4 zero waste challenges to take you beyond the Mason Jar mindset

Too often I worry zero waste is framed as just the plastic around produce or an occasional non-sustainable purchase. Waste is more than just the tangible waste you create on a day-to-day basis (ie. why I think the whole “year of trash in a mason jar” is bullshit).

Waste is in the energy and resources needed to create a product. It’s the emissions around transporting items around the globe. It’s… more than a plastic bag.

None of this is said to scare you, or to say that making those small habit shifts aren’t important. It’s just key to know there’s more to zero waste than the trash you see on a day-to-day basis. So these four challenges are designed to A) reduce the waste you create on the daily and B) get you thinking of zero waste beyond just a plastic wrapper. read more

Minimize your trash with a trash audit

One of the best ways to get a handle on your trash output is by channeling your inner raccoon.

Yup, I’m talking about digging into your trash can and finding out what’s really going on there with a trash audit.

It can be a pretty gross undertaking, but honestly: what can motivate you to reduce your waste production than the prospect of digging through it a second time?

What is a trash audit?

A trash audit is essentially a study of what kind of trash you make. This is obviously incredibly helpful for someone interested in the zero waste movement, as it sheds light on problem areas. But don’t be too hard on yourself – you’ll always have some trash because we don’t live in a society with a circular economy. If you want to learn more about that, check out my post on why zero waste isn’t zero. read more

Creating community: bigger zero waste goals

2018: because it can’t be worse than 2017. Right? Right?!

Chances are if you’re here, you’re looking for ideas on how to make some concrete zero waste goals to kick the new year off right.

Making big commitments, at least personally, has always been overwhelming so I try to choose realistic, concrete goals I actually have a chance of achieving. No: “I’m going to start a zero waste group in my city.” Yes: “I’m going to start a zero waste Facebook group and host one event next month.”

Below I’m sharing my personal zero waste goals for the upcoming year. Please feel free to steal them if they fit your needs as someone looking to get into community organizing. If you’re closer to the beginning of your zero waste journey and need more individually-focused goals, check out my Zero Waste 101. read more