Going waste-free for one week with the Zero-Waste Challenge

BySophie Flay and Ashley Mackey KGO logo
Friday, April 16, 2021
Zero-Waste Challenge: Going waste-free for one week
Two journalists got a new perspective about how small changes can make a big impact when they tried a one-week Zero-Waste Challenge.

SOPHIE FLAY | @abc7sophie

LOS ANGELES -- I was so excited to try the Zero-Waste challenge. I was really confident that I had so many easy solutions for eliminating waste from my daily life. Yet, I was wrong! It was much harder than I imagined.

The challenge helped me realize I begin every day a little wasteful. Using daily contact lenses creates a lot of small waste that adds up over time. But luckily, there are easy ways to change that. Buying contact lenses that last longer and using a reusable case can cut down my waste immensely.

I also create a lot of food waste. When I cook, I use a lot of ingredients. It's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if I can save leftovers. But as someone who cooks a lot, it's important to recognize how much food I'm wasting. Instead of adding food waste to landfill, it's better to compost. Seeing how much food waste I accumulated from one meal made me realize why planning out meals and saving the scraps to compost can really make a difference. Not only in my waste but in my wallet as well.

The Zero-Waste challenge gave me a new perspective about how small changes can make a big impact.

ASHLEY MACKEY | @abc7ashley

Going into the Zero-Waste challenge I was nervous. Before starting the challenge, I looked through my waste from the weekend before and knew that if I was to have a shot at the competition, I was going to have to make some major changes.

For example, I realized a lot of my waste was food waste. I have a bad habit of buying too much food, produce specifically, and not eating it before it goes bad in my refrigerator. I also eat out more than I care to admit, which also adds to my waste and doesn't help me eat the food in my fridge quick enough.

So, for my week of cutting down waste, I really wanted to focus on reducing my food waste, which is why I decided to try out the Jar Method.link to jar method story here It is a specific way of storing different types of produce in glass jars in the refrigerator in order to preserve them longer.

And it worked! Not only was I happy and surprised to see how long my greens were able to last but I also was able to eat more veggies and save myself some money in the long run.

Watch "Our America: Climate of Hope," on your local ABC station, wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku beginning April 16 and on Hulu beginning April 17.