There are many people unable to grasp the harsh realities of the climate crisis because it feels too distant, whether they believe it is in the far-off future or in far-away places.
The harsh reality is that it is happening now and it is happening here.
One of the most tangible ways people can understand the state of our environment is to understand our waste.
Over-consumption has contributed to an overly wasteful society. We waste food, clothes, electronics, and just about everything we come into contact with. When we are done with something, these items find their forever homes in landfills (or the oceans, the rivers, the forests, etc.) where they will break down and continue to release harmful gases, further contributing to climate catastrophe.
It is about time we audited our consumption habits and how they are contributing to the harmful waste stream.
Introducing, Waste Reduction Week. A week that sheds light on our current consumer systems and urges action to reduce our waste. Each day of the week focuses on a different area of waste and we have added some tips on how to participate.
Monday: Circular Economy & Kick-Off
The first day of Waste Reduction Week highlights a large goal of the week itself. To achieve a circular economy, we must see our materials and products going back into the economy, rather than the landfill.
Some tips for a circular economy are;
The focus on textiles is meant to raise awareness for the energy that goes into the production of textiles and the environmental impact, both in production and disposal.
Some tips for tactical textiles are;
Wednesday: Champions & Innovators
This day highlights those who are disrupting traditional business models to advance waste reduction initiatives.
Some tips to take part are;
The production of plastic, especially single-use plastic, requires an incredible amount of unsustainable extractions and leaves harmful microplastics across our land, our water, and even inside of us. Reducing plastic is made possible through the adoption of a circular economy and driven by individual action.
Some tips to reduce your plastic are;
Friday: Food Waste
Food waste is a huge issue, especially from an environmental and social justice lens. When food is wasted, all of the time and resources that went into it's production is wasted.
A few tips to reduce your food waste are;
Saturday: Swap, Share, & Repair
Swapping, sharing, and repairing is not only good for the environment, but also good for community and your wallet! These methods help to extend product/material lifecycles and diverts them from disposal.
Some tips to swap, share, and repair are;
E-Waste in 2018 amounted to 44.7 million tonnes, with shockingly, only 20% of it being recycled. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and new innovative products are released each year, disposed electronics are on pace to be the largest waste stream in the world. If you're resisting that latest version of tech, we commend you!
Some E-Waste reduction tips include;
If you'd like to get involved in the Winnipeg environmental community during Waste Reduction Week, keep an eye out for upcoming events (like our build-a-bin workshop on October 24th)!
Hi, I'm Nicole. I work as a sustainable transportation project coordinator at a local environmental non-profit. I am keen on photography, cycling, eating delicious food, tending to my plants, and helping the environment.