Author: Kellye Cook, Dawson Creek’s Eco-Advisor
With Waste Reduction Week fast approaching, we all need to take a few minutes to think about ways we can reduce our “waste footprint”. Following the Five R’s (Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) is a great start, but before we buy, we need to Rethink how we purchase and use items. The history of consumerism has been one of linear usage…raw material->manufacturing->sale->use->garbage.
Attitudes are changing to a more circular economy where products are designed with reuse or a recycling process in mind.
Biodegradable plastics should replace those in existence but they haven’t, and likely won’t until the consumer demands it. Other products we’ve historically thrown away could have been re-used in their present form, such as clothing. Food is one of the largest sectors of waste in Canada, and can be combatted with smarter buying choices (small vs. bulk), buying food as needed (European style of shopping), and composting what is inedible. Backyard and kitchen composters eliminate food waste from landfills by turning it into nutrient-rich soil. Whether you have a backyard garden or window planters, everyone can use soil. Homes with yard waste can convert it to fertilizer in only a few short weeks, with minimal effort. Across the province and country, individuals, organizations and corporations are discovering new and innovative ways to reduce and reuse waste. These trailblazers are raising the bar and encouraging others to follow their lead. Each day of Waste Reduction Week in Canada will spotlight a different issue and/or solution. Make it your priority on October 16-22 to follow the discussion. Reducing waste benefits everyone, from the environment to your pocketbook. Learn how you can help yourself and your community.