Just imagine how you would feel 12 months from now if you drastically reduced the waste your family made all year. Imagine what positive impact it would have on our planet and environment. What if we ALL could make that type of positive impact by making zero waste goals in 2021 – even if you are a zero waste beginner?
I bet you’re a bit like me- a busy mother who’s always juggling to get everything done on the never-ending to-do list and trying to keep up with life’s daily demands. If that’s the case, you probably feel that finding the extra time to achieve zero waste goals is just too overwhelming and out of reach.
I can totally relate.
Yet, I know that it is possible for families to make these changes if they can prioritize going green and can make it an achievable goal if we put aside our need to have the most convenient options all of the time.
So what if we all stopped focusing on being the best, and started focusing on what is most important. Imagine if we could shift our priorities and lifestyle of us and our families.
I believe that modern, busy families can reduce the amount of waste we create daily.
It may just take some time to gradually shift our mentality and daily routines, but little by little, if you change one thing each month this year you will make so much progress in 2021!
JANUARY’S GOAL: Purge & Donate
Pick one or two of your highest valued and most coveted items if you really want to try it for yourself, but otherwise just donate everything. It’s usually a lot of work for very little money
FEBRUARY’S GOAL: Buy Less
While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying stuff, especially stuff that will add value to your life and help support sustainable businesses.
I firmly believe you don’t need to buy as much as you think you do.
It’s better to wait for those purchases so you can be sure, you’re buying something you actually need! Today, I challenge you to buy less.
Yup, it’s really that short, sweet and to the point. Simply buying less can help out our planet so much.
MARCH’S GOAL: Skip the Bag
The most obvious and urgent answer to the question, “Why use reusable bags?” is to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment. It’s not news that single-use plastics like water bottles and shopping bags are crowding landfills and endangering wildlife. In fact, pleas from do-gooders, tree-huggers, and others to reduce our plastic waste have become so ubiquitous that many of us may feel inclined to brush them aside.
Still, the plain truth is that our use of plastic bags is more than excessive (especially in the United States), and is taking a serious toll on the planet
APRIL’S GOAL: Plastic-free Beverages
Another easy zero waste goal to achieve is swapping your single-use water bottles for a reusable alternative. Many people are making this change already because it is one that is becoming more popular and easier to achieve due to all the refillable water stations popping up in public buildings.
Fill up your reusable glass or stainless steel (healthiest options!) water bottle in the morning and take it with you to work or when you are on the go. Fill it up as needed and even take it in with you to fast-food restaurants or coffee shops to avoid buying a single-use plastic water bottle.
Speaking of coffee, if you are anything like me, I love coffee and tea and find it a treat to get coffee at Starbucks sometimes. Yet instead of using a to-go cup that usually can’t be recycled due to the inside being coated with plastic, bring your reusable stainless steel coffee mug. Have them fill it with your favorite hot beverage and enjoy it waste free!
MAY’S GOAL: Learn to Upcycle
Upcycling is a great zero-waste goal for May! Instead of tossing things like plastic pill bottles, greeting cards, and even old blue jeans, try to upcycle them into something new.
While many people feel that recycling plastic containers is a good move, it actually takes energy and the new recycled product is often no longer recyclable.
Upcycling is a more sustainable choice and just takes a little creativity and time. It’s not a new concept but is becoming more popular as we all become more aware of our environmental footprint.
Here are a few of my favorite upcycling projects, but the sky is the limit here! Use your imagination and have fun. Children find these projects and crafts especially fun and it’s a great way to teach them the important lesson of reducing our waste and going green!
JUNE’S GOAL: Compost
There are lots of good reasons to compost. Save money, save resources, improve your soil and reduce your impact on the environment. Regardless of your reasons, composting is a win/win scenario. Good for you and good for the environment.
Adding compost to your garden will not only fertilize, it actually feeds your soil with a diversity of nutrients and microorganisms that will improve plant growth. Chemical fertilizers on the other hand provide a quick burst of a limited number of nutrients that can wash away into our rivers and streams. Compost also increases soil stability, improves drainage and helps retain moisture.
JULY'S GOAL: Plastic-free July
The Plastic Free Challenge is an effort to demonstrate to the world that we do not need to rely on disposable plastics. Take the challenge by refusing single-use plastics knowing that you are acting as a positive role model and influence on others.
AUGUST’S GOAL: Zero Waste Beauty
Plastic Free Bathroom
Thankfully to help us on the way, as consumers, we now have more choices to help us go plastic-free in the bathroom. We don’t have to buy big brands and their plastic products or packaging. The growing amount of alternatives provide options for us to reduce plastic waste.
For most of us, it won’t happen overnight. Yet if we all make small improvements to reduce our plastic consumption, then together we can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate.
And the more of us do so the more we can encourage wider shifts towards environmentally friendly products. As more consumer start to demand more sustainable packaging and products the big brands will be further motivated to change their own products
SEPTEMBER’S GOAL: Plastic-free Dental Routine
The personal care industry is growing by several percent each year, flooding more products to consumers. Even IF packaging is more efficient, there’s still more of it. So it’s up to us to help make a dent in this plastic problem and aim towards zero waste. Dental care is the perfect example of how our “little things” give us the opportunity to make an impact every day
OCTOBER’S GOAL: Plastic-free Food Storage
Having a 100% plastic-free kitchen would be an enormous challenge, and I’m not suggesting that you overwhelm yourself with that task right away. However, you can start with two easy swaps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic from your kitchen this month.
Swap #1 – Ditch the plastic sandwich bags!
There are several reusable sandwich and snack containers available in stores today, which makes this an easy first swap.
Swap #2 – Ditch the plastic wrap!
There are many plastic-free alternatives to food storage, including Bee’s wrap and glass storage containers
NOVEMBER’S GOAL: Encourage Others To Be More Sustainable
You’ve nailed your reduced waste food shop, set up your vegetable patch, got your keep cup and your bamboo toothbrush and try your best to tread as lightly as possible on Earth – what’s next? It’s time to get those around you into the same good, green habits and living more eco conscious lifestyles.
DECEMBER’S GOAL: Sustainable Gift Wrapping
Do you ever run out of wrapping paper or supplies at Christmastime? Wrapping your gifts in this sustainable way will not only save the environment, but also time and money.
Just save all the brown kraft paper that comes packed with your shipments from companies and use that as your wrapping paper this Christmas. It’s plastic-free, biodegradable, is a way to reuse vs. recycling the paper, and it can be jazzed up in lots of ways to make it cute and personal