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University of Washington

Join Us for Zero Waste Week

April 14th-21st

This campus-wide challenge will teach you, step-by-step, how to produce less waste and support the circular economy in Seattle!

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Join the Challenge

Upcoming Events


Orientation

Sunday, March 19th, 2pm

Join us for a Zoom session on how to get ready for your zero waste week.

Cooking Demo

Monday, March 20th, 7pm

South Quad Kitchen

In person or from your kitchen, learn how to cook zero waste.

Screen Printing & Clothing Swap

Tues & Wed, March 21&22, 11-1pm

On the Diag

Bring a shirt/bag/anything and print a compost themed design on it yourself!
And drop off any clothing you no longer want and pick up some free stuff from others!

Sustainable Business Forum

Thursday, March 23rd, 7pm

Ross School of Business

Join us to discuss the role of the business community in bringing about a circular economy and zero waste.

Waste Justice Panel

Friday, March 24th, 2pm

Michigan League

Hear from local and global activists about the deep intersection of waste practices and broader social justice issues.

Story of Plastic Screening

Saturday, March 25th, 5pm

Understand the full picture of plastic production and disposal and hear from the humans at the center of this issue.


How it works

Do your best to avoid trash and recycling for one week and collect any waste you do create to review at the end of the week.

What counts as waste?

Any new thing you acquire during the week including wrappers, bags, containers, receipts, and food scraps (if you don’t have access to a compost). 

Exceptions

Waste from your work and waste associated with medications etc. don’t count. Keep yourself healthy and continue taking any medication you need to feel your best, without worrying about the trash.

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Sign Up

Sign up

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Get Resources

learn from resources

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Build Momentum

etcetera

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Why zero waste?

Learn how to take concrete action on waste and climate issues

Waste isn’t just about trash. From extraction to disposal, our materials economy sits at the root of climate change and environmental breakdown. Learn what you can do in your own life to reduce waste and build momentum for a zero waste future at the university and in the city.

  • 5 Resource Packed Emails with tips to get you started
  • Zero waste events throughout the week
  • Led ZeroWaste.org founders with 8+ Years of zero waste experience
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45%
of GHG emissions come from the production of stuff we consume
32 lbs
of waste are created upstream for every pound of trash we throw out

Join the challenge to win a prize!

Frequently asked questions

At the end of the week you’ll be able to see very clearly what kinds of waste you personally tend to create. Awareness is half the battle! After your trash audit this week, you’ll be fully equipped to reduce the waste you generate moving forward.

We generally say to use up perishable food and keep any associated waste. Anything you already have that won’t go bad, try to go without!

Our focus with this challenge on the “upstream” waste that is produced even before stuff gets to you. Unfortunately, even recyclable items still produce a lot of upstream waste, so for this week our “3 R’s” are to try to reduce, reuse, and rot (rather than recycle).

Check out this zero waste bulk finder to locate stores in your area where you can shop zero waste.

While pet waste is important to consider, you don’t need to keep your pet-related waste for this week. But take this opportunity to start thinking about ways you could work towards having a zero waste pet!

That’s ok! Do the best you can, and you might be surprised what they pick up on after the week.

Any waste you produce as part of your job doesn’t count for the purposes of this challenge.

Continue taking any medication you need to feel your best, and don’t worry about the trash.

Going zero waste is going to be a little hard, because most of our systems are built for disposability! But not to worry: there is no “failing”. Even if all you do is collect a week’s worth of trash and recycling, you’ll have learned a lot and you’ll have tools to make more sustainable choices going forward.

Still have questions?

If you cannot find an answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always contact us
and we will answer as soon as we can.


Challenge Team:

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Cyril Clement
Team Lead
a large building with many trees in front of it

Varun Krishnakumar

a large building with many trees in front of it

Varun Krishnakumar