5 Steps to Reduce Waste at Home

Tips to Reduce Waste at Home

Canadians generate an astonishing amount of waste. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians generated 10.2 million tonnes of disposable waste in 2016, roughly 3.5 tonnes per person, which is about the weight of an elephant. Greenpeace Canada reports that 3.25 million tonnes of that is plastic waste.

We can make a vital ecological contribution by reducing waste, recycling as much as possible, and supporting sustainable brands.

Here are five simple steps for reducing waste at home that will help you shrink your carbon footprint.

1. Level up Your Recycling

We’re all pretty used to recycling old standards like paper and bottles, but did you know there are so many other items you can recycle — everything from electronics to printer cartridges, headphones, cellphones, water filters, styrofoam, and the list goes on!

Our Bring Back the Pack recycling program makes it easy to recycle many types of product packaging, too. In fact, when you shop at London Drugs, you can leave all of your product packaging with us and we’ll ensure as much of it as possible gets recycled. Check out our website greendeal.ca for the complete list of what’s accepted.

Pro tip: A beautiful recycling area in your home will make recycling that much more enjoyable!

2. Reduce Your Energy Usage

Doing an energy audit of your home might sound intimidating, but it can help you to identify areas where easy improvements can be made. 

Look for things like air leaks around windows and door frames, old appliances that aren’t energy efficient or that can be unplugged when not in use, and light bulbs that can be switched with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.

You can also replace old thermostats with programmable thermostats and set timers to warm up the main rooms for a few hours in the morning and bedrooms for a few hours in the evening. This will soften your impact on the grid and also on your wallet!

3. Compost, Compost, Compost

Composting is now widely supported through many municipalities, which makes it easy to participate. But it’s also beneficial to set up a raw compost for your own garden. Put any cooked food, bones, or leftovers in the city bins, as they tend to attract unwanted visitors.

Small countertop bins are great for vegetable peelings, egg shells, and coffee grounds that your veggie garden will love! 

4. Reduce Your Single-use Plastics Consumption

Single-use plastics are one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution today — think plastic bags, straws, coffee cup lids, zip-style bags, etc. Take a day to observe your daily habits and notice where you might be able to swap out a reusable container for single-use packaging.

For example, head off to school/work with drinks and snacks in a stylish reusable travel mug and handy washable fabric snack bags.

Reusables can also contribute to better health. For example, the SodaStream soda maker with recyclable carbonation cartridges not only saves plastic bottles but also gives you an endless supply of refreshing sugar-free drinks. Pair your healthy drinks with these washable silicone straws.

5. Support Sustainable Brands

There is no shortage of inspiring companies creating great products while taking care of the environment. The circular economy model supports designs that are optimized to be disassembled and reused, essentially designing out waste. From toilet tissue made from recycled paper, to printer paper made from sugar cane byproducts, these companies are doing their utmost to reduce their impact on the biosphere.

Many of these products are also lovely to use: natural makeup, whole grain cereals, healing teas, and healthy granola bars are easy ways to do good not only for the planet but also for your body.

Modern life inevitably produces waste, but with a bit of effort and some conscious choices, we can make steps toward reducing our waste at home. Shifting our habits a little bit every day adds up to greater peace of mind and a cleaner, brighter future.

Want a Greener Christmas? Try these Tips for Reducing and Recycling Holiday Waste

The holidays are a magical time, but they can also be a time of great waste; piles of wrapping paper, product packaging, old products, and electronics all end up in landfills around this time of year. We talked to two of our London Drugs experts on holiday waste reduction and recycling to share some strategies on how to keep the season green

What can people keep in mind while they’re shopping to avoid unnecessary holiday waste?

Chris Odgaard, London Drugs Store Manager at Sunnycrest Mall, Gibsons, BC: “Consider the whole life-cycle of the product you’re buying. How long will it last? What will happen to it once it’s no longer needed, wanted, or useful? Can it be reused, repurposed, repaired, or recycled? Also think about gifting services or experiences instead of things.”

Lorne Craig, What’s the Green Deal Manager: “Organize your shopping so that you don’t have to make as many trips, and shop at stores where you can pick up everything you need, all in the one place. Shopping locally is also a green solution. Buying online might seem super-convenient, but depending on your location (and whether you are home to receive the delivery) it can create more emissions and packaging waste than shopping in store. Plus, if you walk, bike, carpool, or take transit to the store, you can help make an even bigger reduction. Oh, and remember to bring your reusable shopping bags, of course!”

How can shopping at London Drugs for the holidays help keep waste out of landfills?

Chris Odgaard: “London Drugs is always working to be a green leader in sustainable business practices. We offer a ‘buy online, pick up in store service’, which means that many hundreds of items are shipped to a store on a single truck, reducing transportation waste. And if you’re shopping for service gifts, London Drugs offers a variety of services such as computer servicing and repair, audio-video home services and setup, and digital photo scanning, which can all be purchased with a London Drugs gift card.

“Many of the products you purchase at London Drugs can be recycled there, including electronics, small appliances, and batteries. With our ‘Bring Back the Pack‘ program, you can return all the unwanted packaging to the store to be responsibly recycled. If you’ve received new electronics or small appliances to replace the old ones, you can bring them back along with the new packaging and get rid of everything at once in a responsible way!”

Do you have any other green tips for holiday shoppers?

Lorne Craig: “If you’re really stuck for a gift idea, think about giving a gift card that will allow the person to choose something that they actually want or need. Also, remember to buy from companies that are doing business better. London Drugs’ ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ blog has product information that highlights companies that are reducing waste, reducing emissions, using organic ingredients, and practicing fair trade.”

 

Thanks to our experts for the great advice! If you’re looking for more tips on how to reduce your waste around the holidays, or any other time of year, explore our Green Deal page. Happy gifting!