is the recycling of all materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment.


NOTE: Composting is not zero waste if transportation is involved, then composting definitely carries a large carbon footprint - until we get off fossil fuels at least. Therefore, use compost onsite or locally.  It's the best way to go.

  You Bet Your Garden with host Mike McGrath, an National Public Radio series on organic gardening. According to Elaine Ingham, Associate Professor at Oregon State University and founder of Soil FoodWeb,Inc., "If we get health back into the soil you no longer have to add pesticides, fertilizers, or insecticides.  You can even drop herbicide applications out of the system. How do you get health back into the soil? Compost. Good compost."



Lawn care - Seed it, then leave it. Many commercial lawn chemicals have harmful ingredients. They make grass grow faster, requiring more mowing. They dry out grass, requiring more watering
Let a large part of the perimeter of your property go wild, to reduce mowing and provide a place to absorb yard waste and processed food scraps! See below.
Wood mulch is good for paths where you don't want anything to grow, but it's not good to put around trees, bushes, or plants.
Put food scraps through a blender with plenty of water, if you are going to toss them into your wilderness area.

Worm bins for in-house composting:

Put food scraps through a food processor.  Or, use a blender with plenty of water - then strain the water out - before putting in your worm bin. 
Give only non-chlorinated (& not dyed with toxic chemicals) paper products to your composting worms. 
To avoid fruit flies, freeze food scraps until you are ready to compost them
To kill fruit flies, place into bin a 12 oz. jar  (5" high, 2.5" wide) with beer (1 inch depth), place a funnel with a 1/4 inch opening (pointed end down) over the beer. The flies get into the beer, but can't get out.





THE WORM WOMAN "Whatever you call it, give worm composting a try, and join the thousands of people who can say, "Worms Eat My Garbage." That just happens to be the title of my book, which tells you everything you need to know about how to set up your own vermicomposting system."  The late Mary Appelhof



Product Directories/Lists: (Editor's note: Compostable products may not always be the way to go in that they may take a lot of energy to manufacture.)

Compostable Products:   Search for biodegradable and/or compostable food packaging (wood, starch, etc.):

SEE: Organic Products, etc.  

 Compost-Iz-Us! .... Natural Death Info:

 SEE: ZWA related links:

Composters: (Editor's note: it would be better if these products were not made of plastic)


Worm-a-way® Model 7002 (2-3 lbs. garbage per week)


See: ZWA's Pesticide page
THE SUBURBANITES & LAWN CARE ... An imaginary conversation between The Creator and St. Francis


                     Natural Border or Hedgerow - 3 years growth

If you live in the suburbs, it's probably not a good idea to let your whole yard go wild (because of local ordinances, etc.). But, if you have the space, allow the last 15-20 feet of your backyard and/or side boundary to go wild. In many parts of the U.S., it will only take three years before an exciting natural border/hedgerow begins to develop. 

Lawn Care: Seed it, then leave it! Fertilizers make grass grow faster, requiring more mowing. Also, they dry lawns out quicker. "EPA Registered" on pesticide and other products does NOT mean that the chemicals were tested for safety by the EPA or are safe to use. Most chemicals are not fully tested for safety by the EPA. The EPA continues to rely heavily upon research and reporting by industry. Without effective government oversight, it is difficult for the homeowner to determine if even 'natural' treatments are safe.

To kill weeds in gutters, patios, etc.: During dry conditions, saturate plant with hot water or pure Vinegar

  • USE HOT WATER! Carrboro, North Carolina, is killing weeds with water instead of chemicals. The town is using a machine, manufactured by Waipuna International Limited of New Zealand, that superheats water and dispenses it in a carefully controlled stream to kill weeds without using toxic chemical herbicides. The equipment, which is made in New Zealand, is in use in several other countries but is almost unknown in the United States. Contacts for Waipuna International Ltd US Office: Martin Haver 701 West Buena #3, Chicago, IL 60613 Tel.: 773-255-8355 (cell & voice mail) H: 773-348-0516.
  • Grass seed: Use slowest growing grass in your region. Example: Buffalo Grass-Midwest.

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