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Day 30

Welcome to Day 30!

We have arrived at the end of the challenge – a huge congratulations to everyone for starting and sticking with it and for all your contributions! I want to recognise you as the innovators that you are for being part of this pilot program and the zero waste movement. Being an early adopter is a challenge – not only do you have to do things you’re not used to doing, but you often have to do them in front of others who may be resistant to what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to have the support of others along the way to find your community and make your network. I hope that being part of this challenge with other participants has given you a sense of that, and I hope you can continue to build your community, be it online or in the real world!

Today’s challenge for you is to think about ways you can sustain the changes that you’ve made and carry on into the future. What has been useful for you? What has been easy or hard? Are there changes you think you’ll implement outside your own home as a result of doing this challenge – at your school, workplace or in your community? If you had to do this challenge again, what would your new pledges be?

Living zero waste comes down to a series of choices, but with time and practice those choices become habits that we no longer need to think about because they’re part of our lifestyle, and part of who we are.

How can we influence others?
By setting a positive example, with an emphasis on positive. If living zero waste is easy and fun, people are going to to get curious, interested and want to join in.

How do I keep it going?
To give you some ideas, here’s a fun documentary called No Impact Man about a year in the life of a family dedicated to zero waste: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Ctt7FGFBo. Maybe you could have a movie night with your own family to get inspired to keep the zero waste challenge going in your own home – or invite friends to share your passion for eco living. Or maybe you could start a blog and do your own zero waste challenge! Whatever you decide, I wish you every success and may the challenge continue from Day 31 onwards!

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Day 22

Happy World Environment Day!

This year you can really celebrate the day in style knowing that you’re making the change and doing your very best for our incredible environment. MJ and I salute you!!

Today’s challenge is super simple:
* Wish someone a Happy World Environment Day and mention that you’re doing the Zero Waste Challenge *
I promise I’m not saying this is a sneaky or creepy ‘join the cult’ kind of way. Part of the challenge of caring for the environment can also mean being an advocate for it and potentially addressing people who don’t, or don’t always show, that they care. If you’ve ever been frustrated by behaviour that seems distinctly un-environmental, you might have wondered how to address it in a non confrontational/preachy kind of way. Your friend/family member/co-worker might also have wondered if their behaviour is un-environmental but don’t want to bring it up or ask you because they:

a. Don’t know what else to do
b. Don’t want to look stupid
c. Don’t want to incur your eternal wrath
d. Don’t want to get you started

If you can open up a conversation in a very light way that inspires curiosity, then you can have a chance to have a discussion about an issue that does not directly challenge someone’s behaviour but invites them to find out about an alternative. You can mention your pledges, things that you’ve learnt along the way, behaviours that you’ve changed, initiatives that you’re keen to explore.

You can tailor your discussion to aspects that you might have noticed about their behaviour, but please, be discreet and respectful about it! People tend to be pretty resistant to shaming, so keep the discussion general and make it about you. If you say how you’ve given up using plastic bags and that’s been hard but x y z is how you’re making it work and you’re so content because your actions now align with your values, the other person is much more likely to enter the discussion or at least go away and think about it privately than if you say ‘I’ve noticed you’re still using petroleum laden plastic bags – how do you sleep at night?’ N to the 0.
The other thing that might happen is they might not say anything about it and that’s ok. Just putting the concept out there is enough – the rule of seven says that it takes people at least seven times to hear about an idea before they start to take notice of it, so you might be the first person who’s ever mentioned the zero waste challenge. Here’s hoping you won’t be the last – so log out of here and go spread the word on waste!