Less is better – reduce your waste

Think about what you're throwing away and how you can avoid it. Waste Reduction Week -Oct. 15-21.

The amount of garbage on this planet is overwhelming, and I’m not talking about garbage dumps and landfills.

Litter on the street, tonnes of debris in the oceans. More garbage floating in space.

It will never stop until we change our attitudes. As long as we continue to waste our resources, we will need a place to store our garbage.

Waste Reduction Week in Canada (Oct. 15-21) is calling on Canadians to rethink how they consume and what they throw away.

Each Canadian throws out about 1670 pounds every year. Waste Reduction Week is a campaign that asks Canadians to rethink what we buy, examine how we live and consider what we dispose of to landfill.

We consume a fair bit in my house, and there are often plastic food containers and cardboard boxes to be disposed of, along with cans and bags and all of the extraneous material that comes with a purchase these days. All I can say is, thank goodness we have recycling bins nearby.

But there are still a lot of people out there who don’t get it – from the house that places one or two garbage cans per resident at the curb every week, to the company that doesn’t recycle and leaves all of their garbage out for the wind to blow around and the birds to pick at.

I grabbed some quick snacks from a grocery store in Kamloops last weekend and was very happy to see the clerk put them in zip loc baggies instead of the rigid plastic that takes up so much room in either the garbage or the recycling bag.

Commercial packaging is a big issue that needs to be addressed in order to cut down on waste.

Each year the Village of Cache Creek sponsors a prize at the Fall Fair for the best craft made from recycled items, and that’s a great idea because the more we can re-use, the less we dispose of. However, is the message getting out there with this contest? Because I still see a lot of litter on the streets. And that’s an attitude challenge. Throw it away and it becomes someone else’s problem.

Why do you keep forgetting to take your reusable bags to the grocery store?

If you have a backyard, why are you still putting yard and kitchen waste in bags for the garbage truck to take away?

Do you buy in bulk to reduce packaging? or are you still buying single serving-sized containers?

When was the last time you used a styrofoam anything?

It can be done – it just takes the will to do it.

Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal