Waste Reduction Week: Swap this for that to make zero waste!

Posted on October 18, 2016

The average Calgarian throws 50 bags into our garbage annually. That means Calgarians send 55 million bags of garbage to the landfill every year! Oct 17-23 is waste reduction week. in Canada to build awareness around sustainable and responsible consumption. To celebrate, we have 14 ways you can swap this for that to make zero waste!

1.    Consuming for Reducing: Before buying anything new ask yourself, could I borrow, or rent this item instead?

2.    The Store for Second Hand: If you must buy, see if you can find something second hand from Kijiji, Craigslist, Value Village or charity run consignment stores like Goodwill.

3.    Disposable for Reusable: With all kinds of great, dishwasher safe, affordable re-usable options now available, there's no need for disposable anything. Think about those common throw away items you could replace with reusable versions. Travel mugs, shopping bags, jars for bulk and bags for fruits and veggies at the grocery store are great examples.

4.    Cheap for High Quality: Choosing to buy durable, long lasting items helps them to stay out of the landfill. Spending a little more the first time keeps you from having to purchase the same thing over and over again.

5.    The Garbage for the Recycling Bin: A great way to reduce your trash is to make sure you’re up to date on what can and cannot be recycled. DYK empty paper cups can now be recycled? Call our Help Desk for those weird and wonderful items you're hoping to recycle.

6.    Your Black Bin for the Leaf & Pumpkin Composting Program: No need to toss your yard waste! Between Sept 24th - Nov 6th The City of Calgary offers a FREE drop off Leaf and Pumpkin Composting Program. You can even pick up FREE yard waste bags from our EcoStore.

7.    The Drain for Hazardous Waste Drop Off: It’s important to keep toxic chemicals, including many cleaning and personal care products, out of our water systems and landfills. Luckily, there are household hazardous waste drop off locations throughout the city.

8.    Mattresses Need Not go to the Landfill: Did you know it’s possible to recycle your mattress? Check out our specialty directory.

9.    Tossing for Donating: Before you toss something, ask yourself if it’s still good enough for someone else to use? No one you know needs it? Try listing it for FREE on Kijiji and other online sites.

10.  Junk Mail for Only Your Mail: Put a no junk mail sticker on your mailbox to stop receiving junk mail. You can purchase them for just $2 at our EcoStore and they make great stocking stuffers! Learn more about our Dump the Junk campaign.  

11.  The Trash for the Compost: 35% of average household garbage is organics (food waste, yard waste, etc.) and this stuff simply won't decompose in the landfill. But there are lots of ways to compost. Check out our 5 Ways to Get Composting blog.

12.  Lots for Less: When you’re buying new, aim for brands that have little to no packaging, and avoid disposable or single serving items.

13.  Pre-packed for Home Prepped: Avoid the typical pre-packaged, pre-made snacks. Buying a block of cheese, fruits and bulk veggies to cut into bite size portions will save money and avoids preservative laden alternatives.

Want to learn more about living a more waste conscious minimalist lifestyle? Join us for a screening of Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important things on Oct 21st. Reducing household waste can be easy when you think about what you’re buying and where it will go after you’re done with it. We have more info on the breakdown of YYC’s waste here.