BONUS CHALLENGE | Zero waste challenge

If you’ve been following my blog, it’s all about 30-days challenges, trying to gain some skills, habits etc. which would improve my life. This challenge, however, wasn’t planed for this year, since I did it in 2019., as a part of a project I wrote and managed, but I think it might be the most important one, so I’m adding it as a bonus.

Zeleni Brač (Green Brač), a project run by all the municipalities on island Brač (Croatia), aims at teaching, informing and educating people of Brač on how to better manage their waste, and maybe even try going zero waste! Each day, throughout the month of July, on the Facebook page set up for this project, I shared tips on how to join the zero waste movement and eventually produce – zero waste! People were asked to participate by sharing pictures in the comments of how they implemented the daily zero waste tip, and one person which implemented most of the tips won a zero waste starter kit.

But, first things first.

I buy in bulk whenever I can and recycle the original packages when I can’t buy bulk.

What is zero waste?

Simple answer: Zero waste literally means producing no waste. The Zero Waste Movement encourages the use of things again or using them for new purposes. It promotes composting, disposal and recycling. It encourages purchasing without unnecessary or additional packaging, with the aim of encouraging the production of less packaging in the long run, and thus waste.

More complicated answer: Zero waste moves to redefine waste management. It is not only the education of people that waste is to be sorted & recycled, what is important, but it is also necessary to start producing less waste overall – it is necessary to reduce the amount of resources eventually ending either in landfills or in recycling facilities. It is necessary to reduce the excessive use of natural and other resources, reduce the amount of trees that are cut to produce different paper products, etc.

I use reusable bottles and reusable lunch boxes.

Why take part in this movement?

(1) Saving money – reducing the amount of waste, especially mixed, also affects the overall cost of waste disposal. And, since zero waste promotes the better use of already purchased items, thus it also stimulates saving in the first phases of product life and waste production.

(2) Environmental protection – Reducing the amount of waste reduces the negative impact on the environment, and reducing the demand for a variety of short-lived single use items causes the dropping in the production of such items in the long run which then helps promote sustainable use of natural resources.

(3) Better quality of life – the zero waste movement actually teaches us to live the way our ancestors lived – to return to our roots, to grow and prepare our own food, to compost, to repair damaged items, to make cosmetics from natural materials and the like. We learn that we don’t need much and what we do need are the long lasting quality products which may cost more at first, but pay off significantly in the long run.

The benefits are many, but we will stop on these three.

Food waste is one of the biggest problems today, so try using leftovers whenever you can, and freezing what you don’t need now!

How to take part in this challenge?

This challenge was designed for 31 day, and was running in July of 2019. Each day, there’s one tip on how to introduce zero waste lifestyle into one’s own habits. In Croatian language, we followed each tip with additional information, stats and some more tips, but I won’t do that here, since it proved to be a bit overwhelming. If you incorporate a single zero waste habit out of the 31 tips I share here, that is a lot. Some of the tips are easy and some require quite of change in your daily habits and lifestyle so don’t feel bad if it becomes too much. Any bit will be helpful!

What are some of your ideas to promote zero waste lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below! Or, post it as a story on Instagram, tagging and using a hashtag #EKOODLUKA. Show what’s your eco decision and you just might win a Melvita giftbox!

All photos used to illustrate 31 tips are free stock photos. Others are my own.

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