Take a look in your waste bin. What’s in it? Are there some food scraps and containers from lunch or dinner? Maybe some used paper and receipts? Perhaps you bought a new toy or book today, and its plastic and paper packaging sits in the bin too. From food waste to single-use items, the average person sends 0.74 kilograms of waste to the landfill every day. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot, but this adds up to a global total of at least 2 billion tonnes of waste each year! Can we reduce our waste? Try the Zero Waste Challenge, and see how much waste you can reduce in a week!
Zero waste is a way of living in which we aim to create minimal waste in our everyday lives. Contrary to popular belief, it is not about producing no waste at all. Rather, we try to create as little waste as we can within our means. Being 100% waste-free may be impossible as many of us may not have enough support from governments and manufacturers to do so.
A zero-waste lifestyle helps us protect the environment in several ways. Firstly, we reduce land pollution when we send less trash to landfill. Secondly, it encourages us to live more sustainably by reducing, reusing, and recycling. When we understand how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us, we can find a way to protect and conserve Earth’s resources.
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It is not easy to live without producing any waste, but it is also not as hard as we may think, either. Here are some tips we can follow to reduce our waste.
More on this topic here: 7 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
In the first week, take note of how much waste you and your family generate each day. Weigh your trash and make note of how much trash you collect from Day 1 to Day 7.
During this period, get to know your trash. You cannot cut your waste without knowing what is in it. It is a good idea to take note of what you and your family put in the trash. Are you throwing away lots of paper towels or single-use items?
Your challenge begins in the second week. Use the tips in this article to try to get as close as possible to zero waste. This is when your notes from the first week will come in handy. What items do you throw away the most? If you use lots of paper towels, swapping them for a reusable towel will help you reduce a big part of your waste. If you have lots of food waste, try buying or preparing less food. Your aim is to generate as little waste as possible each day.
Same as the first week, weigh and make note of how much trash you collect, from Day 8 to Day 14. How did it go compared to week 1?
Take some time to reflect on the challenge. Was it easier or more difficult than you thought? Which habits were easiest to change, which were the most difficult, and why?
Living a zero-waste life may look different for everyone. You do not have to compost or grow your own garden to live a zero-waste lifestyle – every small effort counts in making the planet a more sustainable one!
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