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  • Writer's pictureArielle Kouyoumdjian

Zero-Waste Week: A CPJ Challenge

Hey CPJ subscribers!

As a young person in the climate movement, I know how helpless climate change can make us feel. Often, I wonder if I am too small to make a difference in this global crisis. The truth is, collective change starts with individuals. If we all give up, figuring that we're just a drop in the bucket, the bucket will never fill. In other words, we can't dismiss our role in the climate movement simply because our actions feel insignificant. If every individual commits to making small changes, our collective efforts will snowball into big impacts. That's why we're challenging you to minimize your waste production for an entire week, and to adopt sustainable habits that can extend beyond the challenge period.

Challenge Details:

  1. Duration: One week (7 days).

  2. Goal: Aim to produce as little waste as possible. Track and minimize waste in all aspects of daily life including food, packaging, and household items.

Daily Themes and Tips:

Day 1: Assess and Plan

  • Conduct a waste audit: Take note of the types of waste you generate in a day.

  • Set specific goals for the week based on your audit.

Day 2: Reduce Single-Use Plastics

  • Avoid single-use plastics like water bottles, straws, and plastic bags.

  • Choose reusable alternatives: Bring your own water bottle, shopping bags, and food containers.

Day 3: Sustainable Eating

  • Focus on reducing food waste: Plan meals, use leftovers creatively, and compost organic waste. Avoid eating beef, which has a high carbon footprint.

  • Choose locally sourced and package-free produce, if possible.

Day 4: Declutter and Donate

  • Declutter your home: Identify items you no longer need and find ways to repurpose or donate them.

  • Share with the community: Donate clothes, toys, and other items to local charities.

Day 5: DIY and Upcycling

  • Engage in DIY projects to repurpose items you might otherwise discard.

  • Upcycle old furniture or clothing to give them a new life.

Day 6: Conscious Consumption

  • Buy only what you need: Avoid impulse purchases and opt for products with minimal packaging.

  • Support sustainable brands: Choose companies with eco-friendly practices.

Day 7: Reflect and Share

  • Reflect on your achievements and challenges faced during the week.

  • Share your experience: Create artwork or a short piece of writing that describes what insights you gained from the challenge, and how you'll stick to some (or all!) of these changes going forward. Submit it to CPJ Journal!

Resources and Tools:

Olio App: Connects Neighbors so Extra Food Can Be Shared, Rather Than Wasted

Ailuna App: Sustainability "Dares" and Challenges to Try Each Week

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