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4 simple zero waste workshops for your community

10 high-impact zero waste challenge ideas - PollyBarks.com

Are you a group or business interested in zero waste workshops? Get in touch – I love holding them!

It’s all well and good to read books and blog posts describing a lifestyle and how to live it, but it’s another thing entirely to experience it for yourself. I know personally zero waste workshops opened my mind to exciting possibilities and empowered me to make tangible differences!

Creating something themselves gives people pride of ownership. Not only will they be more likely to utilize the product itself, but they’ll be much more willing to talk about it to friends and family. One more diabolical way to spread the word of zero waste!

Planning to use one of these workshops? Here’s how you can say thanks!!

Zero waste workshop #1: no-sew bags

You can only move away from plastic bags when you have an alternative – why not make your own super-simple bags from old t-shirts? These bags are quick and the act of creating the bag themselves makes participants much more likely to use them in the future. This workshop is great for kids or larger groups with a limited budget as old tees can be sourced for free from friends and family.

Time: approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour
Cost: free
Supplies: old but still-presentable t-shirts, scissors

  1. Cut off arms and cut a deep neckline.
  2. Cut fabric from the bottom of the t-shirt to make it the size you want (optional).
  3. At the bottom of the t-shirt, cut fringe strips about 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
  4. Tie the front and back fringe pieces together (on the inside for a neater look).

Zero waste workshop #2: DIY deodorant

I’d recommend deodorant as one of your first zero waste workshops because it’s so simple, quick, and cheap! Because the baking soda can be irritating to people, it’s also nice if you offer non-baking soda recipes to try at home.

Time: approximately 15-20 minutes
Cost: $
Supplies: 2 parts baking soda, 2 parts cornstarch, 1 part coconut oil, essential oils (optional – these are what I use)

  1. Mix the baking soda, cornstarch, and essential oil.
  2. Add melted coconut oil and mix well.
  3. Put the mixture into a small container, pack it down, and you’re done!

Zero waste workshop #3: laundry detergent

This is a very quick DIY perfect for demonstrations at larger events or times when people may not want to linger for long. I’d recommend choosing one person in the group to do each step in order to get a little bit of audience participation. (If you’d like to drastically reduce the cost of this event, ask participants to BYOC.)

Time: approximately 20 -30 minutes
Cost: $-$$, depending on number of participants
Supplies (for four participants to take home one cup of detergent, you’ll need these amounts – adjust accordingly): 1 bar castile soap, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup washing soda, essential oils (optional)

  1. Grate the bar of castile soap with a grater.
  2. Add soap, baking soda, and washing soda into a large container and mix.
  3. Divide the detergent into individual jars and add 2-3 drops of essential oil if desired.
  4. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. (Vinegar as “softener” is a great add-on).
4 simple zero waste workshops for your community - PollyBarks.com

Zero waste workshop #4: zero waste lotion

Zero waste lotion isn’t often totally zero waste (many of the items come in packaging), but if you get the right kind it can be reused. Plus, if you’re working in a larger group the packaging difference become negligible. DIY lotion is great because it does reduce overall packaging plus you know exactly what’s in it. Here is a post on sourcing DIY zero waste ingredients online.

Time: 10-15 minutes
Cost: $$$
Supplies: equal parts shea butter*, cocoa butter*, coconut oil, and a liquid oil (jojoba, sweet almond, vitamin e, etc.)

  1. Add all the ingredients into a glass bowl and let melt over a double boiler.
  2. When melted, remove from heat and whip with beaters for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Let sit in fridge for approximately one hour to cool.

* Not unpackaged but they do come in resealable paper bags lined with plastic/foil which can be reused for years.

There you go – four simple zero waste workshops meant to excite and inspire local focus into learning more about the zero waste movement!

Planning to use one of these workshops? Here’s how you can say thanks!!
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