Why Do A Zero Waste Challenge?
So why have I set a 2020 Zero Waste Challenge?
We can all make changes on our own to help reduce waste and move to a more Zero Waste home. However, sometimes it helps to work together and share ideas and encouragement.
The Challenges are designed to give you ideas on how to reduce your waste and make changes to use less resources. You may find that you’ve already made some of the changes suggested in the monthly challenges, if that’as the case it would be great if you could share some of your own helpful tips and ideas on the social media posts to help and encourage others.
Recap - What is Zero Waste?
Before we jump into the challenge I think it would be useful to recap what the Zero Waste ethos is all about so we know what we’re trying to achieve.
The simple answer: The aim is to send nothing to a landfill. Refuse what you don’t want, reduce what you need, reuse as much as you can, send as little as possible to be recycled, and compost whatever you can’t.
The less simple answer: It’s really about redefining the system. We currently live in a linear economy where we take resources from the earth and then dump them in a giant hole in the ground. The goal of zero waste is to move to a circular economy where we write rubbish out of existence. The circular economy mimics nature in that there is no rubbish in nature.
Instead of discarding resources, we should be aiming to create a system where all resources can be resumed fully back into the system.
Zero Waste sounds like something that’s unachievable and in it’s truest sense it probably is; but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t all try.
The goal should be Zero Waste and every little thing we do to help achieve that is a step in the right direction. You can do as much or as little towards the Zero Waste Goal that works for you. It doesn’t have to be a radical change in your lifestyle, but obviously the more you change the more it will help to make a difference.
Where Does All Our waste Go?
According to official Government statistics, the UK produces 200 million tonnes of waste every year. This is total waste for households and Business with around half generated by households, the amount that is sent to landfill is just over 26%.
The UK has, in recent years, exported a lot of non-recyclable waste to Europe – more than 3m tonnes in 2016 – where it is used as fuel to generate heat and electricity in specialist Energy-from-Waste (EfW) power plants.
England now has 7 years left of non-hazardous landfill life, based on 2016 inputs, according to the Environment Agency.
England landfilled a total of 44.7 million tonnes in 2016 and managed a total of 203 million tonnes of waste.
That’s a lot of waste.
Start with a waste Audit
Before you start the Challenges it’s good to carry out a Waste Audit as that will help you keep track of your progress.
You can do separate Audits for Landfill and Recycling.
How to Do A Waste Audit
- Choose how long a period of time you are going to carry out the waste audit over, I think a week is just about right.
- Decide how you are going to record your waste. You can download my free Waste Audit printable.
- Every time you throw a piece of rubbish into your general waste /landfill bin or recycling bin record it (see how I do it on my waste audit sheet)
- At the end of your audit sit down and look at what’s on your list and start thinking of ways you can reduce your waste or recycling. It might be that one of the items on your list is crisp packets. If that’s the case you may decide to stop eating crisps. Or, it might be empty toothpaste tubes, which can’t be recycled, so you might decide to switch to plastic free toothpaste.
- Once you’ve completed a few Challenges it will be useful to carry out another Waste Audit just to check your progress.
2020 Zero Waste Challenge
Now for the Challenge.
Wherever you are on your Zero Waste Journey why not make 2020 the year you take it that bit further.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Each month I will post suggestions for making small changes to help you reduce your waste. The challenges will posted on my Instagram feed Thoroughly Modern Grandma and my Facebook Page TMG.
I will also publish a Blog each month with that month’s Challenges and some useful tips and advice on how to achieve them and with some added bonus challenges.⠀⠀
As an example below you can see some Insta posts for Janauary
If you would like to see all the Challenges for the Year I’ve produced an A4 Checklist that you can print out and tick off as you go (click on the picture below for a printable version)
I hope you enjoy taking part in the Challenges