Want to take action on waste? Here are our top three ways to support waste reduction in Lethbridge.

waste-action-1

Why?

Food waste makes up nearly half of the materials that are thrown into our landfill. However, food waste is a valuable resource that could be composted or otherwise used.

How?

To get started, you will need a backyard composter. These can be purchased directly from the City of Lethbridge. This guide to composting will give you step-by-step information to set up and use your composter.

waste-action-2Why?

Most plastic bags are used once and then thrown away. Plastic bags can also be difficult to recycle as they can get caught in machinery.

How?

Many retailers sell reusable bags for a low cost. Or, stop by the Environment Lethbridge office and we will give you reusable bags for free.

waste-action-3Why?

When you do need to make a purchase, choose quality products that will last longer over cheaper, more disposable options. Over the long term, these will cost less and create less waste.

How?

Begin by researching products for longevity and durability. Websites like BuyMeOnce.com can provide additional resources.

Looking for even more ways to take action? Check out these other suggestions:

Buy used first. Consider buying used items instead of new ones, particularly for items such as children’s clothes and toys that are often outgrown before they wear out.

Buy local. Locally produced products require less packaging and less energy to transport.

Maintain your stuff. Take care of the products you buy to ensure you get the maximum life out them before they need to be replaced.

Make a list. Preparing a list before you leave home and sticking to it in the store will help you avoid impulse purchases and save you money.

Give thoughtful gifts. Instead of giving mass-produced items as gifts, make your own gifts such as crafts or food or give an experience such as a spa day or event tickets.

Create a capsule wardrobe. Rather than filling your closet with cheap clothes, invest in a smaller number of high quality outfits that will stand the test of time.

Stop junk mail. Remove your name from mailing lists and put a note on your mailbox to request that Canada Post not deliver unaddressed junk mail (flyers).

Donate things to secondhand shops – toys, books, clothes…this means you are also supporting good causes and saving money.

Use rechargeable batteries instead of throwaway ones – they pay for themselves quite quickly.

Use reusable water bottles that can be used again instead of buying disposable bottles.

Participate in the Reuse Rendezvous.

Take re-usable shopping bags wherever you go, rather than using the free ones offered by the shop (even the plastic ‘bags for life’ are rarely that!).

Buy products with little/no packaging; leave it at the shop if you dare.

Find a way to upcycle at least one item that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled (great project for kids!).

Keep track of the food you throw away.  Keep a list of every food item you throw away and compare the list from week to week and adjust your shopping accordingly.

Plan your shopping. Particularly for perishable items, make a weekly plan and only buy what you need.

Have a weekly leftover night to clear out your fridge.

Try your hand at canning. Canning fresh fruit and pickles is an easy way to save large amounts of fruit and vegetables.

Get a backyard or worm composter. Learn more about composting with our handy guide.

Practice Grasscycling – leave grass trimmings on your lawn to provide extra nutrients.

Take your yard waste or garden trimmings to the proper disposal sites.

Keep track of what you throw away. Over the next two weeks, keep track of everything you throw away. Take note of any items that could be recycled or composted.

Make space next to your bin for recycling containers – then it’s as simple to recycle as it is to throw it away. You can use cardboard boxes lined with the appropriate sack, or get stacking plastic containers.

Hire a private recycling company.

Make a visit to a recycling depot part of your routine.

Use the Waste Wizard to find out how to recycle different items.