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Welcome to day 5 – Zero Waste Week 2019! Conscious Consumerism

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day 5 challenge

 

Welcome to the final day of Zero Waste Week.

Over this week we’ve learnt all about how we can make small changes in different areas of our lives to help combat climate change.

We started by cutting food waste in the kitchen and employing smart shopping habits to reduce waste, minimise what goes to landfill or incineration and save some money. We then ventured to the closet and found that the fashion industry was a big contributor to climate change. We explored how to love what we already have, care for our clothes and to get savvy about brands. Yesterday was focused around the bathroom and how we can reduce packaging and harmful chemicals both of which produce large amounts of waste industrially and in our homes. All these steps are perfect for transitioning to a more zero-waste lifestyle and reducing climate change.

Now that Friday has rolled around and the weekend is nearly here, let’s talk about shopping! I know many people love to shop. They love the experience and the chance to try new things. But, as people move to buying more and more, we need to stop and think ‘Do I really need this?’

The takeaway from this week is about how we consume and how we can be conscious about it. These few tips will allow you to make the best decision you can about what you are consuming.

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separate wants from needs

Conscious consumption usually means consuming less.

Let me start with a disclaimer, this DOES NOT mean you have to give up the things you love or that you can never go shopping again. Instead, consuming less focuses on only buying good quality and essential items rather than lots of disposable and unnecessary things that clutter your house and ultimately end up in landfill. Looking back at the other topics this week, we can see a few examples. Firstly, only buy enough food to feed those in your household and try not to stray from your list. Similarly, be more conscious about your clothes and stick to things that you truly love and can see yourself wearing for years to come.

There are also ingenious ways to consume less but still enjoy new things. You could start a book exchange system among your friends or share wardrobes. Take a look at Freecyle, a website that lists items people are giving away for free in your local community. And try Freegle if you’re in the UK. This kind of conscious consumption actually allows you to prioritise the things you love in your life as less space and money is taken up by the unnecessary things! It cuts waste which we know by now is a great way to fight climate change.

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.

Zero Waste Week is for life, not just for the week. So if you missed the offer on day one, Our Waste Warriors Online Course is perfect for keeping all your good habits in place over the next month – and we’re selling it at a fantastic price again today. 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 for £15 instead of £60.

4 ways to reduce waste

Always take your zero-waste arsenal with you so you can make the best decisions when out.

This could include a reusable bag, cutlery, containers, a reusable coffee cup and water bottle among many other things! The best way to build a personalised kit is to think about what situations you may be in that day and take what you can to avoid any waste. Having these items on hand enables you to make the best zero-waste decisions when you’re out and about. You can avoid plastic bags, plastic knives and forks and unrecyclable coffee cups which would all add up to a significant amount of waste over the course of a week.

zero waste takeout kit

Knowledge is power! Know your brands, their sourcing, production etc.

In addition to cutting down on what you consume, you can make more zero-waste minded choices when you do buy things. A few years ago, everyone jumped on board the Fairtrade movement, making sure their chocolate, coffee and tea were all sustainably and ethically sourced. Now, we can do exactly the same with zero-waste to reduce excess rubbish and industrial waste and help fight climate change. We can chose to buy from brands that are responsible about their waste and that make an effort to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. This is an extremely simple thing, just do some research! Here‘s an interesting article on beauty products.

The main point is, there is power in your purchases and you have a say in what we see on the shelves. By supporting zero-waste brands or actively avoiding packaging, you can cut down waste in your own home and on a much wider scale.

zero waste brands

Today’s challenge

Think about everything you bought or used this week and whether it was a Zero Waste choice. Knowledge truly is power and by evaluating your current habits, you can see if you can make small sustainable choices to cut out unnecessary waste. For the last day of Zero Waste Week, can you use everything you’ve learnt to have a completely waste free day?

Businesses, if you didn’t get your pack in time for Zero Waste Week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Throughout the year, we offer talks, workshops and consulting to businesses so you can engage staff, reduce waste and save money. Read more about how we work with businesses and organisations.

Final words

So that’s it for Zero Waste Week 2019! I hope you had as much fun as I did. If you learned something new, I’d love to hear about it. Did you pick up a favourite tip, find a new product or make a change to your lifestyle? Let me know in the comments and thank YOU for taking part, for caring and making a difference 🙂

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Rachelle Strauss

Rachelle Strauss

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Suella Postles on September 7, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Cheers Rachelle,
    My Zero Waste Bag also contains emergency supplies for me as I have ME and can suddenly run out of steam and need to get home safely. They aren’t necesssarily zero Waste but may be Fair Trade.

    My shopping this week has included your book, Anna’s book etc., donation.

    I purchased
    Royal Horticultural Society level 3 certificateacadmic work for 9 months, 2019-220
    .New Baby Nappies as a substitute for expensive vet bandages for my horse’s poorly hoof. Exterior wrapping only. Vet’s suggestion.
    Mixed garlic pickles in glass bottle (recyclable locally)

    I donated clothing that has reached it’s life end as wearables
    Newspapers stamps and solid plastics to a friend wo reads them and passes onward/recycles

    I shopped my veg & fruit garden, local allotment and local Abundance give away for vegetables and fruit. I also shared my excess with an 89 year old gardening friend who recycles fiercely.

    Take care. Your work is very vital.
    Suella

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