This year the Centre for Community Partnerships(CCP) at the University of Toronto is marking Waste Reduction Week with a Waste Reduction Challenge and Social Action Pop-up event; ‘Trash Talks’ where panellists from Black Environmental Initiative and UofT’s Trash Team will discuss climate change, waste and social justice.
Waste reduction is by and large a social justice issue, and unfortunately there is a huge amount of waste in our homes, workspaces, public spaces etc that can be reduced, reused and recycled. The idea of this Waste Reduction Challenge is to start small to make a big collective impact. Refusing to use plastic cutlery; bringing a reusable bag whenever you go shopping; rethinking online orders and combining purchases, bringing your own cup/mug when you go to buy your coffee are just some of the many many ways in which each of us can do our bit to reduce waste.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Weeks were first held in Canada in the mid-1980s, when a number of recycling councils and environmental organizations began hosting events around the province. It runs from October 18th to October 24th every year. Since then more work has been done to recognize the connection between environmental justice and the amount of waste we produce. Where does all our junk go?
Here are some small ways you can make a big collective impact:
If you’re not going to use something, don’t take it. Bags, receipts, additional napkins, and silverware should all be avoided. Avoid buying produce and other things that have a lot of packing.
When purchasing and giving gifts, use reusable bags, reusable bottles and mugs instead of disposables. Consider thrift stores and garage sales while shopping, as well as purchasing products in bulk and storing them in your own containers.
Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new products in order to reduce the use of natural resources. Find new applications for items that would otherwise be discarded. Cookie tins may be used as storage, old garments can be turned into rags, cans can be used as pencil holders, and old jars can be used as vases, to name a few.
So how does the waste reduction challenge work?
Take on the challenge to reduce waste.
Do something to reduce waste, take a picture and challenge two friends to do the same. Use the #wrchallengeUofT on Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook and be sure to register on CLNx to have a chance to win an awesome prize of eco-friendly swag and of course do your part to save our planet.
We look forward to seeing our campus community come together and work towards less waste!
Bonus: Join our Trash-Talks on Friday, October 29th – 2pm-3pm EST to kick off the two weeks of Waste Reduction Challenge #wrchallengeUofT. We have some special guests joining to share their valuable insights on the issue!