CIWM staff make Zero Waste Week pledges

Some of the staff at CIWM wanted to get involved in this year’s Zero Waste Week by looking at where they can make improvements in their own lives.

Zero Waste week was founded by Rachelle Strauss in 2008 and began as a National UK Campaign.Campaigns last a week and take place annually during the first full week in September.

The campaign runs predominantly on social media and the website ZeroWasteWeek to reach a community of like-minded people who want to reduce residential or commercial waste, reuse materials and recycle as much as possible.

The aim of the campaign is to help householders, businesses, schools and community groups increase recycling, reduce landfill waste and participate in the circular economy – in alignment with European recommendations and Directives.

Zero Waste Week was created as a non-commercial grass roots campaign to demonstrate means and methods to reduce waste, foster community support and bring awareness to the increasing problem of environmental waste and pollution.

Take a look at what some of CIWM’s staff are doing below. Why not make your own zero waste pledge using the hashtag #zerowastepledge?

Emma Simpkin: Pledge – a zero waste bathroom

I have been thinking for a while about the huge amount of plastic I currently have in my bathroom and Zero Waste Week strikes me as the perfect time to stop thinking about it and start doing something, so here goes!

Bath Time

I like a proper pamper bath once a week, me time, it’s good for your mental health don’t you know! That said, I have realised that this often results in a ridiculous amount of plastic and other unrecyclable waste, from the bubble bath bottle to the foil packet the face mask comes in. Below is a list of items I currently use, along with their zero-waste replacements:

Bubble Bath – Naked (no packaging other than the recyclable delivery box) Bubble Bar (delivered by Royal Mail if you can’t get to a Lush store – I prefer to use Royal Mail for deliveries where possible).

Emma’s usual bath-time products involved a lot of plastic packaging.

Shampoo and Conditioner – Naked shampoo and conditioner bar, delivered by Royal Mail as above.

Body wash and sponge – Homemade soap and no sponge – I have hands that are capable of washing me!

Face Mask – Homemade natural face mask – my favourite is a mixture of yoghurt, honey and turmeric. Most natural face masks consist of ingredients you will already have in your kitchen cupboards.

click to enlarge | Emma’s new bath-time products will contain less packaging and less plastic

After bath moisturiser – Homemade moisturiser bar – these are readily available from beauty shops and the internet, but I used to make my own with a mixture of shea butter, coconut butter and essential oils. Making your own takes minutes and is a fraction of the cost.

Daily Routine

  • Teeth – Tooth powder and a bamboo toothbrush
  • Face – Washed with a face cleansing soap bar
  • Shower – Shampoo and conditioner bars, soap and you – guessed it – no need for a sponge!
  • Deodorant – Natural stick deodorant in a recyclable cardboard tube.

The next stage will be zero-waste cleaning of the bathroom, but I think this needs a bit more research!


Helen Chaplin: Pledge – switching from toothpaste tubes to tablets

Over the last few years I’ve gradually been making swaps to items that have a better environmental impact than disposal items.

As yet, I haven’t get tried to switch my toothpaste away from that which comes in a tube, so I thought I would take the opportunity during Zero Waste Week to try some toothpaste tablets.

Conventional toothpaste tubes are made of different plastics, and also contain a layer of metal to keep the toothpaste fresh which makes it difficult to recycle.

Toothpaste tablets use a lot less packaging, as you can get them in a small cardboard box which can be recycled easily or in a refillable jar.

I’ve been researching zero waste toothpastes for a while as it also comes in a powder form as well as tablets and different retailers offer different options with regards to refill.

However, I have been keen to try some with fluoride in which are harder to find. I’ve finally managed to track some down, and I’m excited to try them!


Gemma Smith: Pledge – swapping single-use cotton pads with reusable

In recent years, I’ve become much more mindful about trying to eradicate avoidable waste from my daily routine.

For me, simplicity is key and the first step I took was to reduce the number of products I use on a daily basis.

I then made some environmentally-friendly swaps, like using bar soap instead of plastic bottles of shower gel and switching out single-use tea bags for a reusable tea infuser.

There’s one product that I haven’t gotten around to changing just yet, though, and that’s single-use cotton wool pads.

I haven’t been able to think of a way to go without them just yet, but there are plenty of inexpensive reusable alternatives on the market.

I’ve had lots of recommendations from friends and colleagues who have already made the switch but, for some reason, I just haven’t done it yet.

So, for Zero Waste Week, my pledge is to finally swap my cotton wool pads for a reusable version, stripping out another source of unnecessary waste from my routine.


Darrel Moore: Pledge – reduce food waste and packaging

A lack of planning and a busy schedule has meant that, in the past, food that I have bought (with every intention of eating) has occasionally gone to waste.

I hate wasting food. If there’s one thing I think the entire world could do to make it a better place for everyone, it would be to stop wasting food.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to sign up to one of these trendy food delivery services that all the kids are talking about these days.

I gravitated towards HelloFresh to begin with but I found their choices for healthy options weren’t as diverse as another service I had found – Gousto.

I knew about the benefits beforehand – portion sizes and recipes are meticulously planned so that you get exactly what you need, and nothing goes to waste. Sounded great.

I was a little apprehensive about the amount of packaging this delivery might come in, however, but I was surprised and delighted to find that most of the packaging is recyclable – from the boxes to the frozen bags that keep everything chilled during transport.

There are a few bits of plastic film packaging that aren’t recyclable through my local authority collection but compared to the packaging of a regular shop from the supermarket, I have seen a definite reduction in my weekly residual waste.

As for food waste? What food waste.

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