A few of us in the office decided to take the plunge and try and attempt Zero Waste Week. Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste. It happens every year in September. It's been going on since 2008, that's 9 years of helping you save money and preserve resources.
There were a lot of nervous murmurs when Zero Waste Week was first mentioned. Being an eco company we're all pretty good at recycling but going zero waste is a big step and is quite daunting. The rules are simple, for one week you're meant to reduce the waste you have through reusing, recycling and repurposing.
So, without further ado, let's see how we got on.
Harriet, Account Manager: Taking part in the Zero Waste Week was a real eye opening experience for me. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I signed up to do this, it can seem a bit scary at first, so I kept my mind open and took every day as it came. I found the week really interesting as it taught me new things every day about how much we actually waste and how this can affect the environment. For me, the biggest challenge was being on my time of the month. I researched beforehand zero waste methods, and decided to try a menstrual cup as these are reusable, unlike pads and tampons. By taking part in Zero Waste Week I learnt a lot of new ways to live my life in a much more ethical way and have been able to carry them on after the week eneded!
Sam, Design: I waste a lot. I know how important recycling is and I try and do my bit but I know there is so much more I can do. I used to drink bottled water everyday but I bought a Bobble to use during the week and have used it every day since. A worthwhile investment and an easy change to make. The things I struggled with were when doing the food shop. For convenience I very rarely shop anywhere other than the Supermarket, and as we know they love to wrap vegetables in plastic. To counteract this I had to travel a little further afield and go to the local high-street to the greengrocer where plastic wrapped veggies were nowhere to be seen! It also felt great helping a local business. At the end of the week the amount of waste I'd accumulated was a lot less than I would on a normal week. I hadn't had to empty throughout the week when normally It would have been emptied at least once. From just recycling more items to buy things that don't have any packaging my impact on the environment has been lessened and it really is a great feeling.
Gwyn, Account Manager: Zero waste week took a lot of energy. I opted for healthier foods, as the packaging for so many products have layers and layers of plastic! Cooking from fresh had no waste and I enjoyed not leaving any leftovers! My biggest struggle was waking up before the sun to walk to work but the brisk walk certainly woke me up. Over all changing to a zero waste lifestyle is great for the environment and made me a heathier person! – No need to pay for pricey gym memberships when you can walk everywhere.
All in all taking part in the week gave us the chance to learn new skills, such as how to compost, improved our wellbeing by eating less readymade prepackage food which also helped us save money, and finally helped to preserve resources.