Can you imagine fitting a year’s worth of household waste into one bin? That’s exactly what Rachelle Strauss did back in 2009, after deciding to throw away as little as possible and blogging about it.
The idea came about a few years beforehand, in 2004, when Rachelle saw first-hand the devastation caused by the Boscastle floods. Seeing people lose their belongings and livelihoods left her questioning how much ‘stuff’ she had. And ultimately, she wanted to figure out what she could do to save so much of it from ending up in the bin.
Zero Waste Week: September 4-8, 2017
By 2008 Rachelle set up a grassroots initiative called Zero Waste Week, and around 100 people signed up to join her in a week-long challenge not to throw anything away. It turned out to be so popular that the name stuck and Zero Waste Week became an annual event. Numbers have risen year on year, and more businesses and local authorities are steadily signing up.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Zero Waste Week is set to be bigger and better than ever before when it runs from September 4-8. We’ve blogged about this brilliant initiative before, and we’re already thinking up ways to show our support this year. We love the fact that Rachelle’s campaign gets right to the heart of recycling: by tackling the issue of waste in the first place. That’s why we’re helping her to spread the word and encouraging people to have a go with us.
Get involved – it won’t cost you a penny
Zero Waste Week is primarily a social media campaign, which means it’s really easy to get involved. Every day of the 2017 campaign will have a different theme, from upcycling clothes to reducing food waste. All you need to do is sign up on the Zero Waste website and pledge what you’re going to do. Then you’ll get daily emails throughout Zero Waste Week with lots of hints and tips, plus a quarterly email newsletter throughout the year.
If you’re wondering how hardcore you need to be to take part, don’t panic. You don’t have to be a recycling pro to pledge your support. If replacing plastic bags with reusable ones is a big step for you, that’s perfect. Anything that means we’re taking more responsibility for our waste and setting up good recycling habits is a win in Rachelle’s eyes.
Another big benefit of taking part, aside from sparing all that rubbish ending up in landfill, is that you’re likely to save money in the process. Using up food leftovers and upcycling items around the home could end up saving you a fortune in cash. Plus, you’ll get free a money-saving ebook – 15 easy ways to save over £1500 per year – when you sign up.
How can you get involved at work?
Want to impress the boss or encourage workers to get involved. You can conduct an easy waste audit by simply looking in the bins? By looking at the waste you can try and trace the source and see if it is preventable. For example, if your bins are full of food packaging, encourage a scheme of making your own pack ups in reusable containers for other employees. Over time this will mean less waste going into the bins and reduced costs to the business. Bosses love a cost saving ?.
This is just one example of how you can think about waste at work. It is no different than reducing waste at home, it is just on a larger scale.
Zero Waste Week – are you up to the challenge?
Last but not least, there’s a brilliant Zero Waste Week Heroes group on Facebook that’s well worth joining for general recycling tips and some great money-saving advice. We’ll be scouring it for ideas ahead of September, and we’ll let you know how we get on.
Zero Waste Week runs from September 4-8, 2017. Sign up to start receiving email updates, and use the hashtag #ZeroWasteWeek to help spread the word.