How do I start with the Challenge?
1. Be mindful of what you buy
We live in an climate emergency and we need to change our consumption mindset to protect the planet. Before buying new things to star this zero waste challenge, shop your home first. The most ecological item is the one we already own.
Also, before purchasing new products, wait until you finish the ones you already have at home. As you run out of creams, shampoo, etc., start getting products without packaging, etc. Make sure to buy long-lasting quality items. Take care of your personal economy and protect our planet.
The Real Challenge is to minimalize your life and dematerializing the economy
2. Start small
Starting with the Challenge and adopting this lifestyle implies changes in your daily habits. Start with small things that are at your fingertips, later on, you can change the way you do shopping and then personal hygiene products, etc.
Start with these 5 small changes (I’m sure that with just them you can reduce your garbage production by up to 50%):
1) Say no to plastic bags: Start rejecting all kinds of plastic bags and get into the habit of taking your cloth bags to the supermarket.
2) Take a bottle of water with you: Plastic bottles are toxic, and involve a huge expenditure of energy. Always carry an aluminum water bottle with you and fill it from home.
3) Keep a mug in your office: Pick a favorite coffee mug and reuse it.
4) Take fruits or vegetables with you: Start creating healthier habits, like choosing to carry fruits or vegetables with you. With this you avoid unhealthy processed foods.
5) Ask if they can make it zero waste: Ask if they can make it zero waste. For example, ask for your ice cream in a cone, ask for your coffee in a glass cup (it has worked for me at Starbucks, etc, etc) With this you are also inspiring other people.
You can explain that you are doing a zero waste challenge
3. Dig deep to the environment
I highly recommend that you inform yourself on the subject from a critical approach. That is why I recommend that you watch documentaries and read books on environmental issues. You can also start reading scientific articles (I suggest Google Scholar) and delve deeper into the subject. The zero-waste movement is much more than a lifestyle, we need to fix many other things in the system and that is why it is important to know more about the issue of garbage and the environmental problem in general.
It would be really cool if you tell more people about your new lifestyle our planets needs it.
4. Change your routine little by little.
Go little by little changing your habits. Research where you can buy things without packaging, visit local markets, start giving experiences instead of objects, start changing your diet, etc. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t make it overnight. It is much better for the planet that you produce a little garbage than that you buy yourself into shopping thousands of accessories that you did not need to perfect the lifestyle. You cannot be Zero Waste in your daily life, I know.
Zero Waste is a goal that we aspire as a society
5. Give away what you no longer need.
The path to zero waste involves getting rid of a lot of things. Surely in your house you have clothes that you hardly use or things that you have but that you no longer like. When we accumulate these things, we are taking away the opportunity for other people to use them. Donate your things to charities or give them to your friends or people in need. You can also put them on sale on online platfoms, etc.
6. Join an activist group
Rather than focusing on reaching zero in your daily life, use that energy to achieve change at more systemic levels. Our planet needs us today more than ever. Start meeting people with similar ideals to yours and organize yourself to achieve more profound changes in your neighborhood, and your community. The changes that our planet urgently needs go far beyond just changing habits in your daily life, or changes in the way you consume. Demand your governments to act appropriately against the environmental and climate crisis that we are living.