2018: A Year of Zero Waste Tips and Challenges for the Ever Improving Zero Waster

I learned about the zero waste movement in February of 2017 and immediately set goals for myself to decrease my waste. I wrote a blog post, titled 12 Months to Becoming a Zero Waste Home, and it guided me in my first year of living more sustainably. Now that 2017 is wrapping up, and 2018 is officially here, I want to take my zero waste game to the next level. But how? And why?

First let’s start with “the why”. Its important to me that I continue to challenge myself to live more sustainbly in the areas of my life where I still create waste. I still struggle with things like green cleaning products, too many clothes, and the art of refusing (the first R in the zero waste mantra.) In addition, I want to nurture this amazing Zero Waste community that has started to form online via my various social media accounts. I have met so many wonderful people as a result of starting Zero Wasted and I want to continue to engage others who are doing amazing things to decrease their impact on the environment.

Now, for “the how”. I have decided to spend the next year focusing on the following themes and challenges to improve my zero waste game. I hope you will continue to join me in this journey and partake in some of the challenges!

Here they are, in no particular order…

Zero Waste Online Book Club

This virtual book club will be an opportunity for people interested in reading zero waste or environmental books to engage with others in a safe space. This should be a fantastic opportunity for us to engage in a new online forum space that I am currently creating. We will start with the Mother of all zero waste books, the Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson.

Zero Waste Meetups

It is extremely important to spread the word about sustainable living. I believe that if enough people are engaged in the zero waste movement, we can combat climate change. So it is up to all of us to provide the opportunity for others to become involved, and meetups are a great way to get people together for discussion and community. This month will focus on how to organize a meetup and host one. You will have the tools do this in your own community!

Project 333 Clothing Challenge

Never heard of it? Don’t worry! Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge where you dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. I will guide you through the process of creating a Project 333 wardrobe and rocking it!

This cardigan and striped top from Fair Indigo will definitely be in my Project 333 wardrobe!

Decluttering and Minimalism

Let’s be real here…this is something I really need to work on! Clutter seems to cloud my physical space and in turn causes me stress and anxiety. Not to mention I have all of these things that I don’t need/use and these are wasted resources. We will go through the process of determining what is really important and discarding/donating/reusing the rest.

Electronic Waste

We all have electronics. Currently, I have a personal laptop, an iphone, a fitbit, an ipod, and my husband has his laptop, a tablet, ipod, and his phone. What is the best way to “recycle” these electronics? Where does electronic waste currently go? And most importunately, how can I change my behavior so that I don’t have any electronic waste?

Veganism Challenge

A large part of my impact on the environment stems from my consumption of animal products. I was vegetarian for eight years, but now try to eat as sustainably as possible through I am not vegan nor vegetarian. Join me in a challenge to try veganism. I will share some recipes and my experience via social media and I hope you will join me in this challenge.

I loved making this vegan Mexican bowl with brown rice, black beans, avocado, and veggies. I can’t wait for more meals like this during my vegan challenge!

Back to the Basics of Zero Waste – The 5 R’s

The 5 R’s stand for refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot. I have struggled with some of these more than others, and I have heard from this community that more people want information about rot. I hope I can deliver some helpful information for you!

Zero Waste Resources

There is an amazing amount of information out there in the form of blogs, books, and movies. I will focus on showcasing my favorites and ask you about where you get your information.

Importance of Living Plastic Free

So many people I’ve met say the zero waste movement should be called the plastic free movement. I get why they say that – the two topics are very intertwined! I will explore our societies dependence on plastic, alternatives to plastic produces, and the recycling process of plastic.

Instead of using a plastic to-go container for leftovers at a restaurant, I bring my own glass container. This way, I don’t have to use any disposables when I go out to eat.

No Shopping Challenge

Join me in this month-long no shopping challenge to decrease your impact on the environment. The rules are no purchasing of any goods (clothes, impulse buys, no Amazon!) but necessities are exempt (such as groceries and medication).

Green Cleaners

I still struggle with cleaning products as I don’t have the time to make my own and the others I purchase come in plastic. I really want to find refillable options at my local co-op or find some brands that come in paper packaging. Let me know if you have any brands that you love!

Reduction of Food Waste

Reducing food waste is one important step in living a more sustainable lifestyle. I will explore meal planning tips, recipes for food that is nearing the end of its edible life, and creative ways you can prevent food waste.

How are you upping your zero waste game in 2018?

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2 Replies to “2018: A Year of Zero Waste Tips and Challenges for the Ever Improving Zero Waster”

  1. Great post! I’ve actually been thinking about kicking off 2018 with some kind of zero-waste challenge so this post was right up my alley. I’m also keen on learning more about organising zero-waste meet ups, so I’m looking forward to that one. I feel like here in the south of Spain there’s still so much to do in terms of reducing waste, and (luckily) simultaneously a ton of people who’d love to get involved but don’t really know how.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Emmi! Thanks so much for the comment. I think you are right – people are eager to get involved! I hope my posts will give you the tools to engage more people in your community. Happy New Year!

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