May I ask you a delicate question?
How many bin bags do you put out your front door each week?
A walk around the neighbourhood on collection day suggests an average of 4 bags per
household. That amounts to 1.1kg of household waste … per person in the UK … per day!
Our waste is palpable evidence of our consumption: food leftovers, food waste, plastic bags and wraps, food containers, cleaning product packaging, single-use wipes and pads, broken toys, old clothes or simply unused clothes, etc.
Behind this visible part of the iceberg also lies the less visible waste generated during the production and transportation of all these items. We’ve all read about how our consumption has sky-rocketed over the past 5 decades and how it is impacting our planet. Time to act!
Yes, of course, time to act. But it is also time to send a report to the boss, to take the kids to school, the keep the house in order, and place food on the table. If there is time left, we would rather spend it on some fun and relaxing time.
This is where the Bin Bag Challenge comes in handy. It is about having a drink with friends who also want to reduce their waste, exchanging tips and celebrating smaller bin bags. There are no costs involved, just help and support.
How does it work exactly?
You join a group of friendly people and receive weekly challenges through WhatsApp on topics like ‘Cleaning’, ‘Beauty’ and ‘Food’. Group members share their experience, ideas and tips to meet the challenge. They support each other and meet to celebrate.
No shaming, no judging – just support.
A user-friendly website also provides information, DIY recipes and addresses of Wandsworth-based and online shops to help with the challenge & to drive down waste.
We tested the solutions ourselves, so can guarantee that it is for “normal” people – there is no need to be a zero-waste guru! Previous groups have reported impressive results – such as going from 4 to 2 bags a week, over 9 weeks. Several participants even went on to create their own group straight after their first iteration of the program, to keep cutting down their waste and to help others do so. You can see how this scheme can make a huge difference!
To get you started: you can see our blog post on The Benefits of Composting here to reduce your bags of waste before they start adding up (and smelling foul)!
Are you interested in joining in? Have you just started the Bin Bag Challenge yourself? Let us know how you get on using social media with the hashtag: #BeautifyBalham.
Alice & Catherine, and The Beautify Balham Team