We’ve heard that the key to reducing household waste isn’t just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – but “Refuse” should be the first word. Refuse to buy the items in bigger packaging. Refuse the hand-me-down toys and items that we know we don’t need. Refuse to send our children to school with excessive drink and snack packaging. Refuse to accept plastic water bottles when we can carry our own re-usable containers, same with tissues and napkins when we can comfortably use cloth handkerchiefs and table napkins. We’ve been making an effort to not accept bags whenever purchases are made- We have been compiling a list of all places that regularly send us paper in the mail (billing, institutions, flyers etc) and are working this week on either being removed from their mailing list or signing up for electronic statements going forward.
Canadian environmental educator/activist David Suzuki, turned 75 years old this past March. Mr. Suzuki is widely recognized as a role model to many people all over the world and our household is no exception. The folks at The Suzuki Foundation had an idea about using David Suzuki’s birthday as a way to help spread the word about what they do as well raise funds for their foundation by assigning a personal challenge that will contribute to a better future and accepting pledges for your efforts in their name. The foundation works with government, businesses, and the general public to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life now and for future generations by providing science-based education, advocacy, and policy work. (I just took that from their websites “about” section…if you’re interested, check them out here http://www.davidsuzuki.org
I enthusiastically signed up our brood, asking friends and family to support me by donating a few dollars as our family took a household waste reduction challenge for 5 weeks. We were able to consistently reduce our garbage to one small kitchen bag per week – considering we are a family of 6 with one small child in diapers, we were thrilled with the accomplishment…Now that those weeks have past and we’ve continued on with this 360 Energy Diet, we’ve noticed that our waste has dramatically reduced solely due to a habit-forming routine we’ve embraced as a family. We aren’t going to pretend that we’ve become rockstar waste reducers though. We certainly have many areas where we can improve our efforts. I suppose what we’ve been learning is that above all, the fact is, is that it truly is a challenge. Little things do make a big impression on your outcome. Making big adjustments to your daily routines are key but constantly being aware of what your impact is has become what is most prevalent. If you’re reading this, we’d love to hear your tips or suggestions for keeping waste reduction top of mind. We do our best to live our modern life of thoughtful consumption but we are struggling to find the balance.