There's nothing like a good garbage strike to
remind us of how much waste we all produce. Face it, we can be
pigs! The good news is that it's easy to develop some
healthy new habits. Let's show the world there's a better way to take
care of the trash than truck it, dump it or burn it. Just say no to
Here are five easy tips:
1. Do a home garbage
Where can you make the greatest improvement in reducing waste? Just look
in your garbage can for the answer. Do a garbage audit of your home to
find out the biggest culprits: plastics, styrofoam, tins, paper, or food
scraps. Then ask yourself what you can do to eliminate these items from
your waste (read on for some suggestions).
2. Don't buy garbage
Make sure you're not filling garbage bags when you go shopping:
- avoid non-recyclable
plastics (in Toronto, for example, only types 1 and 2 are accepted in the blue box)
- buy reusable and refillable containers
- buy in bulk instead of single servings
- buy durable products
- don't buy things you don't really need
- take your own shopping bags
- avoid toxic and hazardous products (see the City
of Toronto's list of alternatives)
3. Leave no trace
Whether you're going to Caribana, the Santa Claus Parade, or just heading across town, plan your trips to be garbage-free and pack out all your trash. Living
in the city should be no different than if you were camping in the wilderness
-- keep the environment clean.
Use your green bin or bags as part of your municipality's composting program.
Even better, compost (or use a
worm bin) your own organic matter and create your own soil for
your garden or house plants.
5. Sort out the
recyclables and hazardous waste
Rinse out all food containers and store them with your other recyclables until after the strike.
Be sure to set aside any hazardous waste (including batteries, oils and
pesticides) and check the City
of Toronto household hazardous waste website for information on safe
– to see articles and websites that CCO has recently tagged with
“waste”, please visit this link
search the Great Green Directory for products, services,
programs, financial incentives, and resources specific to the
“Waste Less” conserver action
learn what your ECOscore is! Take five minutes to rate yourself
and find out where you want to improve as a conserver.