Did you know that the average American produces more than 4.1 pounds of trash per day? Ever think about where this trash ends up? It ends up in our landfill, and not as far as we think. I’ve written about going zero-waste before and the importance of reducing our consumption and trash. Today ZERO WASTE WEEK starts (September 5-9) so I thought why not celebrate by thinking about ways to seriously reduce our environmental impact. How you ask? Why not a small challenge for everyday of Zero Waste Week?

Day 1: Monday September 5

Awareness is key and so today’s challenge will be to educate yourself. Do your research and learn about sustainable packaging, second-hand and plastic-free options that are available to you, and learn about composting and recycling in your neighbourhood. If you’re looking for a quick read about the lifestyle, I recommend Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home.

Day 2: Tuesday September 6

Today’s challenge may feel a bit funny, but you absolutely must do it: analyze your trashcan. Rummage through it, and see what you throw away on a daily and on a weekly basis. Ask yourself: can any of this be composted? Avoided? Eliminated or recycled?

Day 3: Wednesday September 7

Time to wave the disposables goodbye! This means investing in some good quality, plastic-free and reusable items such as a mug, water bottle, stainless straws and bags. Think about the items you use once and throw away. Can they instead be replaced with items that you can wash and reuse?

Day 4: Thursday September 8

In addition to refusing disposables, you also want to think long and hard about the plastic items in your home. Many people do use reusable items, but unfortunately still rely on plastic. The chemicals and toxins are harmful to our health, and they never breakdown. I’ve written about super easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption before, so be sure to check out my post for ideas.

Let’s start with daily challenges and turn it into a Zero Waste lifestyle

Day 5: Friday September 9

Here’s the final challenge for this year’s Zero Waste Week. This one is ongoing. Think about de-cluttering your home. The first step is to get rid of the things you don’t need. This includes interrogating your wardrobe, kitchen, bathroom, office etc. Be completely ruthless. The next step to this challenge is becoming aware of anything that enters your home. Part of minimalism is to get rid of the things you don’t need or love, but the harder bit is to interrogate any item that comes home. I have made a list to document all the purchases I make (does not include food). After I have justified it to myself that I need something, it has to go through a ‘test’ before I allow myself to buy it. My checklist ensures that when I do buy items, I am buying quality, ethical, vegan, and eco-friendly and to the best of my ability second-hand.

Are you ready to join us for Zero Waste Week and take care of our earth, the only one? You won’t regret it, I promise.