Zero Waste Week takes place every year in September. This year, the week of Sept. 5-9 offers a time to raise awareness about the environmental impact of our waste and encourage others to reduce waste, reuse and recycle.
We’ve all benefited from years on this beautiful earth and by living sustainably we can help future generations to do the same. Though you may already be doing your part when it comes to recycling and reducing waste, there’s always an opportunity to do more or encourage others to get on board.
Here are 10 ways to reduce waste in your homes and communities and support the Zero Waste initiative now and for years to come:
1. Go for reusables: Whenever possible, use reusable containers and bottles. This will help to lessen the quantity of single-use plastic and other disposable items in the environment. Some businesses even offer a discount when you walk with your own reusables so it’s a win-win.
2. Shop smarter: Try to be more mindful when shopping for food. Where possible, buy in bulk or at stores that allow you to fill your own containers. Buy fresh produce and refrain from purchasing those in plastic packaging.
3. Reduce food waste: It takes a lot of resources to harvest, manufacture and package the foods we consume. One way to support zero waste is to reduce food waste. If you often run out of ideas for leftovers, these 6 websites can help you to make the most of the ingredients you have.
4. Develop the habits of reusing and upcycling: You may not need to buy new items as often as you think. Many items can be multi-purpose if you think hard enough or do a quick Google search. The same goes for upcycling items you already have at home. You may find yourself at our Wood shop on campus more often than you think.
5. Plant a garden: Growing your own food satisfies the soul and helps support sustainability, too! At Brandermill Woods, we love when our residents grow patio tomatoes, herb gardens and more.
6. Repair items when possible: Instead of tossing items at the first sign of damage, ask yourself whether or not they can be repaired. If you can’t do it yourself, reach out to someone who can help.
7. Donate or resell items: If you’ve accumulated items over time that you no longer need or use then consider donating them. If you're up to it you can also plan a garage sale with other residents or family then donate the money to Zero Waste or the organization of your choice.
8. Make simple swaps: Consider washable and reusable cleaning cloths instead of disposable ones. Try toothbrushes made of bamboo instead of plastic. Use beeswax wraps instead of cling film. There are so many practical swaps, so do a bit of research to find others.
9. Participate in a community cleanup: From Adopt-a-Highway to local organization, most communities offer days to beautify our surroundings and have fun, too.
10. Follow the Zero Waste daily challenges: Lastly, consider signing up for the Zero Waste mailing list. For the entire week, the organization is offering daily emails to keep you on track by providing articles, the overall theme, topics for the day and the daily challenge.
At Brandermill Woods you can live a happy and sustainable life on your terms. Contact us for more information.