My Zero Waste Project

It's my Summer project to go Zero Waste, and I wanted to make a message board for this to hopefully inspire and educate all of you. Please read and comment!

Going Zero Waste is when you don't produce any trash that cannot be broken down. (See some examples of this trash below.) Instead, you compost and recycle.  Therefore, any recyclable items such as metal cans, plastic bottles, or glass jars aren't 'waste' or 'trash'. However, when you really think about it recycling isn't that much better. These items do get reused, but the energy of recycling is bad for the planet in other ways. That's why it's a good idea to follow this: (https://friendsoftheearth.uk/groups/havering/790)

Although 'going zero waste' is just to not produce waste and limited recycling. In my opinion 'waste' is anything we waste: Fuel, water, plastic, trash, and much more. My project is to try to limit my footprint in these things as much as possible. 

Examples of Trash:

-lables and food stickers

-plastic (in some places there are ways to recycle soft plastic, but it's still better not to buy any at all)

-fabric (some)

-period items that cannot be reused (this will be a challange...)

-certain toothbrushes

-toothpaste tubes

-twist ties (some)

-Q tips & cotton balls (all cotton ones can be composed!)

-chip bags

Examples of Recycling**:

-plastic bottles

-cardboard boxes

-any paper

-old soup cans

Examples of Compost**

-paper napkins

-egg shells

-tea bags

-apple cores

-grass

-hair

-cotton (this incudes clothing, so if you wear out a cotton shirt, you can compost it!)

-old flowers

-certain toothbrushes (get compostable ones!)

-toothpicks

My plans*

From May 28th - June 3rd, I will get aware of my footprint. I will write down everything I throw away, everytime I drive, and all the water I use. Then I will make goals for how I will reduce my foorprint in these things and prepare for these goals. 

My Goals*

From June 4th to August 11th, I will (hopefully) do the following things:

-have all my waste go into a 30 oz jar...

-have all my recycling go into my trashcan 

-use very little/ no plastic, even recyclable plastic

-Not drive four times a week. 

-try to not use fresh water to water plants or flush the toilet. This works by collecting extra water in a bucket when washing food or heating up water for a shower. 

A few time a week or so, I will post on this message board any tips or things I have learned. Also here are a few links with more information:

-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF72px2R3Hg ;(TED talk about zero wate)

-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSUmo-40pqA (TED talk about zero wate)

-https://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/calculator (Carbon Footprint calculator)

Saying all this, I have no idea how well I'll do or how consistent I'll be doing any of this, but I do know that we all need to change to save our earth. Let me know what you do or what you want to do for this cause in the comments. 

*Will change/be added to

** may depend on where you live

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Replies

  • Okay, update time :)
    So I’m done with my summer zero waste, but I highly doubt I’ll go back from it. Now I’m doing something called a Thoughtful Waster which I will explain in a second. So if anyone wants to see a picture, I would happily post one, but my 30 oz jar is about a quarter way full or trash. I wasn’t super serious about having all my recycling go into MY recycling can (sometimes I just put it in our house recycling thing) but I didn’t need to empty MY recycling once! There were times when I was super stressed out about what I’ll have to do about certain things that I’ll need in the future, but it’s really amazing how many unknown zero waste alternatives there are. For example, there’s this company that makes compostable phone cases! Also, I found some awesome zero waste blogs and YouTube channels that I’m happy to link if anyone wants.

    Okay, so I might make another message board about this, but now I’m doing thoughtful wasting, which I made up myself and the cheesiness of the name is really bothering me as a write this xD. Basically, it’s zero waste with a little flexibility and ... well I’m still working out the details. But feel free to ask any questions. Thanks for reading :DD
    • S2S Mentor
      Ahh, I'm so glad that things are working out! Thoughtful Wasting sounds good, and easier to do as a kid. :) Thank you for sharing! I'd be happy to see any pictures, or if you make a message board I'd definitely check it out!
  • This reply was deleted.
    • Well as Amelia said, it depends on the food, but for stuff like snacks, baking supplies, grains, etc., the best thing is to buy food in bulk. I know of a few places where I live that have this, but I’m not sure about other places, so I would just look it up. Then you use jars, cloth bags, or reused plastic bags to fill up how much you need. It’s quite awesome. Feel free to ask me any other questions;)
    • S2S Mentor
      Hmm, what kind of food?
  • Helloooooooo
    Man, the hardest thing ever is going zero waste with a family who isn’t. My family is very supportive, but my mom still buys things in plastic and what do I do, not eat them??? Like we are going camping and my mom went shopping and pretty much everything is in plastic, but I have to eat it or I’ll starve! It’s like, it’s already made and bought so how much of a difference will it make when I eat some of a bag of chips, but we wouldn’t need that much food if I weren’t coming in the first place... ugh.
    On a better note, I love being zero waste. A lot of the things I read about it say people are happier and I’ve always thought they were just saying that, but I really am feeling better about myself and like I really am making a difference.
  • I found a pretty awesome video! (Does have two mild bad words)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXgELGBuMfA
  • The long-awaited Zero Waste update:
    It’s going pretty good, but I have made some trash. The main trash I make is tape (I love tape xD) and there is a lot of stuff from my floor that I pick up and then have to throw away. So Grace’s advice: vacuum your room before you go Zero Waste. Which bring me to another problem: what to do with full vacuum bags. I have no idea. But of course, I can’t be too strict with this since my family is not going full zero waste so for now we will just throw them out. I also went to a long drive (ugh) recently, and that brought to my awareness how prepared you have to be when traveling. Little things even non Zero Waste people can do are bring your own utensils and containers around. Ok, I think that’s it, but I’ll be back with another update!
  • OKAYyyyyy, so tomorrow is my first Zero Waste day, and I've been preparing for it for the last week. Here are a few things I've learned:
    -I don't actually produce much trash, but some of the things I do produce are pretty big
    -clothing like underwear that you can't give to thrift stores when you grow out of it/ don't want it has to be made of cotton, so it can be composted.
    -when possible, composting is better than recycling, because of all the energy use to recycle. So if you have a paper napkin, it is better to compost it than recycle.
    -The hardest thing is what to do with the things I already have, so I'm going to have to play what I do with those things by ear. But it's always important to look in to an alternative to throwing it away, such as this: https://www.reddit.com/r/ZeroWaste/comments/6c6vrz/what_do_i_do_wit...
    -it is very helpful to switch around your trash, compost, and recycling bins, which I will hopefully do today. The smaller your trash bin, the less you are likely to put in it.
    -you have to be very fast when ordering food and stuff. Yesterday I got a drink at a Taqueria and the cup was made of paper and the top of plastic. In order to drink it I would have needed to get a straw, so instead I took off the top completely. Still, it would have been better if I had asked for it without a top.
    r/ZeroWaste - What do I do with old shoes?
    8 votes and 4 so far on reddit
This reply was deleted.
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