Just like Plastic Free July, Zero Waste Week is a fantastic focus to encourage more of us to look at what changes we can make in our lives in order to reduce our household waste.
What Is Zero Waste Week?
“Zero Waste Week was founded by Rachelle Strauss in 2008 and began as a National UK Campaign. Campaigns last a week and take place annually during the first full week in September.
The campaign runs predominantly on social media and the website ZeroWasteWeek to reach a community of like-minded people who want to reduce residential or commercial waste, reuse materials and recycle as much as possible. The aim of the campaign is to help householders, businesses, schools and community groups increase recycling, reduce landfill waste and participate in the circular economy – in alignment with European recommendations and Directives.
Zero Waste Week was created as a non-commercial grassroots campaign to demonstrate means and methods to reduce waste, foster community support and bring awareness to the increasing problem of environmental waste and pollution”
Zero Waste Week Website
Starting Out With Zero Waste
The term Zero Waste can sound quite daunting but honestly, no one can live 100% zero waste so it’s not a name to take literally. The idea here is to take a look at areas of your lifestyle and see what can be adapted and, like all eco changes, what you choose has to work for you. We all have different things going on so any suggestions I make or others make over this week are just that – suggestions.
So, where to start this journey? Here’s a few things that may help…
– Choose one room to focus on at a time
Try not to overwhelm yourself here, choosing just one room will allow you to look into what changes can be made and gives you time to adjust to these first.
– Start small and simple e.g. swap out plastic bottles of soap and shower gel for bars of soap
If you are new to making eco swaps, you don’t want to jump in with something big. Instead, choose small and see how it feels – changing our mindsets and routines are often the biggest hurdles, not the products themselves. You have to give yourself time to try new things and see how it goes.
– Do a waste audit by keeping a diary of what’s going out into your normal waste bin
This is a really great way of checking what waste is coming out of your household and what is having the biggest negative impact. Grab a notebook and each time something goes into the normal bin, jot it down. Each time that item goes out again, pop a mark next to the note, you will quickly begin to see where problems lie and what may need tackling.
– Make lists of areas you’d like to change, ones that you’d enjoy researching and that will stick
This has to work for you and your family so there’s no point in say trying cloth nappies because someone has told you to if you really don’t want to try them. Pick eco-swaps that you know will be enjoyable, choose lifestyle changes that will be sustainable, choose products you think you will enjoy using. Being zero waste/eco should never be a chore.
Some areas you could consider changing may include:
– Finding a zero waste/refill store
– Growing your own
– Purchasing loose fruit and veg
– Switching disposables for appropriate reusable options
– Using more recycling schemes like TerraCycle, soft plastic drop-offs etc
– Mending and making do
– Cooking and baking from scratch
And don’t forget that saving on water, heating, electricity will also count. Any areas where you can prevent waste all help towards improving our environment.
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Zero Waste Focusses
If you already do quite a lot in terms of reducing waste, you could use this week to look into other areas that you could change. I really want to focus more on our waste from food packaging and I’m also going to look at saving water further within our house – I have a few tips in this previous blog post so it’s time I put more of those into action.
What will you be focussing on?
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