Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Simple Suggestion #167... Visit/tour your local waste and/or recycling facility

Did you know that this is Environment Week? It's a time to think about ways to live more lightly in our environment and reduce our ecological footprint... in particular, the things our lives leave behind, a.k.a. waste.

Recently, my hubby and daughter ran into a garbage parade in St. Petersburg. They probably would have missed it but for the drummers who created a soundscape that Lee and Christina followed, only to find a group of people dressed up in all sorts of garbage-y looking costumes (a plastic bag-wearing lady on stilts, some men dressed in piles of newspapers or recycled bottles, and a host of others) pushing a great ball of glued-together trash down the park path.

The green squad, as Lee called them, seemed to be doing their best to get their community to think about waste. I remember reading somewhere that Moscow's landfills were supposed to be full by now, so it would have been interesting to find out about the waste situation in the Russian Federation. Of course, Christina and Lee were too surprised by the whole thing to think to ask questions. They took it all in, and took a few pictures just for me, because they knew I'd find it interesting.

Here in Edmonton, we have our own green squad of sorts -- a group of volunteers known as Master Composter/Recyclers who do their best to reduce waste and to educate others to do the same. As one of that crowd, I'm always rubbing shoulders with other MC/Rs who have done some pretty amazing things in order to cut down what goes into their garbage cans each week. They go beyond the usual composting and recycling in order to have less waste before they even start an ordinary day. As far as I know, the group hasn't tried a garbage parade yet (though the City's Michael Recycle mascot makes appearances at different events). Hey, a garbage parade could be fun, and get folks thinking...

But there's nothing to get us thinking about reducing waste like people who know how to do it... or like a tour of our local landfill and waste management service. Just seeing the amount of stuff that gets "dumped" in a short period of time makes a person think about how terrible it is to have to throw away anything at all. If we want a healthier environment, reducing waste is key... and if we want to reduce waste, buying less is critically important -- less packaging, fewer chemically compounded items, and nothing that we don't NEED.

The City of Edmonton actually gives tours of its recycling facilities and transfer station, especially this Environment Week. And there are lots of other Environment Week activities going on, that you can read about by clicking here.

So, this week's simple suggestion is to educate yourself about where your garbage goes and how you can reduce it by visiting local waste and recycling facilities. Our environment will thank you.

And if you're from my hometown, here's the latest little video to give you an idea of how we do things here in Edmonton...

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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