It’s Day 1 of the 31-Day Zero Waste Challenge! Are you ready to dive in?
Today is the first day of the challenge, and this is the most important thing I want you to take with you. As you go throughout this month, you might feel like you need to buy stuff to be zero waste.
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.
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That’s because we as Americans over consume ... a lot. Especially during the holidays.
Black Friday alone encourages mass consumerism on a nationwide scale, let alone more traditional holidays like Christmas. There’s a lot of waste that comes with each of these holidays as well, from the production of the product bought to its unsustainable end life.
Products take tons of energy and resources to make, and they’re often not designed with end of life in mind. Speaking of resources, have you ever heard of Earth Overshoot Day?
It’s not a holiday or something worth celebrating, that’s for sure.
Earth Overshoot Day is basically a day that marks how many resources the earth can sustainably produce for the coming year. Unfortunately, we reached that day on August 1st of 2018. Last year, we reached it on August 2nd.
This essentially means we’re just borrowing resources from the future and not giving earth the time it needs to regenerate itself. Instead, we’re using a year and half’s resources in one year.
If we continue to consume and use resources the way we are right now, we’d need 1.7 planets to sustain us. But the problem is, there’s only one earth!
So, we seriously need to tone down our purchasing habits.
If you’re curious about your own personal consumption habits, you can calculate your own overshoot day to see how many planets it would take if everyone on the planet lived like you. If your overshoot day falls before August 1st, that means your ecological footprint is larger than the world average.
what’s the solution to this problem?
Simply buying less.
It’s one of the best things you can do for the planet (and your wallet).
If you’re looking for more solutions be sure to check out this blog post. 4 Ways to Fight Climate Change as One Person
As you go through the month (or better yet, the rest of the year) I challenge you to really think about what you’re buying. Do you need it as much as you think you do?
Personally, I recommend stepping away from an item you’re tempted to buy and think on it for a bit. 30 days is typically how long it takes for me to drop a marketing message.
See, marketers are REALLY good at making you think that you need to buy something. I fall prey just as easily as the next person… except for my secret weapon. WAITING.
Next, time you want to make a purchase, try waiting 30 days.
If you forget about it, chances are you don’t need it as much as you thought you did. This will prevent you from making a lot of impulse buys you might regret later.
ask yourself this series of questions:
Before you purchase anything, get into the habit of asking yourself some important questions:
Can I make what I’m using last a little bit longer?
Do I have to buy this first hand? Can I buy it second hand?
Can I borrow it from someone else? Do I have to be an owner of this item, or can I borrow it from a friend?
Is there anything I can do to repair it?
Can I use anything else in its place?
Really think through those questions and try your best to make your items last as long as possible. This will keep them out of a landfill, and prevent new resources from being used up to create a new item.
take the challenge!
Over the next thirty days, your challenge is to not bring anything into your home that’s not a necessity like food. Wait before making a purchase to make sure it’s something you truly need. Go down the list of questions to see if you can make do without having to buy anything new.
Will you be taking the challenge?
Just starting out? Have 1,000 burning questions!? Get access to my private Facebook group, where I’ll be hosting weekly lives throughout the challenge and I answer all of your most pressing questions.
I’m the head content creator over at pelacase.com and have partnered with them to create an email version of the challenge. I will be sending out weekly recap letters with Pela if you’d prefer to have this challenge in larger chunks and delivered straight to your inbox.
PLUS! I’ll be sending out a brand new e-book at the end of the challenge called the Game On Handbook. Which is all about individual ways to fight climate change. You don’t want to miss it.