Canada is too good to waste : 150 Zero Waste Tips

imgp4285Canada is just too good to waste

Canada is just too good to waste. Canada is big, bountiful and beautiful nation is turning 150 this year. All over the country there are celebrations of our history, our achievements our culture and our people.

Canada is creating way too much trash as well as consuming resources like they will last forever. As we celebrate Canada turning 150, we must also look towards the future and take steps to keep Canada beautiful and healthy.

Here are 150 Zero Waste tips to help you celebrate Canada every day by having a Zero Waste lifestyle.

150 Zero Waste Tips

1.       Drink tap water

2.       Use a reusable coffee cup at home, events, on-the-go, business and school

3.       Repair and refinish well-worn furniture

4.       Rent formal or special occasion wear

5.       Donate your old eyeglasses to service groups that forward them to people in need

6.       Replace disposable alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries

7.       Make coffee with reusable coffee filters

8.       Maximize the life of appliances by doing routine maintenance

9.       Donate hearing aids to service groups that forward them to people in need

10.   Borrow instead of buy

11.   Break the paper towel habit instead use clothes

12.   Make your mattresses last by turning and reversing end to end twice a year

13.   Eat leftovers

14.   Share leftovers with friends and neighbours

15.   Take your own shopping bags to the market

16.   Carry a cloth hankerchief  for blowing nose

17.   Use cloth napkins at home and on- the –go

18.   Use cloth diapers

19.   Only buy items in packaging that you can recycle

20.   Use non-disposable feminine hygiene products

21.   Consider an electric razor or a straight razor for shaving

22.   Use both sides of a piece of paper before recycling

23.   Do your best to stop junk mail

24.   Buy e-books, unless it is a reference book you will use away from internet

25.   Purchase online magazine or newspaper subscriptions instead of paper copies

26.   Resist buying items that are packaged in single servings like coffee pods, granola bars and candy

27.   Return egg cartons and berry cartons to farm gate sales or farmers markets

28.   Pack a Zero waste lunch for school or work

29.   Store or carry foods in reusable wraps or containers. Mason jars, beeswax wraps and reusable glass or stainless steel or silicone containers reduce plastic wrap waste

30.   Say no to straws when ordering drinks

31.   Label children’s clothing, school supplies and other belongings that might find their way into school lost and found

32.    Have a swap meet or party to exchange children’s clothing, books and toys

33.   Start or use a toy library to borrow games and toys

34.   Choose loose fruits and vegetables instead of  packaged

35.   Shop at local farmers’ markets or farm gate sales to support local food that has less packaging

36.   Fill up on grains, cereals, nuts and other kitchen staples at the bulk bin. Be sure to bring your own containers or bags from home when purchasing items

37.   Grown your own food. Salad vegetables and herbs can be grown in gardens or window sills or in containers on a balcony.

38.   Instead of buying toxic cleaning products use vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda to do household cleaning tasks.

39.   Stop buying plastic garbage bags. Line your garbage bins with paper or biodegradable bags.

40.   Swap your synthetic sponge for a cotton cloth or use natural loofahs.

41.   Buy wine with cork stoppers. After using wine compost, recycle or use corks for crafts.

42.   Resist single-use coffee pods.

43.   Avoid cosmetic products with microbeads.

44.   Try to buy soaps and shampoos that come in solid bars without packaging.

45.   Cut down on unnecessary washing of fleece products and nylon, acrylic and polyester textiles that may cause micro fiber pollution.

46.   Invest in a refillable lighter or use matches.

47.   Burn candles or use essential oils or lavender from the garden instead of air fresheners in plastic holders.

48.   Buy candy that has foil wrap or no wrapping from the bulk food bins. Make sure you recycle the foil it you are eating chocolate kisses.

49.   Carry reusable utensils and straws. Consider keeping a kit in the car, briefcase, suitcase and purse for those unplanned events.

50.   When ordering pizza say no to the plastic package saver in the middle of the pizza box.

51.   Give up chewing gum.

52.   By –pass the frozen food section as most of the packaging cannot be recycled.

53.   Use your own reusable produce bags or don’t put stuff in bags.

54.   Read the labels of products and resist toxic or polluting ingredients

55.   Use soap instead of saving cream

56.   Avoid non-stick cookware

57.   Bring your own headphones or ear plugs on planes instead of using plastic packaged headphones offered by airline.

58.   Resist the mini bar in the hotel room. Instead bring your own healthy snacks in less packaging.

59.   Shop at thrift stores. If you need something new to you shop second hand.

60.   Learn to make basic clothing repairs like sewing buttons.

61.   Ask charities and thrift stores what they can use before donating or leaving items

62.   Make sure items donated to charities are reusable. It is best to think of acceptable donations as gently-worn and in good repair items. Do not donate garbage or use a thrift store as a dumping site

63.   Take responsibility for what you buy. It is your responsibility to recycle or dispose of properly and pay any costs of discarding or recycling.

64.   Before you buy something, ask yourself do you really need it and how long will you use it?

65.   Buy products that are durable and built to last.

66.   Research products, brands and items you would like to purchase before buying. Think environmental impact, is there recycling or take-back programs , repair programs, what do other consumers say about quality and function are some of the questions you may want answered.

67.   Shop the refrigerator before shopping the supermarket. Use food at home before buying more.

68.   Rotate food in cupboards and refrigerator so that you use older stock first.

69.   Designate one meal weekly as a use it up meal.

70.   Ask for a doggie bag at a restaurant if you cannot finish meal. Carry your own container if possible.

71.   If meals portions are too large at restaurants split dishes with your companion.

72.   Do not heap the plate at buffets, you can always return for more if you are still hungry.

73.   Freeze or preserve surplus produce from the garden.

74.   Forget about perfection. Buy misshapen fruits and vegetables.

75.   Donate safe and nutritious foods to food banks and food rescue programs. Remember they also need money to operate programs.

76.   Learn what you have in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer that could act as a substitute or alternative ingredient instead of buying new products for one use.

77.   Opt for electronic communication from banks and utilities instead of receiving paper bills and statements.

78.   Save vegetable peelings to make vegetable stock.

79.   Use a shopping list and stick to it.

80.   Learn how to store food properly as well as how long food lasts.

81.   Use your freezer to extend life of food.

82.   Plan meals by first taking inventory of current food stock. Also plan meals that may have use up food.

83.   Don’t dish out massive plates of food. There can always be second helpings.

84.   Offer guests “doggy bags” for unfinished meals or leftovers.

85.   Ditch the dryer sheets instead use wool dryer balls.

86.   Rent dishes and glasses for large events or mix and match using what you have

87.   Resist releasing inflated balloons to float away as they create litter and are a hazard to wildlife.

88.   Use over-ripe fruit to make smoothies

89.   Don’t assume you need to buy in mass quantities or larger sizes. Buy what you need and can use.

90.   Learn to re-portion food. Divide bread, meat and other products into manageable servings and freeze what you are not using immediately.

91.   Buy products with recycled content.

92.   If you don’t like to wash soiled diapers use a diaper service.

93.   Feed animals like chickens and pigs food scraps.

94.   Buy salads and fruit from salad bar if you only use small portions

95.   Handle produce with care at supermarkets. Don’t squeeze or drop what you do not buy.

96.   Return frozen goods, meat and produce to appropriate shelves in supermarket or give to staff if you change your mind while shopping. Don’t leave perishable products in aisles to be found.

97.   Understand the difference between best before and expiration dates on food labels.

98.   Do not open packages in stores unless you have permission from shop keeper or you are buying product.

99.   Keep a pantry and refrigerator inventory list so you know what you have at a glance.

100.       Encourage waste-free lunches for schools and promote students take home uneaten food.

101.       Do not sell potato chips, candy bars or bottled water at schools or government buildings.

102.       Simplify and minimize. Do you really need more that one kind of shampoo?

103.       Use and buy products that are refillable

104.       Reduce gift giving instead give the gift of togetherness and time

105.       Get crafty and learn how to upcycle and repurpose objects to give them a new life

106.       Read the manuals for appliances and use as directed. Follow care and maintenance guidelines.

107.       Invest in quality instead of quantity.

108.       Brew bones. Use bones to create broth or stocks for cooking.

109.       Sell the things you no longer want in garage sales, consignment stores or online sites.

110.       Take your shoes and hand bag for repair to a shoe repair business to extend life.

111.       Take your broken items to a Repair Cafe

112.       Use recycling Apps to learn about recycling opportunities in your area

113.       Rotate tires

114.       Learn and calculate how much paint you need. One gallon of paint covers an area of about 400sq.ft.

115.       Refuse promotional materials as they often are not good quality or they have little reuse demand. Refuse the cups, bags and other junk.

116.       Cut down on washing clothes instead wash when they are actually dirty.

117.       Surround yourself with items that serve multiple purposes to streamline clutter and waste.

118.       Beware of greenwashing, always question and research

119.       Vote with your dollars for sustainable products.

120.       Repurpose and upcycling instead of buying gift wrap. Wrap with materials that can be reused or recycled.

121.       Support your local seamstress or tailor by having clothing repaired.

122.       Pick up litter when you find it and dispose of it properly even when it is someone else’s.

123.       Ditch plastic q-tips for plastic-free or compostable.

124.       Thank and support with your dollars restaurants and supermarkets and businesses that support and accommodate your Zero Waste lifestyle. Leave a tip for the waitress that brings the drink sans straw.

125.       Feed the soil by composting at home.

126.       Slow down and enjoy the food experience. Make food preparation, eating and clean-up a relaxed family social routine

127.       Reduce fast food. Bring your own containers if grabbing a burger.

128.       Learn to make do with what you have.

129.       Buy binders second hand and recover.

130.       Learn a new craft or skill.

131.       Don’t be afraid to ask. Kindly ask local stores if you could use your own containers. Work with your local businesses and support them to making zero Waste changes.

132.       Make it easy for coffee take-out or bulk food stores to fill your containers by marking container weight or how many ounces cups hold on your cups and containers.

133.       Support start-ups who are launching Zero Waste products, services or businesses on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter

134.       Make your compost and recycling bins more accessible that your garbage can

135.       Reduce the size of your garbage cans

136.       Stop smoking .

137.       Ask your local shops to carry Zero Waste products and make sure you buy them.

138.       Use a vacuum cleaner with reusable bags.

139.       Don’t dump garden waste in vacant lots. Invasive plants are a problem across Canada.

140.       Use an air popper instead of buying microwave popcorn.

141.       Donate to a charity instead of exchanging gifts.

142.       Send email invitations and greeting.

143.       Just because you get a big…you don’t need to fill it. Just because you get a large garbage can or recycling or compost bin does not mean that you have to fill it. Remember that you are using and discarding resources. That big dinner plate you don’t have to fill either. Use only what you really need.

144.       Compost your food scraps at home. There are lots of options for apartments, multi-dwelling, homes, and bear country available.

145.       Learn what recycling, disposal and compost options are available in your community and learn the items that are accepted. Do not assume you know. “Wishful” recycling cases lots of contamination.

146.       Learn the Zero Waste hierarchy and start by REDUCING.

147.       Do not want for government to save the planet. Everyone must create solutions and act.

148.       Start a Zero Waste Business.

149.       Do a waste audit in your home or office. Waste is about making bad choices.

150.       It is going to take effort but we each can make changes in our behaviours and actions to help create a Zero waste world. We just need to keep trying and learning as we go. Be mindful.