Ecocity 30 Day Zero Waste Challenge

DAY 1
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DAY 1

Say no to straws
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CHALLENGE

Refuse or Bring Your Own. Make a personal commitment to say "no" to plastic straws. When you order a drink, politely request “no straw, please,” or ask for a paper straw. You still might get one even though you refused! That's ok! This isn't about being perfect! This is about bringing awareness to the single-use disposable problem. Be gentle on yourself and others.

If you prefer to have a straw, there are great plastic-free reusable alternatives (stainless steel, bamboo, and sturdy glass) that you can bring with you anywhere you go! And, there are simple ways to clean them too!

Resources:
Simply Straws
Life Without Plastic
Glass Dharma Straws
Bamboo Straws
The Last Plastic Straw
DAY 2
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DAY 2

Use a reusable bottle
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CHALLENGE

Use a reusable water bottle!
There are stainless steel, glass, and plastic options. Tap water is regulated and tested for safety where often times bottled water is not. Keep a spare bottle in your car. If you get thirsty on the way, fill it up. It is a great way to keep hydrated too!

Resources:
How to choose and maintain a water bottle
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DAY 3

Bring your own cup
DAY 3
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CHALLENGE

Bring your own reusable cup for getting coffee, tea, or cold drinks to go. Often establishments will give a small discount for bringing your own cup. And if an establishment doesn't let you bring your own cup, let them know your concerns and don't go there anymore until they change. Remember consumer demands are very important!

Find yourself a reusable cup that means something to you! If it has value to you, then you won't easily lose it.

Resources:
How To Successfully Implement a Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) Habit
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DAY 4

Bring your own food container
DAY 4
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CHALLENGE

When dining out, bring along a container in the event you don’t finish your meal and want to take the leftovers to go. Alternately, if you’re getting a take-out, bring your own container to the eatery for them to fill up with your favorite meal. From mason jars to stainless steel containers and bento boxes, there are plenty of options for bringing food to work or school or even taking food home from a restaurant. Make sure you also have a set of reusable utensils with you.

Ask your local restaurant to make the switch to compostable to-go containers or encourage a reusable to-go container system. Your voice matters. Businesses have no incentive to change until they hear from you!

Resources:
Reusable Food Storage Ideas
DAY 5
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DAY 5

Save water
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CHALLENGE

Try taking shorter showers, setting a limit for yourself, as well as turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Be conscious about how you’re washing your dishes! Turn off the water while you soap them, and do not run the dishwasher unless it’s full.

Watching your diet is also a way of saving water. Eating less meat, dairy, and processed food, even for a meal or two, helps saving water!

If you must run water to heat the shower water, use a bucket to catch the cold water. Use the captured water for watering plants, flushing the toilet...

Resources:
Ways to save water at home and in your yard:
45 Ways to Conserve Water in the Home and Yard
DAY 6
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DAY 6

Use handkerchiefs and cloth napkins
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CHALLENGE

Paper napkins are a huge source of waste, and most people grab a lot more than they actually use. Cloth napkins and handkerchiefs can replace paper when drying your hands in the bathroom, blowing your nose, at the restaurant table, and for grab-and-go meals. Cloth napkins are very easy to wash, and can also be made out of old clothes or bedsheets you no longer use!

Resources:
An Un-fussy Cloth Napkin How-to

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