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!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Join the Challenge - Step 1 of 4
Join the Challenge

Upcoming Events


Sunday, April 14th, 2pm

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

Panel: Reducing Food Waste

Monday, April 15th, 1-2pm

*This is a hybrid event

On-campus location: HUB 334

Join us to learn how you can make a difference in reducing food waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Attend this event for a chance to win a farm box from Full Circle!

Circular Economy Roundtable

Tuesday, April 16th, 6-7:30pm

*This is a hybrid event

On-campus location: PACCAR 392

Hear from speakers on how to make our currently resource-hungry economy more sustainable.

Attend this event for a chance to win laundry detergent and dishwasher soap from Blueland!

Repairing Our Way Out of the Waste Crisis

Wednesday, April 17th, 6-7pm

*This is a hybrid event

On-campus location: Savery Hall 158

Learn about some of the benefits of repairing and gain insight into policymaking pertaining to the right to repair, and get connected with the local repair economy.

Attend this event for a chance to win a screwdriver set from UW Surplus!

Waste Justice Student Discussion

Friday, April 19th, 4-5pm

On-campus location: John M. Wallace Hall (Room 120)

Come to learn about waste justice issues in Seattle and beyond, eat snacks, and meet some of the members of the Student Partners Organizing for Representation in Environmental Studies (SPORES)!

End of Challenge and Earth Day Celebration

Monday, April 22nd, 12-1:30pm

On-campus location: John M. Wallace Commons

Come celebrate and reflect on the end of the challenge with us! Play trivia, win prizes, eat food, and have tons of fun. No RSVP required, just show up for however long you can! 

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). 


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.


Sign Up

Sign up


Get Resources

learn from resources


Build Momentum


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 founders with 8+ Years of zero waste experience
9vcen3bjyy8 photo
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:

Cyril scaled 1 photo
Cyril Clement

Team Lead

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sofia-Berkowitz-1-1-1024x1024.jpeg
Sofia Berkowitz

Event Manager

0334457B C427 4F45 9A7D CAF81371C765 1 photo
Sean Carey

Social Media and Content Coordinator

Luciana Forte 1 1 photo
Luciana Forte

Outreach Coordinator

Maya Keenan 1 photo
Maya Keenan

Outreach Coordinator

Varun Krishnakumar 1 photo
Varun Krishnakumar

Technology Officer

Maleen Schoenberg 1 2 photo
Maleen Schoenberg

Social Media and Content Coordinator

Maya Smith 1 1 2 photo
Maya Smith

Business Partnership Lead