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Resolve to Reduce

Happy New Year! Welcome to a new year of improvements.

The beginning of a new year often means a time of reflecting on past achievements and pitfalls, taking stock, and with that desire to do or be “better”, we make resolutions to change ourselves, our lifestyles or our world.

This year, RESOLVE to live a Zero Waste lifestyle by making more Zero Waste choices.

For most of us setting no waste goals is not an instantaneous success that occurs immediately after making the resolution; instead it takes determination, behaviour change and problem solving.

Committing to making choices and improvements in lifestyle that lead us to a Zero Waste goal are worthwhile and achievable. Individuals and families that have significantly reduced their waste have reported pride in accomplishments, improved health and being less stressed by stuff.

Zero Waste Canada would like to create a support system for everyone working to reduce wasteful choices they may make. We want to help you by sharing your successes and challenges. Let’s work on this together.

RESOLVE: firm determination to do something

Let’s begin

1) Get Inspired

There are some great examples of people reducing their waste, blogs about repair and repurpose, recipes for using leftovers, and businesses offering green products and services. Zero Waste is possible.

If they can do it so can you.

Jenn and Grant of the Clean BIN Project

Karen Cannard

Katelin Leblond and Tara Smith-Arnsdorf 

2) What is your Zero Waste lifestyle vision?

Everyone is unique and our lifestyles must fit comfortably, therefore it is important to have your own visions of what a Zero Waste lifestyle looks like and feels like to you.

Ask yourself some questions such as : Would you use less packaging? Would you be healthier? Would you be more organized? Would you refrain from single use items? Would you repair, repurpose, or reuse?

Create your Zero Waste vision by writing out your goal or by creating a vision board for inspiration.

Take stock and tune in: Work with your strengths and improve your weaknesses. If you good at repair or repurposing use these skills to help you achieve your goals.

Take a tour of your home accessing where and how you create waste. Look at the contents of your refrigerator, cupboards, garbage cans, compost and recycling receptacles, and shopping bags. Tune in and be mindful about what you see you can improve.

You may want to take pictures for before and after reminders.

3) Tell people

Let your family and friends know about your goal. Tell Zero Waste Canada about your goal.

Start Small: Choose one easy painless action that you can do immediately. What small step can you successfully make towards your goal? Can you buy a lunch kit, or write a shopping list, or recycle?

Break it up: Break up your goal into manageable pieces. What do you need to do? What do you need to learn?

Be realistic: It takes 6 weeks to 3 months to imprint behavioural changes. Learning new ways to do things take repetition. Do not give up if you slip with a goal or do not succeed with an action. Remember some things will be easy to achieve and others harder.

4) Be mindful

Think about the choices you are making when you consume, conserve and discard.

5) Problem solve

Work on solutions to the problems you are being challenged with. Do you keep forgetting the reusable shopping bag, do you need to put it in car or backpack as soon as you empty it or do you need to buy less if you are using store single use bags?

6) Celebrate your successes

Celebrate  all your successes: large or small.

7) Share

We are all in this together. We want to hear from you. Join us on twitter and facebook         #zerowasteispossible