5 Tips for Zero Waste Week #ZeroWasteWeek
What is Zero Waste Week?
Zero Waste Week is a campaign started in 2008 by Rachelle Strauss and is held from Sept 3-7th.
Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.
What am I doing this year for Zero Waste Week?
For Zero Waste Week this year, I am trying to incorporate small but impactful changes into my family’s lifestyle. Rome was not built in a week, but the first bricks can be laid. I am also sharing daily tips in my facebook group which is where you can get first access.
Without further ado, here are my first 5 tips for Zero Waste Week. I shall do another round up later this week.
ZERO WASTE WEEK TIP 1: Marry your phone!
It seems the norm these days to change our smartphones in sync with the change in the season or the launch of a new phone, whichever happens earlier! Have we thought about where our phones go to die? What happens to our constant trusted companion after we transfer all our loyalty to the younger, faster, prettier version of our old love who we held so dearly in our palms?
Electronic waste is a huge problem and in the name of ‘keeping up with the latest technology’ we change our phones and other gadgets as quickly as the companies dish them out. Also, I sadly suspect our equipment are built to have a short life span these days. Let us try to hold on to our phones as much as possible, shall we?
ZERO WASTE WEEK 2: BRING BACK THE BUCKET!
Did you know Bengaluru might run out of drinking water soon if some drastic steps aren’t taken? I have been contemplating what I can do at a personal level, though I believe changes like rainwater harvesting, conservation of forests around the area, cleaning of lakes and much more needs to be done for any real impact. But, using less water can be a first step.
There are products out there in the market which can reduce the flow of your shower in order to reduce water wastage. There are products to time your showers. It is a matter of personal choice if you prefer a shower, but a easier solution to use less water during a bath would be to use a bucket just like we traditionally used to in India.
So much simpler. So less water.
And while you are at it, place a mug or a glass on your washbasin. Use it while brushing your teeth or washing your face.
ZERO WASTE WEEK TIP 3: ECLECTIC GIFT WRAPPING
You buy colourful shiny sheets of paper, wrap them with great care, put a ribbon on it, place it inside a beautiful gift bag and top it up with coloured tissue paper. Wow! What a visual treat!
Our gift wraps though pretty, their usefulness is momentary. Once the gift is opened, the wrap is crudely discarded. (unless you are one of those who are able to open gift wraps with that extra bit of effort so that it doesn’t tear and preserve it for later use. Even then many gift wraps develop creases after the first use). So, essentially it is single use, and many of the gift wrap paper contain plastic for that glossy effect.
There are other options out there if we do explore it.
1. Newspapers: Not that pretty, you think? Why not get the kids put their palm prints in different colours on them or go artist yourself!
2. Skip the wrapping: present in bags(paper or cloth) which the person can reuse.
It is a Japanese form of gift wrapping with cloth. I used a material which has been lying around my house for 4 years now to wrap a book recently. Would you be interested in a simple Furoshiki video tutorial?
ZERO WASTE WEEK: TIP 4
Our grandmothers oiled their hair and skin: Coconut, gingelly or castor oil.
They used homemade natural concoctions for their hair and skin: Shikakai, Kasturi Manjal(wild turmeric), Kadla Maav(homemade gram flour), Yogurt, Cream of milk.
The result was glowing skin, hair that grey’s late or a charming full head of white hair with soft grandmama skin.
Chemical free, no plastic bottles and not harmful to the water of the planet as well.
What more do we want?
ZERO WASTE WEEK: TIP 5: CLOTH DIAPERING
Diapers are a boon to new parents. They make it a little bit easier for the overextended parents. But, whether they are completely safe for the baby is debatable. A diaper takes 500 years to decompose when exposed to sunlight and air(which they do not get in a landfill), but no one knows how long exactly it takes to decompose yet!
Cloth diapering can be messy, to say the least. But, currently there are a different types of modern cloth diapers that will keep the pee and poo in and is gentle on the baby’s skin too.
You will be saving a ton of money and resources. Overall, you need 12 to 15 reusable cloth diapers, if well-maintained as compared to the approximate 4368 diapers that you will go through if you diaper your kid for around two years!
However, I have found the learning curve to be a bit steep and Cloth Diapering India can help.
Also, coming your way tomorrow on the blog, inspiration for cloth diapering in sun, rain or even floods!
Would love to hear from you about your efforts in trying to reduce waste. Did any of my ideas inspire you?
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