It's Zero Waste October!

zero waste challenge october
© Zero Waste October

It's the perfect month for teaching kids about waste reduction, since it falls between the start of school and holiday consumerism.

Do you recall hearing about Plastic-Free July? It is a campaign started in Australia several years ago, encouraging people to stop using single-use plastics for one month, in hopes of influencing their longer-term lifestyle habits.

Now an additional anti-plastic campaign has sprung up, called Zero Waste October. It is the northern hemisphere's response to Plastic-Free July, which some people found to be a difficult time of year to implement new habits. Zero-waste advocates argue that October makes more sense to promote plastic-free living in North America, since it falls between the start of school and Halloween, and precedes the Christmas consumerism.

This October 2017 is the first official Zero Waste October, and even though we're already five days into the month, it's never too late to promote such a valuable message! The concept was developed by blogger Kathryn Kellogg of Going Zero Waste, Anastasia Nicole, a zero waste consultant, and Rebecca Newburn, a middle-school teacher from Marin County, California, that strives for a zero-waste classroom.

Together, the three have created a list of 31 daily challenges aimed at young students that will guide wannabe zero-wasters through the process of plastic elimination. These include actions such as saying no to straws, carrying a reusable water bottle, repairing something, using food scraps, going thrift-store shopping, and decluttering. The actions are very basic, but a good introduction to those who are new to the concept of conscious waste reduction.

The website contains great resources for packing zero-waste lunches, replenishing school supplies, transitioning one's family to waste-free living, and lesson plans for teaching kids about underlying issues.

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