One of my biggest personal goals for 2018 is to create less waste.
In 2015 my husband and I decided to become vegetarians to do our part to combat climate change, and to take a stand against animal cruelty. We stopped consuming meat and fish, and most animal by-products. I only use cruelty free products in my beauty routine, and ensure that anything I’m using in my home (such as cleaning products), aren’t going endanger this little blue speck we call home, or those living on it. I started my journey of sustainable living with vegetarianism, and I wanted to push it one step further, committing to reducing my waste.
This year I taught a Grade 9 Canadian Geography course, and one of our units in the course is sustainability. I challenged my class to try to be waste-free for 10 days. Easy right?
I did the challenge with my students, and realized that being waste free takes a bit more effort than I had thought, but it’s definitely 100% worth it! (especially for a homegirl like #MotherNature). The challenge had us recording anything we threw in the garbage, the materials these products were made of, and reflecting on how we could eliminate that waste the next day. Some of the things I noticed I was throwing away were: a chocolate bar wrapper, a toothpaste tube, the top aluminium/plastic cover to the recyclable Keurig coffee pods I had, and the wrap off of school supplies.
So what could I do to reduce this?
- Buy chocolate from a bulk foods store (because I’m going to be honest, giving up chocolate is not part of my 2018 plan, lol).
- Buy toothpaste that comes in a recyclable container, or make natural toothpaste.
- Don’t use coffee pods.
…As for the school supplies, I’m struggling, as theses are not a personal purchase and must be supplied by my board’s vendors. I don’t get to see the product or its packaging in advance, and I cannot be reimbursed by buying a similar (waste-free) product somewhere else. (If you have a solution for me I’d love to hear it).
So what are some easy things you can do to minimize your waste?
This graphics from www.lessplastic.co.uk give us a great visual of how to live with less…waste.
Here are some of our favourite items we’ve purchased to help us minimize our waste:
(Many of them sold at a cute store I recently came across in Hamilton, ON called the “Pale Blue Dot”)
Reusable Produce Bags (because B.Y.O.Bag is #1)
What’s one thing you can do this year to reduce your waste?