CAN: Act Sustainably
Lifestyle Choices - Move to Zero Waste (easily)
What is Zero Waste?
Take a 12 Month Challenge to move Toward Zero Waste
We can't get to Zero Waste overnight, so let's not try. It first takes awareness and then a creative approach to find sustainable alternatives for many of the things that wind up in the trash and, ultimately incinerated or buried in landfills, each with their own dire consequences for current and future generations.
In this article by Jonathon Engels you'll find a doable 12 month plan to reduce your waste stream. We've added a pre-activity: Inventory your waste. Take the 12 month challenge and even if you reduce 10% you've made a difference. It takes plastic up to 1,000 years to decompose. You'll find easy tips and tricks, as well as additional resources in the 12 month zero waste article. Here is the program summary:
Pre-activity - Inventory your trash
What is going into your trash and recycling bin? Keep a piece of paper near the trash and jot down what gets thrown away. Do the same with your recycling bin. We think you will be intrigued to discover what gets discarded. For every item that makes it to the trash or recycling bin, you'll be thinking about alternatives if possible. Challenge yourself to think of ways to reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, or repair what is being tossed out as you move through the 12 step program. For items in your recycling bin, consider reusable alternatives, such as those found in this helpful article on moving to zero waste in the kitchen.
Month 1: Use What You've Got
In addition to the tips offered, check out the websites that provide recipes for ingredients you have on hand.
Month 2: Make a Packaging Plan
Month 3: Set Up a Waste Stream
Month 4: Start Composting
Month 5: Break Into Bulk Bins
Month 6: Get Reusable: Bottle, Thermos, Bag, Containers
Month 7: Home Cooking Challenges
Month 8: Waste Free Lunch
Month 9: Clean-out Chemical Cleaners
Month 10: Homemade Hygiene
Month 11: Go Energy Efficient
As you look at efficiency, also cut down on wasteful water use. The EPA WaterSense website has lots of easy tips.
Month 12: Abstain from New Stuff
Let us know how it is going and what you are doing with this challenge! We hope to hold a forum on this in the future to share the experience of moving to Zero Waste and was you are making a difference.