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Sweden turns waste reduction into a contest

Sweden turns waste reduction into a contest

Households in participating cities are invited to become Minimization Masters

Sweden has decided to spice things up in the sustainability field with the creation of an inter-municipal competition for households, which challenges participants to reduce their waste output and become more environmentally minded. The challenge itself is set to begin on 15 September so residents have all of the summer to prepare and decide whether they want to join up. It also gives the authorities more time to spread the message and encourage participation.

The contest will last one year

The idea was begun by Gothenburg Region, with the support of Avfall Sverige – the country’s Waste Management and Recycling Association. If the preparation seems long that might have to do with the fact that the competition itself will also take some time to unfold. To be more specific – one whole year.

During that period, households will receive lectures and challenges based on five different themes, such as sustainable consumption, food waste and hazardous waste. The participants will also meet to get tips and exchange experiences with each other. Households will receive points depending on how well they implement the challenges and how much they reduce their waste. At the same time, they will compete against other households throughout Sweden.

In addition to the meetings, the participants will also be given various challenges that they must complete for the next meeting - for example, cooking leftovers or arranging a clothes exchange with friends.

To become a participating household in the Minimization Masters competitions, the participants are required to:

  • weight their waste and report the results on three occasions during the year,
  • implement challenges within each theme,
  • participate in the majority of the meetings,
  • be comfortable with and willing to reflect on the project on social media or blogs.

From the Municipality's point of view, we want to contribute knowledge and inspiration to get more people to discover those small habits that make a big difference,” commented Mona Öhrn, project manager for the competition in Örebro, one of the 59 participating municipalities in Sweden.

Curiously, there is no mention of prizes. We can only assume that the biggest award is the knowledge that you have helped the planet to breathe easier. And that should be a sufficient reason to change one’s lifestyle.

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