Who likes taking out the trash? Probably no one… And we have way too much of it! Canadians are leading the rankings for the biggest waste producing country – time and time again. Recycling isn’t a solution to the problem. Evidence shows that 2.8 million tons end up in landfills every year – that’s 86% of all the waste created in Canada!* The goal shouldn’t be to recycle more but to avoid creating waste in the first place.
It’s an ambitious vision that ecoCaledon members consider achievable if we work together towards using less disposable things. In November 2021, a small group spanning an age range from students to retirees founded the ecoCaledon Waste Reduction Committee that is looking for a final name and more interested Caledon citizens. The first meeting started with a planking session (picking up litter while walking) around 30 Martha St in Bolton South where the group will meet once a month.
“Ecological anxiety is very real, especially for young people,” says Solveig Christina Voss, one of the founding members. “We see environmental destruction all around us and wonder what our world will look like tomorrow. Doing something and working towards a better future can help to overcome these feelings of stress and helplessness.” Betty de Groot adds, “Waste Reduction begins with every one of us. The first question to ask, before you order an item or bring it home from the store is: ‘Do I really need it?’ Remember Buy Nothing (but local) Day is coming soon: Friday November 26th. If you’ve said yes to a purchase, also consider the quality of the construction & design. How long will you be able to keep using it? Are you willing and able to repair it if it breaks? Will the maker help to repair it? Will parts be available? Or is it destined for landfill?”
These types of questions and other compelling problems are what this new Waste Reduction Committee will be focused on, looking for local solutions, connecting our community to one another and to our stuff. A movie screening is planned for early spring 2022. The group will also hold regular Repair Cafés to promote the idea of fixing and reusing items. The first Caledon Repair Cafe during the Palgrave Resilience Fair in October was well received and enabled people to go home with repaired items including an alarm clock, clothes and chinaware.
The next Waste Reduction Commitee meeting will be held on December 12th from 3 pm to 5 pm at 30 Martha St in Bolton South. If there’s no snow cover, people are welcome to meet at the same location and plalk from 2 pm to 3 pm. Please reach out to info@ecoCaledon.org for more information about the Waste Reduction Committee. You can also follow @ecoCaledon on Instagram to receive updates about upcoming meetings and projects.