Did you love our 31-Day Plastic Free July Challenge?
Well then, you're going to love Zero Waste October. Zero Waste October was created by our editor Kathryn Kellogg of Going Zero Waste and middle school teacher Rebecca Newburn.
The idea was to create a 31-day challenge designed specifically for kids. It's set up in a way that teachers can read the challenges aloud every day.
Here's a google doc which has template letters to send home to parents and morning announcements which can be read aloud.
There's also adjoining art projects so the art teachers can get involved. Some of the clever art projects I've seen is making reusable cloth produce bags, making a travel silverware holder, and cloth napkins.
This 7th grade boy proudly displays the utensil carrier and matching napkin that he sewed (photo credit: @RebeccaNewburn)
Some of the schools who've taken the challenge have held assemblies and gotten the whole school involved in reducing, reusing, and recycling.
One school had a zero waste station set up in the cafeteria, and every student that brought reusable utensils and cloth napkins was entered into a drawing. Every week two students were picked and received the grand prize of getting to first in the hot lunch line - which is a super big deal.
The schools that adopted the challenge last year had enormous success, but don't take my word for it. Here's what some of the students had to say.
“I Didn’t Realize How Many Cheese Wrappers I Used Until I Started Doing The Challenge. I’m Looking At Alternative Snacks.”
“I’m So Used To Throwing Things Away And Not Even Thinking About It. Now, Every Time I Go To Throw Something Away, I Realize It Actually Doesn’t Go Away. It’s Made Me Think About What I Use And Buy.”
“I Love The DIY Products Part Of The Project. I Didn’t Realize How Easy It Was To Make Toothpaste. It’s Super Fun.”
“I’m Learning A Lot About The Waste I Create. I’m Going To Continue To Do The Challenge After The October Is Over.”
Isn't that awesome! If you want to get involved with Zero Waste October talk to your child's teacher.
Also, if you're reading this long after October has passed you can do it with your child anytime.
You can get a copy of the 31-Day Challenge here.