Waste less, Live more Week Challenge

1. Get gardening:

Even if you’ve only got space for one pot, you can try gardening. Why not try looking after a houseplant or growing some herbs on your windowsill? Too easy? Set up a gardening group and garden regularly.

Ideas: Flower pot or plant in my room – reduces indoor pollution

2. Make a home for wildlife:

Make a bird box, bee hotel, bug hotel or a hedgehog shelter. It’s easier than you think and you can get advice online from the BBC or the RSPB.

Ideas: RSPB make a home for wildlife pack: (download online to save paper!). A selection of ideas: Leave a patch of your lawn uncut through summer for butterflys and moths; Instead of deadheading leave your flowers to seed for birds and bugs; Grow flowing plants to provide nectar and pollen for bees and butterflys; Grow climbers (e.g. Ivy or honeysuckle) up dull walls and fences to provide food and shelter for birds and insects; Pot up plants and flowers in balconies and small gardens; Leave a pile of dead wood for fungi, bugs, minibeasts and toads; Catch rainwater to water your plants; Ditch harmfull pesticides; Feed the birds; Build a hedgehog house, bee B&B, toad abode, bat box, bug hotel, or bird lodge

3. Take it outdoors:

Take your next meeting or class outside. Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!

Ideas: Do an exercise class outside

4. Love your local park or beach:

Go to your local park or beach and show it some love. Too easy? Join your local Love Parks Group

Ideas: Go for a dog walk around my local park; Sign up to and check for events near me

5. Try geocaching:


Geocaching is a special treasure hunt for finding objects called “geocaches”, which can be anything from a small metal tube to tupperware. It is similar to the 160-year-old game letterboxing. To play, you use a GPS-enabled device such as a mobile phone to find geocaches or all over the world (there are over 2 and a half million globally). Why not see if there are any near you and give it a go?

6. Stargaze:

You don’t actually need any special equipment and a good place to stargaze might be closer than you think, even if you live in an urban area. There are lots of free guides online and the Dark Sky Discovery’s website includes for information about the best stargazing locations.

How to Start Right in Backyard Astronomy advice: Learn the night sky with the unaided eye (Go out into the night and learn the starry names and patterns overhead; Ransack your public library for astronomy basics and constellations; Use free guides; Start stargazing with binoculars first (They show you a wide field of view, making it easy to find your way around and show a view that’s right-side up and straight in front of you, making it easy to see where you’re pointing; Keep an astronomy diary; Seek out other amateurs; Relax and have fun!

7. Share your skills:

female chopping food ingredients

Can’t cook but can play the guitar? Get together with others to swap your skills. Too easy? Organise regular skill sharing classes

Ideas: The Skillshare website lets you find classes you are interested in

8. Build a den Indoors or outdoors, with children or not, building a den is great fun.


9. Forage:

September is a great month to forage for nuts, berries and other delicious treats. Think hawthorn berries, blackberries, nettles, hazelnuts or beech nuts. Guides online will help you find an identify produce. Remember, always be sure you can positively identify any plant before you pick it, and never eat any plant you are unsure of. When foraging, ensure you leave plenty for wildlife.

Suggestions for September: Rosehips; Beech nuts; Elderberries; Raspberries; Wild strawberries; Hazelnut; Poppy; Blackberries; Hawthorn berries

10. Go wild swimming:

Try swimming surrounded by nature. Hidden waterfalls, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, coves and beaches, are waiting to be explored. There are natural pools in cities too. Get advice on where to go and how to swim safely at

11. Try upcycling:

Upcycling means turning something old or unused into something new and usable. Old wellies can become plant pots, broken umbrellas can become saddle covers. The possibilities are endless.

Ideas: Pillowcase Garment Bags; Cork Planters; Book Page Coasters; Bottle Cap Candles; Portable bagel holder made out of CD/DVD tower case.

12. Get together to doodle, paint, sketch, draw…

13. Theme your next book group:


Pick a book with an interesting social or environmental theme such as The Spirit Level and 10 Billion for discussion at your next session.

Ideas: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson – one of the most influential environmental books which helped ban DDT pesticide.

14. Make a puppet or sock monkey:

Odd socks? Try upcycling them into the ultimate toy/mascot/desk companion.

15. Darn it:

There was a time when most people knew how to darn. Check out the tutorials on You Tube or find a friend or family member who can teach you and get darning!

Ideas: Youtube simple darning

16. Organise a ‘Give and Take’ Day:


Give or take days are a great way of getting rid of items that you don’t need, and taking items you do. Leftover items can be donated to local charity shops.

Ideas: If there are no ‘Give and Take’ days near you: Swap or borrow clothes with friends and family to revamp your wardrobe!

17. Re-love some stuff:


Check out a local car-boot sale or charity shop. Enjoy the thrill of finding yourself a bargain or unexpected treasure. Instead of buying something new, rescue something old and unloved and give it a new lease of life.

18. Make your own:

These days we can pop into a shop or go online and buy almost anything we like. But have we lost touch with how things are made, the resources that go into making them and what happens to them when we throw them away? This week, commit to making your own. Swap takeaway lunches for packed ones, bake real bread, make a card or gift for a friend or bring people together for a make it night.

Ideas: Think about what you buy and use in an average week and decide how much of that you can make yourself – Sandwiches (even the bread for sandwiches!), Crisps (try making your own vegetable ones from your own garden), snacks (make cakes and bakes to snack on)

19. Ditch the disposables:

Try to go a whole day or the entire week without using disposables. Too easy? Make reusable a way of life. Switch to reusable coffee cups, water bottles and cosmetic pads, refillable wine bottles and refillable cleaning products – there are lots of options to help you ditch the disposables permanently.

20. Go zero waste:


Try to produce no waste for a day. Sit in for your coffee or make a packed lunch. Avoid buying anything in packaging that can’t be recycled locally. Too easy? Do it for the week or longer!

21. Plug-out:

Turn of the wifi, phone and all other electronic devices for a day. Worried you’ll be bored? Fill your day with other waste less, live more activities – the time will fly! Too easy? Plug out for the whole weekend or an entire week!

22. Go for a bike ride:


If you haven’t got a bike, why not borrow or hire one, take a nice ride in your local park or explore your local neighbourhood.

23. Support a local community project:


Get in touch with your local volunteer bureau and find a project that needs some help.

24. Lift share:

This week, try to make no journeys in the car alone. You’ll be reducing your environmental impact and have someone to chat to. Too easy? Travel further afield using a scheme like Blablacar.

25. Set up a stuff library:

Need a drill for that DIY project? Bored of your DVD collection? Set up a real or virtual library to share the things you have, helping everyone’s stuff get used more and gather less dust.

26. Organise a spoken word or unplugged music night

27. Organise a Big Tidy Up

Visit the Big Tidy Up website and order a kit to get your started.

28. Go paperless

Think before you print, switch to paperless billing – you’ll never have to open a bill again, well not a paper one anyway!

29. Have a fix-it party


Got a pile of stuff you’ve been meaning to fix? Gather the things you’ll need and invite your friends over for a fix it party. Check out You Tube for tutorials on how to fix almost anything.

30. Have a swishing event

Did you know that around 30% of clothing in a UK household has not been worn for at least a year? Bring friends or colleagues together to swap those items of clothing you no longer want and find yourself a new outfit.

31. Set up a book-swap shelf

Got a spare shelf at work, school or in your local pub? Ask if it can be turned into a book-swap shelf. Give away your books and pick up something new to read.

32. Have a photo competition

These days, many people have a camera on their phone. Create a list of items of things for everyone to take a photo of, such as their favourite local green space or place to relax and compare your results. Alternatively, create themes and take photos which relate to them such as ‘neigbourhood’, ‘love’ or ‘sharing’. If you’re sharing them online, tag them with #WLLM15 so we can see them too.

33. Have a themed movie night


Invite friends over to watch a movie, follow it with a discussion. We recommend My Stuff Movie or Black Fish.

34. Play team sports

Organise a game of football or ultimate frisbee in the park with friends or colleagues. Too easy? Set up a league or organise a mini-Olympics

35. Share a bath

36. Create unique reusable

Organize a workshop; get the people involved in customizing their own canvas shopping bags or water bottles to take home and use.

37. Have a (non-computer) games night

Get out board games or a pack of cards and have an evening of fun together.

38. Create a new game (no purchases allowed)


Remember making up games as a child? Have fun creating a new game using things you’ve got at home.

39. Break the bag habit

Sign the break the bag habit pledge, stop using single use bags and invest in a nicer reusable alternative.

40. Try an outdoor gym

Not a fan of the gym or just interested in trying something different? Free outdoor gyms are springing up all over the country enabling people to exercise outdoors in the fresh air for free. Check with your local council website or the Great Outdoor Gym Company to see if there’s one near you.

41. Get a tea or coffeepot for work

A teapot or coffee pot is a great addition to the office! It’s sociable and the kettle will only be boiled once.

42. Organise a shared lunch

Everyone brings a dish and you eat together. You’ll get an amazing spread and think of the sandwich wrapper waste you’ll avoid. Too easy? Ask everyone to use seasonal produce only.

43. Pledge to have zero waste lunches

Think about how much packaging you get with a lunch bought out. Pledge to have zero waste lunches for the week – bring in your own from home or sit-in to eat.

Waste free lunch challenge:

Costs (in dollars sorry!):

44. Get your office growing

Plants are a great addition to the office. They encourage a positive and healthy atmosphere. Bring in a few pots and get planting with colleagues. Rocket, chillies, spinach, chives and mint are easy to grow and can be used to supplement your lunch. Too easy? Have an office ‘best in show’ competition to see who can grow the finest produce.

45. Buy local 


Try buying local for a day. Using local businesses instead of chains is great way of supporting local jobs and investing more money back into the local economy. Too easy? Buy local for the whole week.

46. Be a lover, not a leaver

For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted – through preparation, spoilage and what’s left behind on the plate. 83%of us would like to take leftovers home but don’t think we can or are too embarrassed to ask. If you’re eating out, commit to asking for a doggy bag and LOVE those leftovers. Too easy? Get involved with the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Too Good to Waste Campaign.

Subscribe to:

47. Buy nothing

When was the last time you went a whole day without buying a single thing? Give yourself, the planet and your wallet a day off. Too easy? Buy nothing all week.

See for advice!

48. Write and perform a play

A great activity for children and adults alike and you might discover you’ve a talent you didn’t know you had.

49. Eat seasonably

Basket of marrows

Seasonable fruit and veg need less artificial inputs to produce, have less impact on the environment and taste better, as well as often being cheaper. Check out your local market, grocer or local food store for the freshest seasonal produce and don’t be afraid to ask if it’s in season. Too easy? Switch to a local seasonal vegetable box or start growing your own.

Going out of season: Apricot, Courgette, Crab, Cucumber, French beans, Kohlrabi, Marrow, Nectarine, Pepper, Runner beans, Sardine, Spring onion, Tomato

Other seasonal ingredients: Apple, Aubergine, Beetroot, Butternut squash, Cabbage, Chicory, Cobnut, Damsons, Fennel, Fig, Globe artichoke, Lamb, Mackerel, Oyster, Pear, Plum, Pumpkin, Radish, Raspberry, Rocket, Scallop, Sea bass, Sloe, Sweetcorn, Swiss chard, Truffle, Venison, Watercress, Wild duck

See recipes:

50. Go meat free

Meat production is responsible for almost a fifth of global CO2 emissions. Growing food directly for human consumption (rather than animal feed) could feed an additional 4bn people. Cutting down on meat is good for you, other people and the environment, so why not try going without meat for a day. Too easy? Go meat free for a week or commit to at least one free day per week.

Why go meat free:

51. Preserve and pickle

Gather some old glass jars and fill them with delicious and long-lasting preserves and pickles. They make excellent gifts too.


Can Do

  1. Get gardening
  2. Make a home for wildlife
  3. Try geocaching
  4. Stargaze
  5. Share your skills
  6. Forage
  7. Love your local park or beach 
  8. Theme your next book group
  9. Darn it
  10. Re-love some stuff
  11. Make your own
  12. Ditch the disposables
  13. Go zero waste
  14. Plug-out
  15. Go paperless
  16. Have a fix-it party (maybe just fix it myself)
  17. Have a photo competition
  18. Have a themed movie night
  19. Share a bath
  20. Have a (non-computer) games night
  21. Break the bag habit
  22. Pledge to have zero waste lunches
  23. Buy local 
  24. Try an outdoor gym
  25. Be a lover, not a leaver
  26. Buy nothing
  27. Eat seasonably
  28. Go meat free
  29. Preserve and pickle

Will be difficult

  1. Take it outdoors – I work outside anyway… maybe do yoga outside?
  2. Build a den Indoors or outdoors – Hmm not sure of the point but might rope the boyfriend into this one…
  3. Try upcycling – Could produce cute gifts but could also go straight in the bin (argh!)
  4. Get together to doodle, paint, sketch, draw (Easily do this on my own, not sure about my friends though!
  5. Organise a ‘Give and Take’ Day (Same problem as above)
  6. Go for a bike ride (Need to spruce up the bikes)
  7. Support a local community project (Will need to look into this more…)
  8. Organise a Big Tidy Up (Came into this a little too late to organise + none close to me)
  9. Have a swishing event (Same problem as above)
  10. Create a new game (Not sure now this is relevant?)
  11. Get your office growing (Might have to restore our original plants first…)

Not a fan/Not feasible

  1. Go wild swimming (No registered safe places near)
  2. Make a puppet or sock monkey (Could spend time on more productive things)
  3. Lift share (Always give friends lifts but is not possible to travel to work with anyone)
  4. Set up a stuff library (Not sure how this works? Will have to look into further…)
  5. Organise a spoken word or unplugged music night (Again.. hmm?)
  6. Set up a book-swap shelf (Teeny tiny office with all guys who don’t read :/)
  7. Play team sports
  8. Create unique reusable (See upcycling)
  9. Get a tea or coffeepot for work (We are only a small office – only 3 people drink tea/coffees!)
  10. Organise a shared lunch (See above – I will bring in homemade cakes though!)
  11. Write and perform a play (Relevance?)

My ideas:

– Organise a meal with all the things I have forged and made for my friends to show how simple it is to do (serve themselves to save wastage)


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