Earth Day is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to give the zero waste lifestyle a try. We’ve put together a guide to help you through the day and some tips on how to prepare (after the guide). Enjoy and remember to pledge to go zero waste for Earth Day!
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Zero waste Earth Day hour-by-Hour guide:
There are a few simple things you can do to make your zero waste Earth Day a success. This timeline is just a suggestion, feel free to adapt and change it depending on your needs.
9am: Coffee Cups
Make sure you either bring your own travel mug or get your coffee in a ceramic mug.
10AM: Pack Snacks
Bring some fruit, cookies, or trail mix from home. Whatever you need to make sure when you get hungry you don’t have to resort to buying something packaged.
11AM: Water Bottle
Earth Day is an embarrassing time to buy bottled water. Make sure you’ve brought a water bottle from home if you need one.
12PM: Zero Waste Lunch
This is a big opportunity. If you go out to lunch, take this time to let your waiter or counter person know that you’re doing a zero waste challenge. Ask what you can order that won’t come with napkins or a paper wrap and request your drink without a straw etc. Make sure to acknowledge that you appreciate their help, this makes a big difference.
1PM: The conversations
While you were at lunch your coworkers or friends may have gotten curious. Indulge them! Tell them how you came across zero waste, and how it’s been so far, even if today is your first day trying it.
2PM: Report back
Make a post on our facebook group to let us know what you’re up to. Ask us questions! What challenges have you come across so far?
3PM: Print Double Sided
Although your work waste doesn’t technically count towards your personal trash for the day, Earth Day is still a good time to try to do a little something in your workplace. It could be as small as printing double sided (or talking to the IT person to see if you can make that the default) or as big as scheduling a zero waste lunch and learn (contact us for more information). People are thinking about the environment today so might as well strike while the iron is hot!
If you’re networking, or will be networking ever, download CamCard. It’s a great way to save people a few business cards, be a little bit memorable, and it’s much more convenient than having a stack of cards.
5PM: Shop for Dinner
Here’s a super comprehensive guide on how to shop zero waste. But for just a day the easiest thing to do is shop around the circumference of the store, buy any produce that doesn’t have rubber bands, stickers, or twist ties on it and call it a day. You can often get bread zero waste as well if it’s loose.
6PM: Cook A meal
Make a stir fry with whatever you found in the grocery store and make a grain to go with it. Spice it up and enjoy! This is your chance to get creative and practice what a zero waste life might be like.
7PM: Check Your Email for a surprise from us!
Enough said 🙂 just make sure you pledge and confirm your email!
8PM: Watch netflix
Watch Our Planet! Netflix is technically a zero waste activity and the series is super important.
How to prepare:
There are a few simple things you can do to make your zero waste Earth Day a success.
1. Pack Some Zero Waste Tools!
We create more trash from food packaging than any other area in our lives. So you’ll want to be sure to think ahead about the types of things you might need to bring with you to reduce trash from your meals throughout the day. Here are some things you can stick in your bag that will help:
- Travel Mug (if you drink coffee or tea)
- A reusable water bottle
- A cloth napkin
- Cloth bags and containers (if you plan on doing any grovery shopping)
- A container for leftovers if you plan on eating out
- Zero waste snacks like fruit, trail mix or cookies
2. Prepare a way to keep the trash you make accidentally
The absolute classic is a mason jar (source: every zero waste blogger ever), but it could be an old ziplock, a pocket of your backpack, a grocery bag if you feel like you’ll mess up a LOT. But it’s important to have a designated spot so that you remember to keep your mistakes. This is also a great way to start conversations, a la Trash On Your Back challenge and reflect on your day.
3. Have fun and ask for help
The most important thing is to relax and have fun. Living zero waste is not nearly as hard as it seems, it mostly involves paying a little more attention and explaining to people what you’re doing so they can help you! For example, when you’re at a restaurant, say something like this to your server. “I’m so sorry to make your job harder, but I’m doing this zero waste challenge today, is there any way I could get my drink without a straw?”