The start of September can only mean one thing – Zero Waste September is here!

It is the start of September which can only mean one thing – Zero Waste September is here!
Never heard of Zero Waste? Already a pro? Either way, there is something here for everyone – stick around to hear more about why we think Zero Waste is so fantastic as well as what the HYY Environmental Committee is doing for this year’s Zero Waste September.
Zero Waste September is a campaign organised by Zero Waste Finland ry, whose mission it is to raise awareness about and increase possibilities for living a zero waste lifestyle. But before we get into the details, what even is Zero Waste? The clue is in the name; zero waste is a lifestyle where the aim is to live in such a way that you produce the minimal amount of waste possible, zero waste even. The idea, which might seem a bit radical at first, has been around for a while but has been made particularly pop by Bea Johnson, who some consider to be the mother of the zero waste movement. If you’ve got some time on your hands make sure to check out her TED talk where she talks about why and how her and her family have adopted this lifestyle in the first place. The general gist of it is to follow the principles of the Five R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Repair/Reuse, Recycle, Rot. (In Finnish the Five K’s: Kieltäydy, Karsi, Käytä uudelleen, Kierrätä, Kompostoi.)
I’ll admit, when I first heard about the concept it quite frankly sounded downright impossible. But the more I read and heard about other people’s experiences, the more enchanted I grew by the idea. We’re so entrenched in a system and culture of single-use products but live on a planet with finite resources; something has to change and our own actions and purchases are some of the things that are easiest to affect. Adopting some zero waste habits into your lifestyle could lead to massive changes in the long run, saving some of the planet’s resources and reducing your carbon footprint.
The theme for this year’s Zero Waste September is “reuse what you already have”. Keep an eye on our social media for some videos with eco/zero waste hacks and some blog posts with zero waste ideas for around the home. We will also be hosting an online event later on in the month – more info about that coming very soon!
And last but definitely not least; we are hosting an exciting Zero Waste Challenge that will go on throughout the month! We challenge you and your student organisation to take part! For more detailed instructions about how to participate (and to see what the prizes are 😉 ), see here in English and here in Finnish.
So what zero waste habits do you want to adopt? Is there anything in particular that you’d like to learn more about? Comment on the Facebook comments below or send us a DM on social media!

Words: Katja Kaurinkoski


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