january: zero waste
Transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle might seem daunting, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Plenty of people are already blazing a zero waste trail. Start with small steps such as eliminating plastic bags or coffee cups. Little by little, you'll start to see yourself transitioning to a waste-free life!
To get started, watch Story of Stuff, a short animated documentary about the lifecycle of “stuff”created by Annie Leonard. Share two things you learned that might impact your choices in the future.
Check out the zero waste Pinterest board. Find a blog or video that makes you feel empowered to begin seeking out zero waste alternatives for your everyday needs. Or, find your own source of zero waste inspiration.
- What about this person’s journey or method resonates with you?
- What makes the blog or video so inspiring?
- Tell us three things you learned that you will apply to your own life.
- Share the resource on Facebook or Twitter, including a short statement about why your friends should check it out! Tag @TeensTurnGreen (Twitter) or @TeensTurningGreen (Facebook), as well as the creator of the source if possible (maybe they’ll respond)! Please use #pgc365.
Submit your responses here!
Waste is huge part of our consumerist culture. The more we throw out the more we need to buy. As soon as we discard something, it is hidden from view, making it that much easier to continue throwing stuff away.
It's time to discover how much waste you produce in your own life. For 24 hours, take a bag everywhere you go and put everything you would otherwise dispose of into that bag. Don’t hide it! Carry your bag proudly and hopefully it will spark great conversations about waste with coworkers, classmates and community members.
- Take a photo of everything you collect! Post one of these photos to Facebook; tag @TeensTurningGreen and use #pgc365.
- Separate the contents of your bag into recyclables and non-recyclables (if you can compost, even better!).
- Brainstorm reusable options for your non-recyclable / non-compostable items.
- Tell us how feasible would it be for you to transition to using those zero waste options in the future.
Submit your responses here!
Today, you’ve learned a lot about your own waste habits and started to think about how to minimize your impact. Now it’s time to broaden the scope and bring the zero waste mindset to your home, campus, workplace, or wherever you are!
Think about one practice you observe around you that creates a significant amount of waste.
- Research the problem to get an understanding of its impact.
- Brainstorm a zero waste solution to this problem, focusing on the details that would allow it to succeed.
- Interview at least two community members (friends, coworkers, family, faculty, staff…) on camera (if possible) to discuss the problem.
- Outline your solution for them and document their responses.
- Post the videos to social media! Tag Teens Turning Green on the social network of your choice and use #pgc365.
- Finally, get started! Take some initial steps to implement your zero waste solution! One outstanding submission will win a fabulous eco prize package.
Submit your responses here!
PGC 365 is a year-round call to action inspired by Project Green Challenge that is open to everyone, everywhere who aspires to transition from conventional to conscious living. Each month, PGC 365 launches a new challenge with a sustainability-related theme and three levels of engagement (Green, Greener, and Greenest). The challenges ask participants to make simple changes in their lives and inspire others in their families, workplaces, schools, and communities to do the same.
Alongside each month's challenge, PGC 365 will launch a petition on Care2's Petition Site that directly addresses the theme. TTG social media platforms will offer a wide range of resources to inform, inspire and engage participants throughout the month. The goal of PGC 365 is to empower people everywhere to act, because together, we can change the world!
Participating in PGC 365 is simple, fun and mobilizing! All you have to do is read the Green, Greener, and Greenest challenges below, do the tasks, and hit the 'submit' button once you have completed each challenge. The button will take you to a form to enter your deliverables. You may complete whichever level of the challenge speaks to you (Green, Greener, or Greenest), or do them all. TTG will award one or more fabulous eco prize packages to outstanding Greenest submissions each month.
Every piece of plastic ever created still exists. You may take out the trash, but out-of-sight does not mean gone. Each year, the piles of plastic in landfills get bigger and bigger. In 2009, 72 million tons of containers and packaging ended up in the U.S. municipal solid waste stream; 60% was recyclable, but only 13% was actually recycled (Earth 911). Trash has taken over massive swathes of ocean with floating garbage patch toxins leaching into soil and polluting groundwater. We may not have the solution, but there is one eco-responsible approach: zero waste living.
In a world that is designed for the dump, here are some tools to take a stand against single-use, disposable products destined for landfill. Zero waste living involves three main components: not creating non-recylable waste in daily life, choosing products that repurpose or upcycle waste (like those made from post-consumer recycled content), and recycling or repurposing any waste that you cannot avoid producing.
To minimize personal contribution to landfill, let's add a couple Rs to the traditional “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Refuse: say no to everything you can live without. Renew: opt for items that are self-sustaining or naturally regenerating. Rot: keep food waste and other biodegradable materials out of landfill and create rich compost to nourish the soil!