Could you go zero waste for a week?
Join the campuswide zero waste challenge week to learn about the waste crisis and get practical help to move towards zero waste personally and systemically.
- Learn how to reduce waste
- Win prizes from local businesses
- Join optional webinars, presentations, and workshops
Sign Up to Enter
Sign Up for the Challenge
Get an entry for signing up to go zero waste for the week!
Share on Facebook or Instagram
+3 Entries when you share a post about the challenge and tag Live Zero Waste!
Do your best to produce no trash or recycling for the week. Any waste you do create you’ll collect to review at the end of the week!
Try your best to create as little trash and recycling as possible during the challenge and collect any waste you accidentally create.
What counts as waste? Anything new thing you acquire during the week including wrappers, bags, containers, receipts, even food scraps if you don’t have access to a compost.
Why collect the waste?
At the end of the week you’ll have a trash audit, and you’ll be able to see very clearly what kinds of waste you personally tend to create. That is half the battle! After this week you’ll be perfectly equipped to reduce the waste you’re still generating.
Toilet paper: Unless you’re able to install a bidet, try to buy TP in paper wrapping rather than plastic. We recommend Who Gives A Crap 100% recycled.
Work associated waste: Any waste you produce as part of your job doesn’t count for the purposes of this challenge.
Medicine: Continue taking any medication you need to feel your best, and don’t worry about the trash.
What if it’s too hard?
Going zero waste is going to be a little hard, because most of our systems are built for disposability! But not to worry, there is no “failing” even if all you do is collect a week’s worth of trash and recycling you’ll have learned so much and be totally ready to make more sustainable choices going forward.
Zero Waste Map
Check out our interactive map of Ann Arbor for places you can shop zero waste.
Full menu plan for your zero waste week!
Connect with your neighbors and Ann Arbor zero waste experts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I put food waste if I don't have a compost?
We recommend freezing your food scraps or keeping them in a tightly sealed container.
What about stuff I bought before the challenge?
We generally say to use up perishables and keep the waste, and anything you got before that you can go without, do so!
Why no recycling?
Our focus with this challenge is what is happening “upstream” of your stuff to get it to you. Unfortunately recycling still has to be produced so for this week we’re going to try to reduce reuse and rot, rather than recycle.
What if I'm too busy to cook?
Check out our interactive map and find a restaurant that does zero waste take out!
Where can I shop zero waste?
Our Zero Waste City Guide for Ann Arbor is the best place to find alternatives (or suppliments) to your normal shopping routine.
What about my pet?
While pet waste is important to consider, you don’t need to keep your pet related waste for this week. But do use this as your sign to work towards having a zero waste pet!
What if my partner doesn't want to do it?
That’s ok! Do the best you can, and you might be surprised what they pick up after the week.
Ask a different question:
Support Zero Waste in Ann Arbor
Your generous donations helps Live Zero Waste to maintain the city guide and support the circular economy in Ann Arbor. Our projects include Zero Waste Challenges, grassroots organizing, and the returnable container program. We’re proud to be a 501(c)3 nonprofit certified by GuideStar.