Talking Point: One more thing in Zero Waste Week

Can you recycle One More Thing in Zero Waste Week?

Can you recycle One More Thing in Zero Waste Week?

The second in our series of Talking Point blog posts looking at the issue of waste generation, comes from Rachelle Strauss, founder of My Zero Waste. A few years ago Rachelle and her family hit the headlines when they managed to reduce their waste sent to landfill to just one black bag for the whole year. A year later they’d reduced that to one carrier bag full of unrecyclable rubbish.

This week is Zero Waste Week and Rachelle is challenging everyone keen to reduce their waste to think of One More Thing they could recycle, reuse or dispose of more responsibly. The challenge is on for hoteliers too. What’s the One More Thing you could remove from your landfill waste?

Rachelle: What would be your first thought if I challenged you to a Zero Waste Week? You know, create nothing at all for landfill. Only use what can be recycled, reused or composted?

It sounds pretty impossible, doesn't it?

But what if I challenged you to do One More Thing? We can all do one more thing, right?

Whatever level of 'zero waste' we are at, there is always room for improvement. Whether you've never heard of the idea before, or you've been practicing for years, we can all hone our skills and put a new habit in place.

But I guess you recycle all you can already - making full use of kerbside collections at home, waste contractor services at work and creative reuse where possible. Do you offer in-room recycling asking guests to sort their waste? Maybe you even have a three-part compost system that is the envy of your competitors.

So I challenge you to challenge yourself. It’s time to be a rubbish geek; pull on the rubber gloves and go through your waste. Take a good look at what's in there. List everything on a piece of paper then study the list.

Is there anything in there that could be recycled? Is there anything in there you could be reusing? Is there anything you could avoid purchasing in the first place?

Write a list of the top three items you could divert from landfill. Then look at your motivation - after all, why should you listen to me? Why do you want to reduce your waste? Perhaps you want to stop wasting money (the average household throws away £600 of food per year that could have been eaten; restaurants are notoriously bad for generating large amounts of food waste). Maybe you want a healthy planet for your grandchildren to inherit. Perhaps you just hate waste! Are you secretly embarrassed by the amounts of waste you see generated at your property? You might have a belief that you should 'do your bit'. Or maybe you're simply up for a challenge...

How do you dispose of your linens?

How do you dispose of your linens?


With your motivation and your hit list in mind, you're all set to do your One More Thing. Still stuck for inspiration? Here are some ideas:

  • Set up a 'Zero Waste Committee' then organise an audit to see what waste stream you could focus on for the week
  • Set up a carrier bag reuse station to save staff getting their own
  • Start a 'green club’: Reuse teabags, coffee grounds and peelings to make compost and let staff grow fruits and veggies in containers or on the grounds
  • Switch to reusable containers for drinks Set up a 'recycling brigade' with Terracycle: they'll take plastic biros, disposable gloves, overalls and at the same time you raise money for charity
  • Challenge staff to make a zero waste lunch or organise a pot luck lunch
  • Hold a repair cafe - anything from sewing on a button to repairing a puncture to gluing a child's toy
  • Hold a swap event - clothes, books, CDs - the choice is yours
  • Hold an amnesty - an anonymous 'no questions asked' drop off point for staff to return stationery or staff uniforms.

Ready to sign up?

Pledge here

Be sure to increase your CSR by tweeting about what you are doing using #zerowasteweek

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