BIN BAG CHALLENGE
Towards a waste-lite life
Welcome to the Bin Bag Challenge! This website and associated coaching program have been created by volunteers from Clapham in London, UK, to help those who want to reduce their waste but lack time and energy to reorganise their habits and reach this goal. We are sharing the tips and list of websites and shops that helped us get to only 20L of household waste and 20L of recycling a week, for a household of four. It is not zero waste – but if it is less waste than yours, read on, and do better!
A WEBSITE AND A COACHING PROGRAM
We produce too much waste and this throw-away culture is destroying our planet. The UK produces 26 million tonnes of household waste a year – about 1.1kg per person per day. You came to this website because hopefully you want this to change, you want to produce less waste and reduce your weekly bin bag.
Here, you will find information on what we need to change (“Before You Start”, “New Habits”), where to find alternatives to our current products (“Swap lists”) or how to make them (“DIY list”). To make your life easy, we made some choices for you, recommending a limited number of options or products, trying to find a good result to effort ratio. Please add your comments under the options you test, so that we can improve as we go.
The website is organised in different sections:
“Getting started” – the overall principles, household set up and material you need to embark on this waste lite life.
“Cleaning”, “Beauty”, “Food”, “Internet” – ideas to reduce your waste and negative impact on the planet in each of these four areas. Swap and the DIY lists.
“Beyond the bin bag” - Concluding thoughts and possible next steps
New behaviours feel odd and require effort to adopt. For instance, remembering to take your own bags and refusing carrier bags; getting used to a new toothpaste, a new shampoo, more veggies; resisting the temptation to buy new clothes when you do not really need them.
The key is to start somewhere, take small steps, and stick to these changes until they become part of your routine.
To support you in taking these steps, the website works together with a peer coaching program, where a group of 5 to 10 people get together and follow the lead of a facilitator. The program helps you realise where you stand, where you want to go, and provides you with the support you need to reach your goals.
Using WhatsApp, the facilitator will challenge the group every week with a topic and related challenges. With the facilitator’s and the other group members’ support, you will be encouraged to change a few habits each week, using the swap and the DIY lists. When the program is over, the swap lists will still be there to help you continue, and deepen what you did not have time to achieve with the group (yes, life can get in the way!).
If you are interested in the coaching program and are not yet part of a group, please contact us, so that we can help you set up your own group. Anyone can become a facilitator – we provide you with the tools.
This website and coaching program have been developed by volunteers. We did our best to identify, test and select options, to make it all as simple as possible… during our spare time. So we know it is far from perfect and are counting on you to help improve it. Other websites have been very useful to develop this simplified one – our thanks especially go to Moral Fibres, A Considered Life and Going Zero Waste (US based). We encourage you to visit them for more information; their newsletters are really useful.
Congrats on making the choice to revisit your habits. Let’s do it together!
The Bin Bag Challenge team.
Food waste is the world's third biggest contributor to greenhouse emissions. Visit this section to get ideas on how to reduce food waste and food contribution to global warming.
Less is good in the bathroom. Visit this section to get tips on beauty products and habits that limit waste.
Our Internet searches, streaming, emails and cloud storage have a huge carbon footprint. Learn here how to reduce it.
If you want to do more - in terms of saving and investing your money, home energy and water use, transport and if you want it to take it to the next level: advocating and collective action.