Zero Waste Forum

As 2017 comes to an end, I asked you all over on Instagram to express your Zero Waste Wins & Challenges From 2017 to include in a blog post. Many of you flooded my DM’s with what you overcame and what you still are finding difficult in a Zero Waste lifestyle. Since starting Ethically Engaged, I have been trying to reduce my waste further so it was great to know that others around me are too. 

If you have any other wins and challenges from this year or have ideas for helping people overcome their challenges, drop them in the comments below or head to our Zero Waste Forum! 

You can also read my article on Zero Waste Swaps You Can Implement In Your Life Today here


The Good

'I started using zero waste shampoo bars and they are amazing!' - Isla

'I am using Cloth nappies for my baby, fixed the leak issue and nappy rash at the same time!' - Nadine

'Win- menstrual cup purchase, and reusable bags for everything! I also started soft plastic recycling.' - Izzy

'A massive win for me would be converting one of the rubbish bins to collect organic waste to take to compost and everyone in the family actually using it!' - Jisun

'I now freeze leftover food that goes off in fridge, then bury it under fruit trees, as nutrients are then broken down in soil.' - Raewyn

'I'm growing almost all greens and using wild greens like dandelion leaves, onion flowers and leaves, violet leaves, saving much more money and getting more nutrition.' - Sally

'using mainly white vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.' - Raewyn

'Getting my family on board was a huge win. My hubby has realised that some zero waste options actually save you money! Persuading a colleague at school to continue with coffee pod recycling via Terracycle, bread tags collection for wheel chairs, and soft recycling scheme now that my contract with school has finished. Not using any sellotape for Christmas presents and making my own cards from a left over school project.' - Melanie

'Making my own deodorants and some other products. Having time to go opshopping and buying things I genuinely need and use. Getting back into growing produce and enjoying the end result.' - Clare-Louise

'Reducing my landfill waste to almost zero, yipee!' - Linley

'I helped to set up and launch Boomerang Bags in Cambridge, including produce bags as well as tote bags, and getting so many volunteers willing to sew and help, and realising how much community support there is for reducing plastic.' - Sam

'Some wins: recycling soft plastics through our local supermarket. Buying bee wraps and learning not to use gladwrap. Setting up different bins in our staff room to recycle everything we can. Being more conscious and trying to find solutions instead of just putting it in the rubbish bin to take to the tip. - Norma

'finding night time cloth nappies that work! Was able to ditch the one disposable a day we were using' - Hazel

'For us cloth nappies and wipes was a big win. Minimal food waste (we pretty much use up everything we buy one way or another. Worm farm, compost and veggie garden.' - Laura

'Beeswax wraps instead of gladwrap (a friend won them for me!), bokashi bins meaning no food waste goes to landfill except for meat bones, starting shopping at Bin Inn and increasing what I get there every time in reusable jars etc, cutting down the amount of times I wash my hair (down from every second day to once every 6-7 days, which has also helped my psoriasis!) and using a shampoo bar, only using soap (eco store) in the shower (why did I need body wash anyway?), being the weirdo who tries to weigh 10+ apples at the checkout without a bag to avoid plastic...and becoming a vegetarian and reducing the amount of meat we eat as a family (=less meat packaging waste also!) Shopping for veggies at a market was one of my favourite things about France, and it was so much easier to find things wrapped in paper so will need to keep looking for options here (e.g. for pasta and cheese etc). PLUS my sis bought me reusable produce bags for Christmas and hubby bought me a Keep Cup! And family coming on board about experiences for Christmas - my parents gave us money for a trip to splash planet, helped pay for second hand bikes for the boys' birthday and my sis and her partner added kids ski passes to their adult ones!' - Jo

'Not forgetting to take the jute bags & produce bags, soft plastic recycling, using beeswax wraps. Producing most summer fruit and veges ourselves in our compost.' - Noriyo

'Ditched the keep-breaking cheap plastic lunchboxes (donated most of usable ones), replaced them with quality stainless steel lunchboxes. Taking stainless steel lunchboxes for takeaways. Replacing plastic pegs to stainless steel pegs. Fell in love with both lunchboxes and pegs so much, so I have started to sell them. Which is not about the business but every sales we make, the customers would stop keep buying and replacing plastic products which is a huge win for me. Getting whole family involved, incl MIL and extended family as we have given our products and had the robust discussion.' - Emma

'Recycling soft plastics and using metal straws; plus maintaining the many other waste minimising stuff we do.' - Maxine

'Wins: so many! Biggest would be buying my Nissan leaf Electric Vehicle (woohoo!) , but lots of smaller changes including menstrual cup and cloth pads, cloth nappies, soft plastic recycling, bokashi compost, making own bees wax wraps, solid bar shampoo and conditioner, bamboo tooth brushes. I am also using Good & Clean's Deo which is AMAZING and comes in a stainless steel tin' - Wendy

'Started using zero waste shampoo bars from Unwrapped Life and they are amazing!' - Isla

The Bad

'I am still using plastic cling wrap every now and again to beat the trouble of finding a good sized container etc' - Isla

'It's hard work constantly educating my partner and family friends when I don't want to feel like the grinch all the time and all judgey judgey.' - Nadine

'Challenge - not looking like a weird person going through the bin at work and home to compost and soft plastic recycle' - Izzy

'Persuading my teenager to get on board is my biggest challenge. I've convinced him to use cruelty free and environmentally friendly personal products but soap bars continue to be a sensory issue. Dog poop bags: newspaper is not an option on some occasions. Learning that my city council doesn't recycle aluminum foil.' - Melanie

'Challenges are many; finding time to make stuff like laundry powder; being in a flatting situation with flatties who aren't zero waste; finding time and money to create a doable composting method. Exhaustion-mental and emotional. Feeling like a freak.' - Clare-Louise

'trying to be single use plastic free by January when almost everything comes wrapped in plastic'

'Challenges are doing more to significantly reduce waste at home and work. At work is getting rid of treated timber and plywood off cuts.' - Norma

'my husband and daughter are usually on board with zero waste but they've dug their heels in on their favourite tea and I can't seem to budge them! It's a tagged tea bag and each one is wrapped in a packet, in a box that is plastic wrapped!' - Hazel

'soft packaging and steering the hubby away from glad wrap are both challenges I've been facing for a while now!' - Laura

'I have hoarded so much wrapping paper, sellotape, various wraps’s a guilty stash - all my Xmas wrapping was wasteful (almost all the gifts were A+ eco)' - Carol

'Huge challenge...not buying non-packaged alternatives when the packaged version is cheaper.' - Trace

'Cutting down on plastic-wrapped food, there is no soft recycling in my area and some of that goes to landfill anyway. Convincing my hubby that I'm not just being a pain in the ass for going vegetarian with plant-based whole-food diet tendencies. Opposition from hubby and family about worrying too much about the planet and making things too difficult!' - Jo

'Getting friends understand and involved. Especially school mum friends. They think I'm a weirdo.' - Noriyo

'My main fail is still using glad wrap to keep rice balls fresh (haven't made them for months cause I can't think of an alternative.' - Maxine

'Challenge: getting my extended family on board without sounding like a broken record! Looking forward to seeing what we can change in 2018 now we've done so many of the "easy" changes.' - Wendy


Founder + Blogger

Hey there! I'm Brodie, the passionate blogger behind Ethically Engaged. My mission is to find ethical lifestyle options to lead you in the direction of conscious consumerism. I hope you enjoy coming along this journey with me x

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