We encourage your group or household to gather with others and take on a Zero Waste week Challenge of your own.
It can be a really fun week of engaging with an issue. Our group came out with not only with insights into our waste but a real sense of being on a journey together - we felt like explorers discovering a new world! You'd also be building up the database of resources for reducing waste specific to your area. (Our trial was focussed in suburbs to the west and north of Melbourne due to households involved).
There's many resources about our experiment below. Please be in touch if you're interested, and pass on your story to us and we'll post it up.
Our Challenge: 26th July - 1st August, 2009
Who was involved?
Households and individuals involved include Nick & Janet's, Shaun
& Neesh's, Edi & Glenn's, Cara & Scott's, Cath & Joel's,
Monica's, Alicia & Emma's, and Hugh. Others are of course welcome
to join in.
A preparation meeting was held on the 14th July where we had a fantastic
meal together - Cara's curry, Neesh's homegrown green salad, Nick's homemade
baked beans, Janets roast veg and salsa sauce, Cara's vegan orange cake.
We then discussed our household audit findings and the goals we'd like
to achieve. Check out the resulting brainstorm on alternatives and resources
We started the week with a catchup at the Yarraville Farmer's market
on the 25th, and ended the week with a celebratory afternoon
tea on Saturday the 1st at Shaun & Neesh's place in Yarraville.
Key points from our previous "100
Mile Trial" week also apply here:
1. A Trial - It is an experiment for 1 week, so its not going
to kill anyone if we don't make it or do fall short in some way, yet at
the same time given that it is only a week, we should 'go hard' and see
what we can achieve.
2. Doing it together – Many people have tried this as an
individual or household. It is quite a bit of hard work but all becomes
easier when treated as a community exercise where we share discoveries
together, work together, and are challenged together. We are supporting
one another in learning good ways of living.
3. Preparation – Necessary if we are going
to know what we throw out and not get unexpected suprises. This will include
a pre-challenge audit, and systematic seeking of alternatives.
4. Sharing - In passing on our discoveries in a useful way, we
decided to be ruthlessly transparent about our successes and struggles,
and document these where possible.
This experiment will involve:
1. your own self-audit - Inventory your bins! looking at what
our present waste is made up of.
2. setting some goals for the challenge
3. exploring together possible means of reduction and alternatives
- look at things easily changed, things harder to change, things almost
impossible to change. (Alternatives include alternative products with
minimal packaging and alternative means such as food coops, buying groups,
4. preparation leading up to the trial week (there's that word
5. reflect and comment on the experience after and/or during
Use these resources to help you start the process.
audit worksheet (75kb, xls)
'Resources' worksheet (75kb,
xls) - please add to this with your thoughts and ideas
What can do to reduce household waste?
.. some places to start...
- Compost food scraps. wormfarms, bins, bokashi
- Recycle. what does your council
take? Buy with this in mind.
- Disposable Nappies. 3.75
Million, each day in Aust & NZ. Eco-alternatives -
biodegradable, compostable, or washable cloth
- BYO bags. green bags, freza
- Buy in bulk. Sometimes more is more..
Waste - an Artform ...also check out these great links
worth exploring related to waste:
Jordon: Running the Numbers
Gaudreaus: self-portrait in trash
art, architecture & design
We are not alone! ...other waste trials and resources:
Julie Grundy in her G
Challenge Blog goes no packaging - July 16 2009
Plastic Fish Challenge: show us your plastic trash - posted pics of
plastic used - May 2009
forever: one year on the plastics diet blog
No Impact Man
My Zero Waste - UK
No New Plastic
the Disposables Challenge!
The No Plastic Holiday Challenge
Life Less Plastic - blog
Packaging: Thirty Ways I'm Using Less and Why and The
Great Plastic Packaging Reduction Update - Wisebread - US
site but good!