Zero Waste Week June 5th-11th
Join The Zero Waste Challenge!
Join the citywide zero waste challenge week to learn about the waste crisis and get practical help to move towards zero waste in your home or business.
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 Ypsilanti for places you can shop in bulk, repair, rent, etc.
Full menu plan for your zero waste week! You need not cook all the meals but there are lots of ideas for you!
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.