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Local action – Launch of Environment Victoria’s Zero Waste Challenge

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on June 27th, 2007

Environment Victorias Zero Waste Team would like to take this opportunity to officially launch the Zero Waste Challenge and encourage your participation.

By taking part in the Zero Waste challenge you will be provided with practical ways to reduce your waste output. The Zero Waste challenge will help Victorian families and individuals address their consumption and waste disposal habits and challenge themselves to reduce their waste.

Would you like to be informed about how you can make better consumer choices?
Would you like to know correct recycling/waste procedures?
Would you like to learn practical ways to reduce your waste?
Would you like to help raise awareness in the community about the Zero Waste philosophy?
Would you like to have fun, while significantly reducing your ecological footprint?

How it works…

Week One:
The first week of the challenge is when you examine your existing practices of consumption and waste disposal in the home. For one week, you are not required to do anything except monitor how much waste is going into the rubbish bin. Each participant needs to record:
a) How much packaging/rubbish goes to the rubbish bin (by weight)
b) Whether food scraps are disposed of in the rubbish bin or in a compost bin
c) Complete a short questionnaire at the end of the week

Weighing your rubbish is easy:
stand on your scales and weigh yourself
stand on your scales holding your rubbish
deduct the smaller value from the larger one and record the value on the sheet provided
(You will be required to have access to a pair of scales to complete the challenge)

Week Two:
This is where the challenge really begins!! You have one week to radically alter your waste output. This can be achieved through a variety of simple lifestyle changes. Much of the waste we produce is just a byproduct of the ‘convenient lifestyle we have become accustomed to. It is often a lack of planning which results in the production of excessive waste. Week Two of the challenge encourages you to think ahead and change the way you do things;
plan your food to avoid buying take-away,
buy in bulk from markets and food co-ops
remember your calico bags when shopping,
take your own coffee mug to the café,
evaluate what items you place in the rubbish to see whether if it can be re-used,
become familiar with the plastic identification numbers your council recycles and check each item before placing it in the recycling bin.

Composting of food scraps will make a substantial difference to your total weight of rubbish, so if you dont have a compost bin or pile, think about starting one during week two. Before you purchase a product, check whether the item can be recycled. For example, some yogurt containers can be recycled across all councils, such as index number 2, whereas number 7 is limited.

At the end of the challenge, your individual waste output will be calculated, based on the number of people in your household and the total weight of your waste.

The Zero Waste Challenge Pack includes:
Week One Envelope with all the information you need to complete the first week
Week Two Envelope which contains tips and guidelines on how to improve your waste output

Dates: The challenge will begin on Monday 9th July and end on Sunday 22nd July.

Expressions of Interest:
All expressions of interest to participate must be made by Friday 6th July by emailing georgie.coram or by phoning 9341 8164

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