Week 5: Zero Waste

You may have heard of the phrase “Zero Waste” before, but what does it actually mean? Zero Waste has the ultimate goal of creating no waste and using our precious resources wisely. Taking the step towards a zero waste lifestyle is much easier than you may think. 

Take action and follow the 5R’s for Zero Waste ––

Reduce needless consumption and the generation of waste. When purchasing something at the store, try to buy items that have less packaging. Reuse any item that can be reused, or give it to a person/charity that can reuse it. 
If items cannot be reused, recycle what you can, and only dispose of what you must. 
Rot your food and yard waste by composting - nature's way of recycling. 
Rethink about the waste you produce by using alternative products, considering how you can further reduce your environmental footprint, and what you can do to root out unnecessary wastefulness. 

ATTENTION OCEANSIDE STUDENTS!  Join in on the fun and participate in the "What Goes Where" Summer Video Challenge!

You could win up to $600, sponsored by Waste Management!


Film yourself teaching the community what items go into the recycling bin and what items go in the landfill bin.

Video Requirements:

  • The video should include the following recyclable items: 
    Plastic water bottle (empty and dry), cardboard, paper, aluminum can (empty and dry), clean cardboard lunch tray, clean rigid plastic yogurt container, plastic clamshell
  • The video should include the following landfill items:
    Plastic snack baggie, straw, plastic fork or spoon, dirty napkin or tissue, foam cup or plate, single-use ketchup or mustard packet, granola bar or snack wrapper
  • Be sure to mention your school’s share table! Any unopened food should be placed on the share table to reduce food waste
  • At least one participant must be an Oceanside student K-12
  • Maximum video time: Two minutes

**Winning tip: Make it fun, creative, and all about zero waste!**

Prizes will be based on video creativity and focus on zero waste. 

Submissions should be emailed to GreenOceanside@oceansideca.org by July 20, 2020. 

Games and Activities

Play the Zero Waste Game to test your knowledge on what happens to items when they are recycled, landfilled, donated, or composted. 
What Goes Where? Sort items into four different categories: recyclables, compost, electronic waste, and landfill waste with the Litter Critters team!
Explore Recycle City to learn how its residents reduce waste, use less energy, and even save money by doing simple tasks at home, at work, and in their neighborhoods. 
Earth Day Crossword 
Earth Day Word Search

Check out the below crafts and projects you can work on while at home!

Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency - DIY Projects to Get Your Self-Reliant Lifestyle Started
27 Zero Waste DIY's to save you money, and protect our planet!

This Week's Reads

The Zero-Waste Lifestyle - Live Well by Throwing Away Less
David Suzuki's Green Guide
More Good News - Real Solutions to the Global Eco-Crisis
Food for a Greener Planet - What You Can Do
Living in the Anthropocene - Earth in the Age of Humans
Sustainable Revolution
Food in Jars - Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round
How to Think Seriously about the Planet - The Case for an Environmental Conservatism
Every Day Conservation
Grow More with Less - Sustainable Garden Methods

…And more! Search the library’s OverDrive service or the Hoopla App for additional titles.

Achieve a Zero Waste Lifestyle

A great way to achieve a zero waste lifestyle is by saying no to single-use plastic and disposable items. Instead, choose from a variety of reusables! Whether it is switching from a plastic water bottle to one you can refill, bringing your own reusable containers when dining out, or putting your leftovers in reusable pouches instead of plastic baggies, there are many ways to reduce your waste.

How many single-use plastic and disposable items do you use in a year, and what are their impacts? Find out by using the Plastic Footprint Calculator

Reducing your food waste is a key step to achieving a zero waste lifestyle. Check out the below community groups to learn how you can reduce food waste through recipes, tips on storage, helpful handouts, meal calculators, and more!

Save the Food
San Diego Food System Alliance
United States Environmental Protection Agency

Are you interested in learning how to compost? Now is the perfect time to start! Composting is nature's way of recycling. Learn more about backyard composting Through the Solana Center’s Compost it Yourself Guide.

Interested in building your own vermicompost bin? Find the steps here: Green Oceanside's Vermicomposting Guide

If a static bin is more up your alley, learn how to build one here: Green Oceanside's Backyard Static Composting Guide

2020 Earth Month Vendors

Don’t forget to explore the Virtual Earth Festival Webpage! You’ll have the chance to view environmental businesses and organizations, purchase local sustainable goods, and discover resources to take your Earth Month experience to the next level.