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Proclaiming Zero Waste

The months of January and February find Zero Waste Canada involved with events flourishing from proclamations for Zero Waste made by local political leaders. Each of these proclamations helps to elevate awareness and participation in enacting environmental solutions for a month.

January is Zero Waste month in the Philippines. Every month of January is Zero Waste month in the Philippines, since 2014 when President Benigno S. Aquino signed   Proclamation #760.

Each January there has been a host of workshops and events hosted across the country with the main event being the International  Zero Waste Conference held on the 25th In Quezon City. This year’s theme is On the Road to Zero Waste, with Zero Waste experts from around the globe sharing both successes and challenges for communities, businesses, and individuals to create local and global Zero Waste solutions. Zero Waste Canada is very honoured to have director, James Kaminski speaking at this conference.

In February, the Canadian community of Red Deer Alberta will proclaim the month Garbage- Free February. Officially declared in the City of Red Deer by Mayor Morris Flewwelling in 2012 and renewed by Mayor Tara Veer in 2016, GFF remains a yearly celebration of sustainable living. The goal of Garbage Free February is not to live completely free of garbage from the start, but is an invitation to begin the journey towards a sustainable future.

One of the things that make both of community actions so positive is both “Zero Waste” months have become yearly events. This means that each year the community can plan and build on previous awareness. The conversations about sustainability are ongoing.

Both awareness months while supported by government are really about people.

In the winter of 2006, a single individual in Red Deer Alberta took up the challenge to try a garbage-free existence for a month. From that effort Garbage-Free February was born in the community. For the tenth anniversary , volunteers have organized a series of events include a two day Repair Cafe, presentations on recycling and reuse, challenges and a film presentation. Alex Villeneuve, owner of Ceres Solutions Ltd, will be speaking at the kick-off event on the 1st at Red Deer College. Ceres Solution Ltd, a winner of TEC Edmonton’s Venture Prize. Ceres Solution Ltd , has found a use for the spent grain from beer brewing by recycling the grain .The grain is pasteurized, the inoculated with mushroom  mycelium to break down leftover fibre, which produces enough nutritional biomass to yield protein-rich mushroom crops.

Zero Waste month in the Philippines also has a focus on people. Waste pickers will be centre stage at a number of events. The integral role that waste pickers play in model Zero Waste communities in the Philippines will be showcased. Waste workers allow barangays to divert up to 92% of their waste from dumpsites and landfills. Youth groups and schools and citizen clean-up groups are also an active part of events.

We look forward to sharing news about the events and achievements stemming from these two “Zero Waste Proclamations”, we encourage other communities to make Zero Waste Proclamations.

Zero Waste is a call to action that aims to bring an end to the current take, make, and waste mentality of human society.