In 2018, we eliminated our use of plastic straws – a small step towards reducing our single-use plastics that diverts an estimated 253,000 straws from landfill each year. To solidify our commitment to sustainability, we’ve partnered with Waste Free Edmonton to reduce the amount of waste we create at the venue. In honour of Earth Week, we’ve invited Waste Free Edmonton to share their top 5 every day tips for reducing your single-use footprint.
- Reusable Lifestyle – One of the easiest ways to reduce your footprint is to replace single-use items with reusable ones (e.g. reusable bags, coffee mugs and water bottles). Keeping an “emergency” kit by your door, in your car or in your bag can help make sure those items are always on hand when you need them.
- Bring Your Own Container (BYOC) – A reusable option that is often overlooked is food containers. Whether leftovers after a big meal, a take-out order or ready-made food at the grocery store, having reusable containers on hand helps avoid unnecessary waste. Some businesses may be caught off guard at first, but as long as your container is clean, they should grant your request. We have had people thank us for helping the environment and sometimes we even get extra food!
- Buy in Bulk – A great way to reduce the amount of plastic packaging you take home from the store is to buy bulk food in refillable containers or bags. It is often also the cheaper option. Whether it be nuts, spices, pasta or shampoo – you can find a growing number of items being offered in bulk. Waste Free Edmonton also has a list of stores offering the best bulk options on the Waste Free Edmonton website.
- Re-evaluate recycling – Many of us are guilty of “wishful recycling” – thinking the items we are putting in our blue bag or bin are recyclable when they are not. The reality is only about 10% of plastic gets recycled. Evaluate what is going into your recycling each week and question how much of it is actually recyclable. The City of Edmonton’s Waste Wise app is a great resources for finding out whether an item is recyclable locally. Seeing how much single-use plastic actually ends up in the landfill has motivated a lot of people to reduce their single-use plastic footprint.
- Do It Yourself – Making low or zero waste products at home may seem overwhelming at first, but a simple Google search can uncover a lot of easy and low-cost options for making products yourself without the plastic waste. Some examples include household cleaners and reusable food wraps.
There are so many more fun and creative ways to reduce your plastic footprint. Please check out Waste Free Edmonton’s website and social media for more inspiration. You can also attend one of their monthly Waste Free Meet-ups to learn from others and share ideas. How will you contribute to a more sustainable future?
Follow Waste Free Edmonton on Facebook/Instagram: @wastefreeyeg
How are we doing? View the Edmonton Convention Centre’s 2018 Sustainability Report Card here.
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