Is it possible to put a year’s worth of trash into a glass jar? Believe it or not, it totally is! And this has been proven time and again by numerous families (yes, FAMILIES, not just individuals) participating in the Zero Waste Challenge. Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, you’re intrigued. But what exactly is the zero waste challenge and how do you start?
What is the Zero Waste Challenge?
The zero waste challenge is a goal, a lifestyle practice. By working towards that goal, you’ll find you substantially reduce the amount of waste generated. There are three primary areas individuals and families can focus on for the challenge:
- Single-use plastic
- Food waste
- Clothing / Textile waste
Reducing or eliminating the amount of single-use plastic, food and textile waste you generate can lead to a shocking reduction in the amount of trash generated. And it’s probably easier than you think…but you definitely have to be conscientious and mindful, especially at the beginning.
How Do I Do the Zero Waste Challenge?
There are tons of videos, blogs, articles and resources available online to guide and inspire you. But if you apply the following steps / tips, in order, you’ll reduce your waste in no time.
- Remember why you’re doing it. If you do it just to do it, it’s not sustainable. Find your reason. (love the ocean, teach your children, etc.)
- Refuse what you don’t need. (Straws are never a need.)
- Reduce what you do need. (Juice in a glass tastes better than a juice box.)
- Reuse what you can. (Keep real flatware and cloth napkins in a car or purse and skip the plastic utensils and paper napkins.)
- Rot. Compost food waste and scraps, paper soiled with food, yard waste.
Where Do I Start?
It can seem overwhelming or intimidating, the idea of zero waste. If you can’t fit a year’s worth of garbage in a small glass jar, it’s okay. Remember what Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.” Even if you’re not there yet, start where you are. Put out two trash bags a week? Start with a goal of one bag a week and work to reduce your waste accordingly.
- Buy in bulk or loose items without packaging at the grocery.
- Bring your own reusable containers like glass jars or reusable bags.
- Skip the single serving packaging of yogurt or applesauce. Yes, it’s convenient but at what cost? And how hard is it really to scoop yogurt or applesauce out of a large jar and into a small, reusable one?
- Bring your own grocery bags.
- Do you need to put the loose produce in those thin plastic bags? Leave them loose.
- Only cook what you and your family will eat. Have leftovers? Repurpose them for another meal or compost them.
Think big, then make little changes. They’ll add up before you know it. And if you’re not quite to the small jar of refuse for your year, contact Envirobinz Trash Bin Cleaning Services to keep your outdoor trash bin clean and sanitized with minimal environmental impact. Contact 615-368-3999 or email [email protected] for a quote.
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