When it comes to sustainability, it may help to think of the process as a clock. If you were to look at one turning gear, it might not be clear what purpose it serves. It is only when you see how that gear interacts with another, and then another, to realize how they coincide and work together to accomplish one common goal.
Without every gear doing its part, the clock wouldn’t tick. And just like a clock, our planet needs everyone doing their part to lessen their load. The average Canadian’s ecological footprint is 7.25 hectares, which is roughly 14 football fields. This number is 50 percent higher than what the earth can replenish, meaning we are currently using more than the earth can provide. So what can we do?
If we want to accomplish our goal in creating a greener future, we will need to join together in making a change.
The good news is the most sustainable closet is the one you already have! It takes roughly 2,600 litres of water to make one new t-shirt, and each year, humans consume more than 80 billion pieces of new clothing.
One of the largest pieces of fast fashion in recent months are disposable masks. Roughly 129 million face masks are being thrown away every month, which has significantly increased the amount of waste on our planet. By investing in reusable masks, you will be helping to lessen the tremendous amount of waste across the world.
START A HOME COMPOSTER
It’s estimated Canadians waste more than $10 billion worth of food annually. To put that number into perspective, that is equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 which is roughly 2.1 million cars on the road. There are plenty of ways you can reduce food waste, and ensure you use as much of the food provided as possible.
One step you can take is to start composting. Composting is a fantastic way to reuse discarded food as a way to improve plant health and foster bacteria to help break down organic matter. Click here to learn how to start composting in your own home, and what materials can be used for compost.
REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC
Another way we can increase sustainability and contribute to our planet’s health is by reducing the amount of single-use plastics we use in our daily lives. Only 9% of the 3.2 million tonnes of plastic waste Canadians produce each year is recycled, and it’s estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Plastic is an inorganic material, so it can take thousands of years to break down naturally. By purchasing reusable containers and changing the ways we package and store food, we can drastically change the amount of plastic in our landfills and oceans.
Check out The Nature Shop for a variety of locally made sustainable products to substitute into their routine, like beeswax wrapping.
EAT MORE PLANTS
According to a 2019 report by the United Nations body on climate science, shifting toward plant-based diets and reducing meat consumption could significantly boost the planet’s ability to fight climate change. The report found that not only do humans need to reduce the amount of land used to produce meat, but they also need to use that land more efficiently. Sustainable farming practices are necessary to ensure that land remains usable as the planet heats up.
Looking to incorporate more locally grown veggies this year? Check out The Goods from FortWhyte Farms. By signing up for Community Shared Agriculture, you’ll enjoy local produce while supporting youth in our community. Each box includes 8-15 items that are harvested, washed, and packed by youth on the farm, plus a few special veggies, herbs, and recipes to try.
REDUCE WATER USAGE
We can reduce water by being a little more conscientious every time we use it. Often times, the most water is wasted from leaving water sources one when it is not necessary. We can combat this by only using the required amount of water for everything we need.
By timing showers, not filling the sink to wash dishes, and investing in water-conserving appliances, you can drastically decrease the amount of water used in the home. A good tactic can be to have a plan of how much water you are going to use before turning on the tap.
There are countless ways to become more sustainable around the home. A good starting point is to see where you are at now, and in what ways you should try to reduce. For more in-depth information check out this blog post, or visit Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department website for more tips on how to save water.