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Bury St Edmunds recycling champion Karen Cannard wants businesses to sign up for Zero Waste Week


By Karen Cannard


As regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of Zero Waste Week, a national grassroots campaign that has been building year-on-year, since 2008 when I nudged its founder Rachelle Strauss to attempt a personal Zero Waste Week – essentially passing on the baton after my own local challenge set by my local council (St Edmundsbury). Rachelle’s Zero Waste Week took on a life of its own, multiplying a few hundred initial supporters into hundreds of thousands of people attempting their own Zero Waste Week every September.

Now, in its 12th year, Zero Waste Week 2019 takes place September 2-6 and Rachelle Strauss is looking for organisations to sign up and play a big part in this year’s campaign to help colleagues, suppliers and customers reduce the UK’s non-recycled waste and to rethink rubbish as a resource.

Whether you’re new to the idea, have already dipped your toes in the water or have become an expert in reducing waste, your enthusiasm and determination certainly won’t go to waste. This is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with a national campaign to increase your impact. The first step is to sign up and get planning. So if it’s of interest, head straight over to www.zerowasteweek.co.uk.

Zero Waste Week (14319857)
Zero Waste Week (14319857)

This year’s theme is climate change and the impact of waste on the climate. With increased global temperatures, higher occurrences of freak weather patterns, extinction threats and public rebellion, climate change has dominated the news and awareness is increasing more rapidly than ever.

The things we buy, how they’re manufactured and delivered to us and how we dispose of what’s left once we’ve finished with them are all connected. Zero Waste Week 2019 helps to break down the complexities with simple everyday actions to inspire people to reduce their waste footprint and their carbon footprint too.

Each day the campaign will focus on one particular aspect of waste, discuss how it ties in with climate change, with tips on reducing waste, plus a small daily challenge to inspire participants both at work and at home. The finale is a waste-free day. If you’re competitive, this is a perfect challenge for you.

If campaign planning or the topic of waste are not your strengths, there is an additional guide available to purchase from the site, which usefully helps you to plan your communications strategy and events with ideas on how you can engage colleagues in your workplace and includes background information and social media updates.

There’s always been something special about Zero Waste Week. For me, it’s the opportunity for creativity, and a chance to stretch your imagination and problem solving skills. It’s a time to step away from old habits, shake things up, be innovative and try something new.

Rachelle Strauss adds: “It is the collective action and the feeling of being part of the massive global movement that Zero Waste Week has become that gives the feeling of doing something special and exciting?”

So who’s up for helping that collective action trend locally? As the old saying goes: “Think Global, Act Local.” Imagine the impact of your organisation taking part, or even joining together with a row of shops in your street or indeed in collaboration with other companies on your business park.

Many businesses in our area are already gaining a reputation for reducing waste and Zero Waste Week is a fantastic way of helping your influence go further. If you’re sharing your plans on social media, don’t forget the hashtag #ZeroWasteWeek to help inspire your network of followers to join you.

And, of course, you don’t need to run an organisation to join in. Individuals from all over the world will be taking part. You too can join them at www.zerowasteweek.co.uk.

n If you are planning to take part in Zero Waste Week, we’d love to hear your stories and updates for potential inclusion in a September feature.

Email the Bury Free Press with with your news at news@buryfreepress.co.uk



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