Zero Waste Week

Zero Waste Week – a beginners guide

Zero Waste Week is an annual campaign which takes place in September every year. It aims to encourage people to reduce their waste. Zero waste is a great ambition and goal, but not yet a practical reality. That’s why we need campaigns like this to help us become more aware of the waste problem and to find solutions to it.

What is the problem with our waste?

In nature, there is no waste, as what isn’t useful to one creature will be useful to another. However we humans have created waste which can’t be used up naturally and causes imbalances in nature. Plus we are producing it in great quantities, at every stage along the production process of any item.

Our waste pollutes land, air and sea along the way to our homes. Then after disposal it continues to pollute. In landfill rubbish gives off methane a very potent greenhouse gas. When rubbish is incinerated it gives off CO2, which is another greenhouse gas. Watch the Story of Stuff video below, to find out more about the problems with waste

Octopus energy

How can taking part in Zero Waste Week help to solve the waste problem in our homes?

Every year there is a different theme outlining positive actions that we can take to reduce waste in our homes.

Themes have included doing one more thing (2014) i.e. take one zero waste action, swapping disposables for reusables (2015) and keeping a food waste diary (2016) and tackling climate change (2019) .

I have taken part for years and have found that it totally changed my attitude towards my rubbish habit. We send a lot less to landfill these days. We are a family of 4 and we only need to put our bins out every few weeks.

Who founded Zero Waste Week?

Zero Waste Week was founded by Rachelle Strauss back in September 2008. She took on a challenge to send zero waste to landfill for a week and shared the challenge on a blog with her readers.

Her green journey started before that though. She was inspired to go green when she was pregnant and after being caught in a scary situation in flash floods with her daughter. To find out more read my interview with Rachelle here: Interview with Rachelle Strauss

When is zero waste week?

Zero waste week always takes place in the first full week of September. This year it runs from the 7th to 11th September 2020.

How can you take part?

  • Sign up to the campaign here: Zero Waste Week Sign up. Once you sign up, you will receive all the information you need to take part each year.
  • Join the Facebook Group: Zero Waste Week Heroes
  • Check out the Ambassador page to discover bloggers who write on Zero Waste related themes (spot me at the bottom!)

Is taking part in Zero Waste Week enough to solve our rubbish problem?

The waste we produce at our end, in our homes is significant. We need to cut out waste in every area and it does make sense to start with what we have control over. No-one else can do it for us!

That said, there are areas where it is difficult to reduce waste. Plus as I mentioned earlier that the rubbish problem starts well before a product reaches our homes, so changing our own habits enough?

The theory of boycotting wasteful products and seeking out ones that come with less waste, was that companies would change to meet demand. That is happening, companies are changing and new zero waste businesses are springing up all over the place. There are now hundreds of zero waste shops in the UK, stocking all kinds of locally and ethically made zero waste products!

Change has to start somewhere. Let’s start it in the areas we can control!

Find out about more eco awareness campaigns here: Environmental awareness days, weeks and months

Zero Waste Week