What Can I Do?

Ways to influence change

  • Participate in providing public feedback when opportunities arise. The BC  and Federal governments recently asked for input on their papers.  In BC, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs renew their plans every five years and are required to consult with the public. Regional Districts are required to develop Solid Waste Management Plans and need to consult with the public every five years.
  • In between those, one can always write a letter to local government officials and staff as well as provincial and federal representatives. There are also often petitions. See Greenpeace’s action page or the parliamentary petitions page. Also consider asking your local government to develop or update a Zero Waste plan. See our municipal toolkit here for planning ideas.
  • Local government elected officials also vote on resolutions at the annual Union of BC Municipalities conference in September. Ask your elected municipal councillor, mayor or electoral director to support Zero Waste initiatives.
  • Other organizations run campaigns on specific topics such as Greenpeace Canada (plastics, single use items, consumption, fossil fuels),  STAND (old growth, toilet paper, fashion and fossil fuels), Canopy(forests, packaging, paper, fashion)

What can I do in my own life?

  • Look at what you throw away and start to consider how to reduce it.
  • If you want to focus on:
    • Food waste can be found with Love Food Hate Waste. This has recipes and tools for reducing food waste. Compost the food scraps that cannot be eaten. This series of You Tube videos made by the North Shore Recycling Program can be helpful for back yard composting or organics collection in your home.
    • Reducing plastics -Use Ecocycle’s How to Quit Plastics Workbook.
    • Single Use items -carry your urban backpack that holds a hankerchief, reusable mug, reusable water bottle reusable straw, reusable cutlery, cloth bag. Consider refusing items that come in single use items.
    • Consumption – look at buying less, buying used, renting or sharing seldom used items. Ask if this item will bring you joy? How long will it last? Can you make it last longer through maintenance and repair?
    • Recycling -find out what can be recycled and where with the Recycling Council of BC hotline (1-800-667-4321) and Recyclepedia.
    • Unpackaged items -look at making your own items (tips from the Queen of Green), buying from Zero Waste stores and refilleries,  buying in bulk and bringing your own containers where possible.
    • Textiles -see this vision for a circular textiles economy -buy less, buy better, get used clothing, repair clothing, recycle
  • Encourage others to join you on your path to Zero Waste
  • Consider how your money is invested -is it supporting harmful resource extraction and overconsumption? Can it support a more local economy? Is it aligned with your values?

Start using refilleries in BC

Start repairing items

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