Start new low-waste habits by joining the online Zero Waste Challenge

Ever wonder how you create so much trash or end up with so much stuff in your home? Many people are interested in avoiding waste, decluttering, and recycling more but aren’t sure where to start.

Hennepin County’s Zero Waste Challenge will help you learn more, connect you with resources to help you reduce the waste and clutter in your life, and provide support and motivation along the way.

zwc avoid waste

Reducing your footprint by reducing waste

What we buy has a big impact on climate change. Creating new products requires energy – to harvest raw material, process it, manufacture it, transport it, and sometimes, to use it. Producing and transporting goods is associated with 45% of global emissions.

Taking steps to become a more thoughtful consumer and adopting habits to live a lower waste lifestyle can have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint.

An eye-opening experience

Past Zero Waste Challenge participants have called the experience eye-opening and a conversation-starter. They said it both educated them and pushed them into action. Some even called it life changing!

Join the challenge now and get ready to slash your trash!

How it works

The online Zero Waste Challenge runs May 1 to 31, and you can join anytime during the month of the challenge. Sign up for the challenge at 

Once you sign up:

  • Create your profile, or if you have participated in past challenges, log in and join the 2021 challenge.
  • Join or start a team – this could be with family and friends or people from your city, neighborhood, organization, community group, or school. Or join the community team and connect with participants throughout Hennepin County. See the information in the resources section for tips on starting a team and promoting the challenge to others.
  • Browse the categories and actions. The challenge has more than 80 actions to choose from in seven categories and four weekly Focus Areas, so you can choose the actions that will have the most impact for your household.
  • Check off the actions you already take and reflect on what actions would be the most impactful for your household. Select up to five daily actions and five one-time actions to make progress on during the four-week challenge. One-time actions are investments or changes you commit to making long-term, while daily actions are choices you make more often – possibly ever day, every few days, or every week – to build habits.

zwc action tracks

Not sure where to start? Take actions in the weekly Focus Areas!

Each Focus Area includes five actions that represent some of the best ways to get started on that topic. We’ll dig into a different Focus Area each week during the challenge and provide additional resources and information to help you take action.

Once the challenge starts: report your actions and see your impact add up

Once the challenge starts, you will report what actions you take, see the impact of our actions add up, and connect with others. You’ll mark one-time actions complete once you’ve finished that task. For daily actions, you’ll mark them as complete on the days you take that action.