4th to the 8th September 2017 is Zero Waste Week, a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.
The thing about waste, all waste, is it has to go somewhere. That may be the incinerator, landfill, the ocean… it doesn’t just ‘go away’.Reducing waste is something we can all do and is something that can really make a difference to our environment. If we, as consumers, demand zero waste products, manufacturers have to listen. The louder we shout, the more mainstream these things will become.
If the thought of zero waste makes you wonder how it’s achievable we’re the first to admit it’s a big lifestyle change and does require a lot of thought but once you get going, like anything, it becomes easier and easier. Here’s five easy ways to get you and your family started with zero waste.
You know this one already, but it’s such a biggie I feel we need to reiterate it… use reusable bags and containers. Take them with you wherever you go. Everywhere. You can get innovative collapsible containers these days, they don’t need to be big and bulky.
Compost. It can be tricky, and there’s certainly hardcore gardener methods but for us beginners it is as simple as collecting garden waste and organic materials (think fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and filters, eggshells) and popping them in a compost pile. Over the course of a year or so, the material will decompose. Check to see if your local council has initiatives in place to support composting.
Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Get a sign, unsubscribe, call people up. The amount of takeaway menus appearing through my door (joys of city life) is crazy. Sadly, there’s no one way to stop it coming in but the CAB has some great advice. The biggest deterrent of all is a simple sticker sign.
Buy in bulk! This saves you money, time and reduces waste. You can buy juice, snacks, and other lunch items in bulk and use those reusable containers we mentioned earlier. Needs some planning, but research what you can get, how to store it and you’re good to go!
Turn down the free stuff. All that stuff we get offered – free pens, leaflets, those bug things … we really don’t need them. Every time we take the tat, we’re creating demand for more, therefore more is produced. And what happens with it, yep, it all ends up in the bin.
And of course….. Let’s ignore best before. Use your senses, they will tell you if food stuffs are OK or not.
#ZeroWasteWeek is a grass roots campaign we all really need to get behind. Help spread the word, join the conversation on Facebook, Tweet using the #ZeroWasteWeek hashtag (browse it too, it’s inspiring!). If you want to know more about this initiative, take a few minutes to read the blog and sign up to their newsletter.