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The hope is that raising awareness during Zero Waste Week will draw attention to climate change, helping to create new environmentally conscious habits that will overflow into the other 51 weeks of the year!

History of Zero Waste Week

For more than 15 years, folks have been celebrating Zero Waste Week as a time to turn their attention to the ways humans can live in the world with a smaller ecological footprint.

This event was an idea of Rachelle Strauss, who wanted to start a national campaign to lower the amount of waste that each person creates after experiencing the Bocastle flood of 2004.

This flood was a wake-up call for Strauss, who began fighting against manmade climate change that could be a contributing factor to such disasters.

Zero Waste Week was born in 2008, and since its inaugural celebration, it has been adopted by various organizations, municipal structures, non-profits, and other groups worldwide.

In fact, by the time this event celebrated its first decade, people from at least seventy-three countries were participating in Zero Waste Week.

How to Celebrate Zero Waste Week

Show some love to the earth by considering ways to reduce waste personally, in the family, in the community, and worldwide! Check out some of these ideas to get started celebrating Zero Waste Week:

Reduce Waste

While the goal is to live with zero waste, the event organizers recognize that even small steps to reduce waste are a great achievement.

During Zero Waste Week, look for different ways to begin reducing the amount of waste in the family, home, and office.

Check out some of these ideas to minimize the amount of waste:

  • Minimize food waste. Collect vegetable scraps to make broth, freeze leftovers for another day, start composting
  • Carry reusable bags. Whether at the grocery store, drugstore, or farmers’ market, always keep reusable bags in a purse, car, or pocket 
  • Use a refillable water bottle. Forget those single-use plastic bottles – save the earth (and money!) by using refillable water bottles 

Invite Others to Join Zero Waste Week

Getting a friend or family member to join in on Zero Waste Week can double the impact it has!

Make a personal invitation to someone and then buddy up in the journey toward zero waste by sharing resources, trading secrets, or setting up a neighborhood system where people can trade the items they need instead of throwing them away.

Stop Clothing Waste in Landfills

It can take more than 200 years for clothing in landfills to decompose! Plus, it can cause greenhouse gases as well as toxic chemicals that leach into the soil or groundwater.

Clothing waste can be limited in a number of ways – some companies are even using old clothes to make bricks that can be used to build furniture.

Celebrate Zero Waste Week by considering some ideas for preventing clothing waste:

  • Buy used clothing at thrift stores
  • Repair tears and holes
  • Re-purpose old t-shirts as cleaning rags
  • Make patchwork quilts out of old clothing

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