By Nina Wu
Kanu Hawaii is issuing a "No Waste Challenge" this holiday season, with the goal of keeping 50,000 pounds of trash out of the landfill this year. The holidays are the time of the year when we create more waste — typically 25 percent more than usual.
As a small island community, we generate about 2.6 million tons of trash annually, or more than 10 pounds of waste per resident per day, twice the per capita waste of the average American and three times the average European.
Starting Nov. 27, Kanu is launching a four-week challenge. Week one encourages Hawaii residents to do a "trash check" to find out what waste your household is currently producing.
You can participating by clicking here.
Here's the schedule:
Take the Challenge:
Week 1 (Nov. 27-Dec. 3): The State of Rubbish in Hawai’i – learn how much waste we produce and where it goes; do a "trash check" to see what waste your household is currently producing
Week 2 (Dec 4-10): The Dirt on Recycling – learn how/what to recycle, and why recycling should be a last resort when it comes to plastic
Week 3 (Dec 11-17): Green Gold – learn how to turn green waste into a valuable local resource
Week 4 (Dec 18-26): "One Week – One Bag" Challenge – limit your household waste to a single bag for the entire week (you determine the size of the bag, based on a significant reduction to your usual household waste)
You can also participate by asking questions on how to recycle your waste on Twitter @kanuhawaii with the tag #nowaste or post a journal online at kanuhawaii.org. Post a photo of your efforts each week (using a reusable mug, composting your food scraps) and you may also win a prize.
With Black Friday coming up, it's not too soon to come up with a plan on how to reduce waste before it starts — purchase less packaging, use fewer disposables during your holiday parties, and reuse or repurpose what you already have for giftwrap or decor, for instance. Check out the Kokua Foundation's "12 Days to a Green Holiday Guide."
The Center for a New American Dream is also issuing a 2011 Simplify the Holidays Challenge. One of their suggestions is "Celebrate Buy Nothing Day" on Nov. 25 - spend the day doing community service, helping a neighbor or visiting an elderly friend.