WHAT TO DO?:
Collect your recyclable & non-perishable waste for the ENTIRE month of February. Don’t hold back. Act and shop like you usually would so you are honest with the amount of waste you collect! On February 28th, post a photo on social media with all of your accumulated waste tagging @Sustainable_Duo & the hashtag #FuturisticFebruary.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF COLLECTING TRASH?:
The point is to get a visual of how much waste you accumulate in one given month. Multiply it by 12 in your head and visualize how much waste you accumulate in a year! That picture will make you want to decrease your waste consumption ASAP!
Start to make simple, sustainable swaps in your life to decrease your carbon footprint. Check out our Zero-Waste E-book that provides a zero-waste hack for basically everything.
HOW IT STARTED:
Two years ago, I (Carly) went to Nicaragua for an entire month to learn Spanish, teach English, and educate small communities on environmentalism. During my time in Nicaragua, I minimized my waste by refusing, reducing, and reusing. Nicaragua (like many developing countries) does not have a proper waste disposal system. The country burns all of their waste including recyclables and plastic. While in Nicaragua I was living in a hostel that was starting to deteriorate due to rising sea levels. It made me extremely upset to think about how people, including myself at the time, do not recognize the detrimental impact waste has on the environment and surrounding countries since it contributes to climate change (greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea levels, etc.). The small islands in Nicaragua experience climate change firsthand and their land is being destroyed by erosion & increasing sea levels. It was devastating to realize that my decisions in the United States were having a negative impact on the people of these islands.
After my month spent in Nicaragua, I was able to fit all of my recyclables/non-perishable waste in a small bag that I brought home with me so I could dispose of it properly. I made this happen by simply thinking twice about buying a granola bar with a wrapper, refusing to use a plastic water bottle, refusing fruit wrapped in plastic, not using paper towels, etc. I avoided waste and it turned into a fun little game for me.
When I returned from Nicaragua I created Futuristic February. After my first year of this challenge (shown above), I was appalled with how much waste I accumulated in just one month! As an environmentalist and holistic-health enthusiast, it clicked for me that I couldn’t call my current lifestyle sustainable while still using plastic regularly. Even though I was vegan and already refusing plastic bags, straws, & bottles, there was SO MUCH more I could do. I dove into zero-waste immediately, and here we are- continuing this campaign for the 3rd year! I hope this campaign inspires you to make sustainable swaps in your lifestyle as it did for me. You can do this!