Zero Waste Challenge – No Waste Day 15 of 30
30 Day Zero Waste Challenge
Let’s not just talk about sustainable living, let’s do something about it!
Did you know that without significant action the worlds waste will increase 70% by 2050? Jumping from 2.1 billion tonnes to 3.4 billion tonnes. Most of this waste is coming from high-income countries and households.
Given our vast consumerist society this doesn’t surprise me in the least. What does surprise me is how no one is talking about it!
“As consumers, we have so much power to change the world just by being careful in what we buy.” – Emma Watson
Such a powerful, yet simple message. What I am hoping to gain from this 30 day zero waste challenge is a sense of my own waste consumption. What things can I work on to keep improving my own life and resulting footprint.
Benefits of Zero Waste Living
Many people around the world who are living a zero waste, minimal lifestyle have only great things to say about it. I won’t dive into the benefits of zero waste living in this post but as you can see below, this lifestyle can have a wonderfully positive impact.
- Improve Your Health
- Decrease Your Spending
- Find More Enjoyment in Life
- Help the Planet
How to Start the Zero Waste Challenge
Getting started doing anything is always the hardest part. Same goes for doing a 30 day zero waste challenge.
Are you interested in doing a zero waste challenge yourself? If so, the first thing to do is familiarize yourself with what exactly a zero waste challenge entails.
My Zero Waste Challenge – Day 15 of 30
Before getting started, take some time to clean out everything. I cleaned out my room, my car, fridge, freezer, anywhere and everywhere I might have found old receipts, food waste, containers that were about to be empty, etc.
Now that I am halfway done my 30 day zero waste challenge I can really see how small things add up quickly. Having this fresh start is key to helping keep your waste down for the month.
After reading the beginner’s guide to zero waste I took a trip over to Canadian Tire to purchase a few things I would need for the month.
If I could start over, I’d say do this step prior to starting so you don’t have to keep any packaging or receipts you get.
I purchased everything I needed to compost in a storage tote. Composting is such a huge part of zero waste, and it turns out it’s pretty easy too!
I also purchased some reusable food baggies, and some reusable produce bags. I already had a ton of reusable food wrap and many reusable tote bags. If you don’t have the latter two items these are the four fundamental things I’d say you need in order to be successful during this challenge.
Zero Waste Challenge – First Half Struggles
Once you have your composting bin set up, and you have your reusable items handy you are ready to live your normal life and alter things as needed!
Some of my biggest struggles so far:
- Ordering Takeout with Friends
- Amazon Shopping or Other Online Shopping
- The Gym – Sanitary Wipes
Of course avoiding takeout is easier said than done. It is however much more difficult in the middle of a pandemic when the government is encouraging you to not eat at a restaurant, and when your friends and roommates offer to buy you takeout. Try to order just one thing and ask the restaurant for it to be in a plastic takeout container instead of a cardboard or styrofoam one. That way you can keep reusing it!
I have ordered nothing while in March but I did order something I needed for my computer about a week prior to starting this. My part came in and of course came in a much too large box with a ton of unnecessary plastic packaging. Note to self, online ordering is not ideal unless it’s something you really need and cannot get locally!
The Gym – Sanitary Wipes
This is big, especially with Covid germs being at the top of everyone’s minds. Every gym that I’ve been to always has those single use wipes or paper towels you rip off and spray with sanitizer. I’ve been told that they do not allow you to bring your own cloth in but that hasn’t stopped me… If anyone has a better solution please let me know in the comments below!
Zero Waste Challenge – Easy or Difficult?
This first half has been easier than I expected, but also quite challenging at the same time.
It feels easy because once you have everything you need, the only thing that creates waste are items you’ve previously purchased. Continuing to be waste free would be even easier as time goes on and you are conscious about your future purchases.
The difficult part has been keeping it top of mind consistently. Having a ‘zero waste kit’ in your car has been extremely handy. Having tote bags, produce bags, a coffee mug, reusable takeout containers at the ready. The struggle is keeping it top of mind when you carpool with someone else, or walk to get coffee instead of driving.
What has been keeping me sane is the fact that this challenge is about trying your best and not about being perfect. I am so excited to continue this 30 day zero waste challenge and see what the latter half will bring.
I would love to hear if anyone reading this has ever tried a zero waste challenge. Or if you haven’t would you? Let me know, and stay tuned for my finished zero waste challenge blog post!