farming. Teava Iro from the Cook Islands is a traditional method farmer with the Titikaveka Growers Association; while he shared how his home handles organic agriculture and composting he says the conference was an eye opener.

He said, "I think it has opened my eyes to the common problems that the whole region are facing and also benefited me in the different approaches different countries are adapting to protect the issues that we all face. And also the encourage that comes from seeing what different people are doing I suppose I could probably go home and maybe and let's put it this way kick butts," she said.

With the knowledge he has gained from the conference he says he hopes to get people in the relevant areas on his island to do more adding that they know what need to be done but the will is not there. For Iro making progress in zero waste is a holistic approach...he says only focusing on one aspect of zero waste, capacity building integration and traditional and community based environmental protection would defeat the purpose because all are interdependent. 
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