CLIMATE JUSTICE: FOR THE PEOPLE + THE PLANET
To protect our environment, we must fight the systems that destroy it. Our work is rooted in building an economy that values the livelihood of people & the planet over profit.
Our mission begins with planting seeds of knowledge by educating the community about the intersectionality of climate justice and zero waste.
(to set in motion)
Through education, we aim to inspire collective responsibility for conscious consumption habits in order to mitigate plastic waste pollution.
By reinvesting power in favor of local small makers and creatives, we seek to build a sustainable economy to secure for future generations.
Remember the Past:
Since the beginning of time, the indigenous people of Guåhan (CHamoru) viewed Earth and humans as inseparable. They are fondly referred to as “taotao tano”: People of the land. Their creation story tells the tale of a brother & sister who sacrificed their bodies + spirits to birth the Universe and people for whom to enjoy its expansive beauty. Everything the CHamoru had was sourced from nature. Banana leaves were used as plates, coconut trees provided clothing & shelter, latte stones served as foundations for houses, and all the like. The land never failed to provide.
Under the rule of various colonizers, families were displaced from their lands and introduced to new systems, such as Industrialism- where food & goods were preserved in packaging and imported from abroad. As the CHamoru assimilated to a new way of life, traditional skills to connect with the land for food & shelter were left behind. What once was the vital source of existence was lost in the ashes of traditional knowledge as the people were forced to inherit systems of colonization, capitalism, and militarization.
Ancestral Connection to Land
Culture of Abandonment
The presence of plastic:
After the inception of the first dumping site- established by the U.S Navy in WWII- the community lost touch with its respect for resources and adopted a culture of abandonment. Now, more than 90% of goods are imported from abroad, and with that, more waste. Every day, Guåhan produces 600,000 lbs of trash per day, averaging to 4.4 pounds per household. This doesn’t include waste from the estimated 1.5 million tourists that visit the island every year.
The island’s only landfill, recently built in 2011, has already filled three of its eleven cells. In the past, we sent our recyclables to China, but the country was so overburdened with its own trash that it closed its borders from accepting material from abroad. Only two of the seven types of plastic are recyclable on Guåhan, and the local entity that deals with waste management has very little to no resources to improve its current recycling system. Guåhan is in a state of emergency and desperately needs a practical community solution to mitigate our island from literally drowning in trash.
Sustainability for the Future:
We aim to be a “zero waste” business, which simply means we try our best to produce as little to no waste as possible by making small changes to our everyday routines and habits. Our goal is to provide the people of Guåhan with the ease and accessibility of adopting a zero waste lifestyle. We strive to inspire the community to be mindful of its consumption habits and to be active in limiting reliance upon plastic. Zero waste is not a trend- it’s a lifestyle change being adopted across the globe as more and more people bridge the connection between plastic pollution and the environment.
Numa’lo means to revive or return to. The birth of this business means so much more than retail, so much more than recycling, and even so much more than providing individuals with access. Its heart lies in remembering where we come from, our connection to the earth, and our inherited responsibility to return to it.