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Spring Into Sustainability

Posted on February 28, 2023

Spring is the season for renewal and growth. So why not re-think some of our old habits and make changes that are going to reduce our impact on the planet?

Check out these three tips to help you kick off spring on a sustainable note and make a difference in your environmental footprint today.

Looking up at birch trees as their green leaves are starting to come out.

Recycle your Textiles

Across North America, 10 million tonnes of clothing end up in the landfill annually, 95% of which could be reused or recycled.

Instead of trashing your textiles, recycle them! Here in Winnipeg, Arts Junction accepts textiles on the last Tuesday of each month from 1-5pm. Textiles can be teeny tiny offcuts or garments that cannot be mended. If possible, remove any hardware (grommets, zippers, etc.) before donating.

Some textiles are used for crafts and the rest go to Winnipeg Textile Recycling. They promote reduce, reuse, recreate and rebuild to avoid textiles ending up in landfills. They also aim to create jobs for visible minorities and people with disabilities by providing low-barrier employment to diverse groups of people when they launch projects.

Check for Leaks

Did you know that 69% of water use in Winnipeg is residential? Leaks alone can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year in your home.

Leaks alone can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year in your home.

That means by saving water at home, you can make a big difference in our city’s water consumption.

Start conserving water by joining our Family Leak Detector Challenge. It’s as easy as checking for and fixing leaks around your home and then sharing your results with us, entering you to win a rain barrel, a FortWhyte Alive Membership, and other nature-based prizes to help you on your sustainability journey. Not only will you save water, but you’ll save a few bucks on your water bill too!

Join the Family Leak Detector Challenge or get a quick preview at what it’s all about by watching our Leak Detector Tutorial on Youtube.

Water splashing in air after something was dropped in.

Eat more, throw away less!

One-third of all food produced in the world – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – is lost or wasted every year. Globally, if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S.A.

When organic material is sent to landfill to decompose it releases methane into the atmosphere, which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is the single largest waste stream found in landfills.

It’s estimated that individuals and households across Canada waste more than $10 billion worth of food annually. Canada’s 2.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food waste is equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of CO2 and 2.1 million cars on the road.

So how do we reduce our food waste?

Here’s a few very easy tips to help you make the most of your food so you can save money on your groceries.

1. Organize your fridge and pantry

When you put new food away bring the older items to the front so they’re close and can be used first before they go bad. An organized pantry and fridge will also make it easier to find the items you need so you don’t accidentally buy duplicate during your shopping.

2. Know your dates

“Use by” is the date that your food MUST be eaten. “Best before” means just that, it’s best before that date but can still be safe after that.

3. Leftovers are your friend

Pack your leftovers into travel containers for an easy bagged lunch or freeze them and save them for later. For some variety find ways to repurpose your leftovers into new meals like adding leftover rice or vegetables to soup, or shredding or cutting up extra meat for pasta or casseroles.

Red, orange, and purple beets arranged in piles.