Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The 90% waste challenge!

I'm undertaking a new challenge. The idea is to reduce my personal waste by 90% (measured by weight). That means reducing and reusing as much as possible, as well as recycling and composting as much of the rest as possible. I have just sat down and set a plan for my own waste reduction, and I thought I would share some of the ideas with you.

I've noticed that a large part of my personal waste consists of packaging. Whether it be plastic wrappers or those styrofoam trays that come on the bottom of my corn or (occasional) meat, this is adding up quickly! The plan of action: Limiting my meat intake to twice a month or less, looking for the products with the least packaging, and not buying anything that comes in packaging that I won't know how to responsibly dispose of.

Junk mail
I have realized recently that when I put my black box (paper recycling) on the curb every other week, it's about 1/3 full of unsolicited advertisements and flyers. Considering how heavy paper is, this is going to considerably affect my success in this challenge. The plan of action: Posting a "no junk mail" note on my mailbox, refraining from taking cards and flyers from people on street corners, and signing up for e-billing, e-newsletters, and e-everything!

Again with the packaging! I'm finding an unneccessarily large number of rubber bands, bread tags and twist ties in my garbage. It's unbelievable how fast they add up, and how you don't even notice them because they're so little! Plan of action: Stop using twist ties and bread tags when I visit places like Bulk Barn (tie the bag to itself instead!), as well as cut down the number of elastic-bound vegetables I buy. Less junk mail will also help me acquire less elastics!

The other day I purchased a backyard composter because I was noticing my green bin (the municipal compost that accepts most food waste) was getting chubbier than the tomatoes in my garden! The plan of action: Use the composter instead of the green bin when possible, so that I can grow bigger and better veggies (and, in the process, save more packaging by not getting the store-bought varieties!).

This is obviously a preliminary plan, as there is so much more that can be done (feel free to post your own ideas in the comments, of course!). But for now, these steps will take me a little closer, and I'm looking forward to keeping you posted while I make my way down the path to less waste!


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