Category Archives: Waste

Houzz on Steps to Go Green

Call it a resolution, call it a 10-step program, call it whatever you want, but everything on here is not only doable (easily), but more elegant and interesting. These are not options, they are the normal:


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Global FOODprint – Very Punny!

A few months ago I wrote a post about Canada’s appalling rate of wasting food, as part of my All right already, stop asking! series about quirky little habits I’ve picked up over the years that just might save the world. While the primary focus of the article is on the appalling amount of food entering Canada’s waste stream, food waste has other very significant social implications.

There is the obvious one that most of us were raised on: Eat your dinner! Don’t you know their are children starving in [Africa]! [Insert any country on any continent here – yes, even Canada]

But setting the “niggling” little issue of starving populations aside (PLEASE tell me those air quotes convey my sarcasm!), waste is not only an end-of-life issue, but also a life-cycle issue throughout the food production and distribution system, or as the UNEP explains it:

“The global food system has profound implications for the environment, and producing more food than is consumed only exacerbates the pressures”

Drawing on Ecological Footprinting, the enlightening and innovative technique to estimate our Earth’s resource limitations, the UNEP recently launched a new campaign to target our global FoodPrint. See what they did there? Very punny. Punny but also fitting since the concept is really just a particular case of ecological footprinting.

Wasted food contributes to land degradation, water and energy waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and depleted marine stocks without ever nourishing the owners of those hungry bellies in [Africa] who your mother told you about.

To participate in the campaign, check out the UNEP’s great planning strategies, food storage tips, and even dietary tricks that reduce not only your waste, but also your waist (To obvious? Overused?), and even save you money.

Food for thought: Has it ever occurred to you to ask restaurants for smaller portions?


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Queen of Green on Softening the Hard to Recycle

The David Suzuki Foundation is home to the Queen of Green who writes tips for greening your lifestyle. She’s dedicated her latest post to the hard to recycle:

My favourite of her tips are those that return the waste to the retail stores where you buy them. In Germany, the life-cycle of packaging is the responsibility of the manufacturers, not the consumers and municipalities, as it is here.

Canadian retailers, like Rona and London Drugs, that are inviting consumers to return packaging waste are doing so voluntarily and thereby setting a standard for other retailers. Hopefully this full cycle responsibility will result in better public policy that rewards industry leaders.


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17. Christmas Tags

Happy New Year!

By now you are all turkeyed out, you’ve seen enough of your families, and if you see one more twinkly light you’re gonna scream – yes? I love packing away Christmas. I potentially love packing away Christmas more than setting it up. I’m not a scrooge, I LOVE Christmas, but there is something so satisfying about seeing empty mantles, having space in the fridge, and more than anything else, listening to anything other than Christmas music!
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Art and Humanity in Waste

Ear and eye candy for the disenchanted. This film trailer is renewing:

Landfill Harmonic film teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.


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Let the Gift Negotiations Begin!

It is this season’s energy and excitement that makes Christmas my favourite holiday. Birthdays are special for an individual, but Christmas is a celebration of and for everyone, in my mind. In North America especially, Christmas has made a departure from religious control. Even *gasp* the corporate sector accommodates family time at Christmas, so non-Christians are forced to adopt this holiday as an opportunity to be at home with their nearest and dearest.

“The strain of finding the perfect Christmas present takes a toll on many.” ~ flora2000.com

I am not religious, but the story of peace and goodwill was taught to me in a Christian context. It is a story universal to all religions though, peace and goodwill, and in that sense, I believe this makes “Christmas” adaptable for non-Christians.

At the same time, sadly it has become a holiday more about consumption than generosity and kindness. Every year it is the same at our house: Dad wants to lavish, while Mom holds back.

The incredible pressure to SHOP!, BUY!, CONSUME! threatens my constitution (and my marriage). Continue reading


16. Noise (Part deux of my Car Series)

Tis the season… to sit in a tire shop waiting to pay some grease monkey (is that okay to say?) to change my tires.

“What?!?!” you ask, “The woman who fixes bolt locks with play dough and dishwashers with elastic bands (long story) doesn’t change her own tires?” Let me explain.

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15. Swedish for “air flow”

Classic problem: You have a new Pax cabinet from Ikea and the perfect place to put it, but there’s a heat vent in that exact spot.

Classic solution: Assemble the cabinet on top and forget it ever existed.

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14. Litter, it’s in you to pick up

(I’m not sure that tag line is working, but I suddenly had a flash of the line Canadian Blood Services uses: It’s in you to give. I find the ads a little creepy, but what a memorable catch phrase!)

Where was I?

Oh right, litter.

Kick the Can

Blogged under the title “The Common Good Games,” Kick the Can is mentioned for its social benefits, but if you kick it all the way to a waste bin, then there are environmental benefits too!

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12. CBC

Just assembling my morning (Fairtrade : ) coffee, when I stumbled upon this lovely piece by Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC:

7 ways to reduce household food waste

“Experts say that curbing household food waste starts at the grocery store, where people tend to make impulse purchases and often buy more than they need. (iStock)”

On the heels of the shocking recent revelation that it’s Canadians at home who are wasting over half of the “$27 billion of food wasted countrywide.”

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