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zero waste challenge waterloo region

We have a challenge for you Waterloo Region

Take the Zero Waste Challenge

In October 2016, we challenged people living in Waterloo Region to strive to come as close as possible to creating zero waste over 5 days. What follows below are the details for the 2016 challenge.

We’re already planning the 2017 Challenge

Stay tuned for details. Tentative plans are to have options for a 7 day and 14 challenge in late October – 28.

Zero Waste 101

Interested in reducing your waste or adopting a zero waste lifestyle? Our Zero Waste 101 is a great resource all year round to help you learn to make new decisions and adopt new habits.

2016 Prizes!

We have a few prizes for participants who complete the survey after the challenge before November 3. They are:

  • Avocado Coop: A Sample Care Package (Dishwasher tabs from Bio-Vert with divertible packaging, Plastic composting bags from Eco II, Garbage bags made from 100% industrial plastics, Tissue box from Cascades made from 100% post consumer paper, and a pack of 6 paper towel from Cascades made from 100% post consumer paper).
  • Brush with Bamboo: An Oral Care Set (toothbrush, tongue scraper, and bamboo toothbrush travel case)
  • Community CarShare: A waived application fee and $60 in driving credit with the purchase of a new driving membership ($101.70 value, taxes included).

zero waste mason jar

Use a mason jar to track your success!

Use a 1 litre mason jar (or similar clear jar) to track your success by putting any waste your create (24 hours a day!). Aim to have it empty or as close to empty as possible after 5 days. Though since the average person would more than fill a mason jar over 5 days, you successfully meet the challenge if you can avoid filling your jar.

The idea is to think about the waste you generate and try to reduce it as much as possible. Being successful requires making different choices and changing your habits.

At the end of the challenge, we’ll send you a survey to learn how you did. We’ll also be encouraging you to share your successes and challenges on social media.

Maximize recycling, composting and reusing

We encourage you to recycle and compost using your blue box, green bin and other options since you only need to collect waste that is collected to be buried in the landfill. We also encourage you to find ways to reuse items that can extend their life.

So maximize your use of ways to divert what normally goes into your garbage!

Why take the challenge?

Reducing the waste you create is an important part of living sustainably.

Less waste in the landfill means less greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change. Different choices and behaviours can also mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the production and/or transport of goods and packaging. It even lowers the impact required to recycle materials.

Less waste in our life reduces litter in our communities and natural areas. More than just being an eyesore, litter harms the environment. Think for example of all the plastic in our lakes and oceans.

Personalize your Zero Waste Challenge!

We encourage you to consider some of the following options to personalize the challenge.

  •  Use 1 mason jar for everyone in your home (only 1 registration required) or use a jar per person (register individually).
  • We’re fortunate in Waterloo Region to be able to recycle and compost so much. While that’s great, it makes this challenge easier. Consider how you can reduce your waste that is diverted from the landfill too (for example; see if you can stop using single-use plastic, such as plastic water bottles/grocery bags/to-go containers, that you only use once before it is recycled).
  • If anyone in your home uses disposable diapers, they can be exempted from the challenge since it is a difficult change for a short period. We encourage you though to consider using an alternative (i.e. cloth diapers).
  • If you are the only one taking the challenge in your home, consider using a smaller jar.
  • If including your work life is too difficult, take the challenge for your personal life.

Is there another way that you can personalize the challenge?

Use Zero Waste 101 to help you out!

Living a zero waste lifestyle–even for just 5 days–requires some thinking and preparation. Use our Zero Waste 101 page for information and strategies that can help you be successful.

Use the time before the challenge starts to figure out what is needed for you to be successful and start changing your habits.

Have any questions?

For questions about what waste goes where, use the Region of Waterloo’s Waste Whiz to find out if something can be recycled or put in your green bin. Or download My Waste app offered by the Region for Blackberry, Android and Apple devices.

For questions about the challenge, see if it has been answered on our Frequently Asked Question page (coming) or on the Challenge’s Twitter page.

Still have questions? Ask us!

Who is taking the challenge?

See who pledged to take the Zero Waste Challenge Waterloo Region. Then join them by using the sign up form below.

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