Welcome to the 12th annual Zero Waste Week!
I want to begin by saying a massive thank you to Hannah Coogans, who has been an invaluable help this year. Hannah wrote to me at the beginning of the year looking for work experience and was tasked with doing the research for this year’s theme. I think you’ll agree she’s done an amazing job.
This year’s theme then is something brand new for Zero Waste Week. In the past we’ve covered food waste, plastic waste and encouraged you to recycle more. This year we’re digging deeper than ever before…
As we rolled into 2019, the media was abuzz with confronting headlines on climate change. One statement that was particularly impactful was from world leading climate change scientists stating that we have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum 1.5C. With heatwaves in Australia and intense cold-snaps across the USA, it seems like the whole world is starting to feel the effects of climate change.
This extreme weather, melting ice caps and rising sea levels are all due to the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect, which happens when excess amounts of greenhouse gases are pumped into in our atmosphere. These include CO2, Methane and Nitrous Oxide.
Without getting too technical, these gases get trapped in the earth’s atmosphere acting like a big coat around our planet. If we keep adding more and more gases, its like adding more and more coats and blankets onto an already overheating person. Uncomfortable, right? You’ve been there, probably!
So, what is causing this excess gas?
The big players seem to be:
- Large scale industries
- Burning fossil fuels
- Mass agricultural production (particularly livestock)
What does this all mean?
Well, as scientists have noted, we need to make a change pretty quickly. This includes how we consume, eat, produce and dispose of waste. Which leads us on to the good news…
We are not powerless!
As overwhelming as all this information can seem, you’ll know by now that I always focus on how we can be part of the solution rather than the problem. So let’s just pause for a moment and let this sink in. Even though we’re going to spend the rest of the week looking at solutions, I’m aware ‘eco anxiety’ is on the increase. If you find yourself feeling anger, sadness, guilt or overwhelm then it can be good to get professional help. Companies such as BetterHelp.com offer online counseling for all issues.
In fact, a zero-waste lifestyle is one of the best ways to tackle climate change within your own home. In addition to being conscious of saving water, turning off your lights and walking instead of driving, small tweaks to everyday life can contribute to less waste and a smaller carbon footprint. This would have a serious impact and as a result, we would see less landfill, meaning less emission of greenhouse gases.
It is estimated that the world produces 2.12 billion tonnes of waste every year, a huge percentage of which ends up in landfill. Landfill is one of the top contributors to climate change, as piles of waste break down and release toxic gas and runoff. Significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, and leachate (the liquid run-off) are produced by every landfill site in the world.
TODAY’S SPECIAL OFFER!
Each day of Zero Waste Week, we’re reducing the price of an item in our shop. The offer runs from midnight to midnight BST.
Today, owing to the feedback we get from people wanting to do more, you can get the Waste Warriors online course for £15 instead of £60.
It’s a 31 day course where you’ll hear a short audio, then do a challenge for the day. If you follow the steps, you could reduce your waste by up to 80% and save £1500 per year!
Get the course now. Remember, the offer ends midnight BST.
For the average joe, the biggest contributors to landfill include:
- Plastic from food and packaging
Throughout Zero Waste Week we will look at easy ways to reduce waste in your kitchen, wardrobe and bathroom. These simple swaps and daily habits will show you just how easy it can be to reduce your carbon footprint and help combat climate change. We will tackle things like reducing food waste, limiting plastic consumption and the power of your purchases.
Are you ready to see how you can fight climate change and learn all the tricks of the trade for reducing your waste?
I know that you are!
Here’s today’s challenge:
Read one article on the impact that landfill has on climate change, and locate your nearest landfill site so you can see how close to home the issue hits.
Businesses, we have plenty of ideas in our Zero Waste Week pack to help you engage staff. Plus you’ll know what’s coming up for the rest of the week, so you can get ahead of the game. Get your pack here.
If you’re short of time, here are four articles to choose from:
Let me know which article you’ve read and what impact it’s had by emailing me.
I’ll leave you with yet more words from Sir David Attenborough ‘How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing?’ Makes you think, doesn’t it?
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR WORK
If you enjoyed today’s content, please donate. Donations help with the running costs of the site, including hosting, technical support and subscription services.