Zero Waste Warriors

Current Initiatives

  • Our “Ban the Foam” Campaign, Download PDF Here and distribute freely!
  • Neighborhood cleanups
  • Restaurant education
  • Presentations
  • #sheddtheplastic with Shedd Aquarium
  • Promoting Zero Waste Legislation

Warriors in Action:

Contact us

Natalie Lichtenbert, Committee Lead
Email Natalie

Team Email:

Please note, continuing members will be
asked to join our chapter.


Weekly half-hour meetings are on the Second and Fourth Thursdays of each month, 5:15–5:45pm
(Check our calendar for more details.)

Social Media

Mission + Vision Statements


Our mission is to educate and engage communities to take action in the Chicago area, with the goal of eliminating excess waste and raising awareness about solutions to help mitigate the climate crisis. We promote waste reduction practices and work to accelerate responsible consumption.


To inspire zero waste within communities by connecting people to real, sustainable solutions.

Litterati Clean Up

April 22nd – September, 22nd, 2021
Goal: Collect 1,000 pieces of trash

We have a new challenge to start the year off cleaning up our neighborhoods! The radius expands to Champaign, so even more are able to join this round. Categorize each piece of garbage as plastic, Styrofoam, etc. to get a clearer picture of the trash problem in our area. If you have questions, email us! Learn more about Litterati on their website.

How to join in:

Join ZWW Summer Challenge 2021 in the Litterati app on your phone: Apple, Google Play

Enter this code after you create your account to join our challenge:


Upcoming Events

Weekend of October 9-10th, Save the Date  |  In-Person Clean-up

 In collaboration with Chicago Environmentalists, we will be looking to clean up an area on the west side of Chicago.  This should be a great event with great goals of accomplishment so stay tuned for details! 

Watch a video from one of our recent clean ups HERE!

» For this list of our latest and greatest zero waste and recycling recommendations as a downloadable document, click HERE.



  • Shop local from farmers markets to support farmers with less packaging waste
  • Packaging by shopping items in minimal plastic or from zero waste stores
  • Use cloth napkins. Thrift various patterns and colors for fun
  • Learn how to cook with Ends and Stems to save time and reduce food waste
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and air dry them
  • On the topic of clothes washing, challenge yourself to wear clothes more often between washes, thereby decreasing your amount of loads!
  • Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not using them
  • Eat less meat – Meatless Mondays (or more)!
  • Challenge yourself!  Can you decrease the amount of recycles going to the curb?


  • Join your neighborhood facebook buy nothing group (search on facebook buy nothing and enter neighborhood to find)
  • Shop second hand (poshmark and thredup great for clothing)
  • Upcycle jars and cans for plants and flowers 
  • Use glass jars to store bulk items (seeds, nuts, etc)
  • Shop or donate bikes at Working Bikes
  • Turn empty food containers into leftover containers
  • Before throwing an item away – ask yourself if the item can be repurposed
  • Make your reusables more accessible (reusable straws & utensils in your purse/backpack, reusable bags by the door & in the car) and phase out single use items (hide them! See if you can get by without using them)
  • Buy reusable silicone bags or reuse ziploc bags


  • Divert bread tags from landfills and get them to SCARCE for Danielle Cares for Chairs
  • Bring American Flags to your local VFW, fire department, village/township hall
  • Bring Eyeglasses + Hearing Aids to your local Lions Club 
  • Ink cartridges from printers can be refurbished and resold (no toner cartridges) through Planet Green Recycle Fundraiser
  • Vases can be repurposed for Flowers for Elderly and Sick Persons at The Douglas Center
  • Make homemade guitar picks out of used credit and gift cards with a pick punch – donate the picks to elementary and high school music teachers and music schools
  • Ship your extra and unwanted sports and academic medals to be recycled with Sports Medal Recycling
  • Donate unwanted craft, office or school supplies and materials to non profits like Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange or The Waste Shed


  • Compost food scraps at home (backyard or vermicomposting), curbside (if available) or with a microhauler. Check out the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition for all the details
  • Search for community food scrap drop off events or opportunities to divert food scraps from landfills. A few local examples to consider are select community gardens, urban farms, farmers markets, The Village Farmstand, and Evanston ReBuilding Warehouse
  • No composting?  If you don’t have a lot, through it under a bush!