Celebrate Québec Waste Reduction Week by adopting new habits!

Oct 27, 2017 by Énergir in Community
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The numbers don’t lie: in Québec, we produce 13 million tonnes of waste a year—that’s one 25-tonne truck a minute! And half of this waste ends up in landfill or incineration sites. These activities have economic, social and environmental impacts, but what can be done?

As part of Québec Waste Reduction Week, which runs from October 21 to 29, we are recommending ten good habits for reducing the amount of waste you generate. This way, you can do your part for the planet, for future generations… and for yourself!

1. Avoid wasting food

In Canada, 30 to 40% of food goes to waste or is thrown out. To minimize waste and save money at the same time, plan your meals using food from your fridge or pantry. Another tip: make a grocery list and stick to it; only buy what you need for your meal plan. This way, you’ll avoid unnecessary purchases!

2. Buy your grocery items in bulk

More than just a trend, zero-waste grocery stores like Épicerie Loco are a veritable movement, and they’re multiplying across Québec. The concept it simple: bring your own reusable containers, fill them up with bulk products (allowing you to avoid waste because you can buy exactly the quantity you need) and hit the cash. One more simple way to be environmentally responsible!

3. Say no to plastic bags

Plastic bags are the second leading cause of death among marine animals and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose! So start by getting yourself some reusable bags. If you’d like to take it one step further, sign up for the campaign to ban plastic bags, Je fais ma part! ”

4. Keep your fruits and vegetables longer

Here’s a whole series of tricks and tips for keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh and tasty longer: http://bit.ly/2yt3dz4

5. Make your own organic house-cleaning products

Canadian families use 20 to 40 litres of cleaning products a year, many of which contain toxic substances. But there are certain products available in grocery or hardware stores that can replace these cleaners: water and vinegar for washing windows and floors, baking soda and borax for scouring the bathroom, essential oils to give the house a fresh scent… To learn more: http://bit.ly/1QE2WJS

6. Cut down on (or stop) using single-use products

Use cloth towels and dishcloths instead of paper towel and throwaway wipes, transform your old clothes into rags, use reusable bottles instead of plastic bottles and use resealable containers instead of Ziploc bags. The ideas are endless!

7. Use less paper

Remember to use two-sided printing for your documents and only print when you need to. You can also shrink your font size before printing, and recycle scrap paper into note or drawing pads. Lastly, if you receive leaflets and circulars that you don’t read, place a “no junk mail” sticker on your mailbox.

8. Share, swap, donate… it feels good!

Do you have food to donate? Make use of community refrigerators to help those in need of food. Do you have clothing, books or kitchen items to swap? Organize a swap party and take the opportunity to meet new people! If you’d like to share ideas or expertise, there are a number of organizations for meeting people with common interests. To learn more: http://bit.ly/2xLYuXb

9. Are you renovating? Recycle and reuse!

Doing renovations is exciting but can be costly… During the planning phase, identify elements that you could repair, refurbish, reuse or recycle. You’ll be surprised at how much you can salvage. And to save even more by avoiding unnecessary purchases, rent the tools you need!

10. Make your own organic soap and cosmetics

Carcinogens, pesticides, endocrine disrupters… The beauty products that companies sell often contain ingredients harmful to your health. So why not make your own? You can find recipes online, save a supply of little, reusable glass jars and make your own creams, facial masks and balms. Get together with your friends and make it into a fun activity! To learn more: http://bit.ly/2ghDlxT