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Sustainability Tips: Reducing Waste

To celebrate Sustainability Month, members of our FortWhyte team will be providing tips on how you can incorporate sustainability into your everyday activities. This week,  FortWhyte's Bilingual Interpreter and Naturescape Coordinator Minna Goulet is sharing her advice on how to reduce waste in your household and beyond. This week's tips will also help you to gear up for Waste Reduction Week in Canada, October 19-25, 2015.

From an early age, Minna was taught to re-use before buying new. Her passion for treading lightly on the planet lead her to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba. There, she worked for the Recycling and Environmental Group where she learned the ins and outs of sorting recyclables and discovered one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure! An interest in environmental education lead her to FortWhyte, where she’s been on staff for over five years. As a member of FWA’s Sustainability Committee, she’s responsible for reducing the amount of solid, hazardous and electronic waste produced on site. Minna is also a big advocate for reducing kitchen waste. She brings her household compost to FortWhyte’s bins and can often be found trying to convince co-workers to eat her unwanted food from home!


Top 10 Tips to Reduce Waste


  1. Rethink your Purchases.

    When buying an item, ask yourself, is it a need or a want? Purchasing decisions aren’t going to change overnight, but if you start thinking more about why you’re buying something, you may be surprised at how often it’s a non-essential.

  2. Compost.

    Up to one third of household waste is compostable! Don’t have room for an outdoor compost bin? Try vermicomposting -- composting with worms in a bin. It’s a great option for apartment dwellers and can be done year round. For more info on composting, check out the Green Action Centre.

  3. Rent Instead of Buy.

    Rent or borrow tools and equipment from friends or family for odd jobs. Renting reduces the need for storage space and eliminates the need for maintenance.

  4. Purchase Sustainably.

    More and more products are being manufactured that have a smaller impact on the environment. For more local information, check out Sustainable Procurement in Manitoba.

  5. Reduce and Recycle your E-waste.

    Do you enjoy having the latest and greatest electronics? Try rethinking your purchases and use your electronics until they break down. Then recycle them and reduce the amount of e-waste going to landfill. For more information check out www.call2recycle.ca.

  6. Use Reusable Containers.

    Reusable water bottles, containers and coffee mugs will all reduce your ecological footprint. Your investments will pay off quickly and many coffee shops will even offer a discount when you bring your own mug. Tight on space? Try a Colibri reusable snack bag, made right here in Manitoba!

  7. Buy in Bulk.

    Bulk shopping reduces the amount of packaging you’re bringing home and reduces food waste because you only buy what you need. Talk to friends, family and co-workers to see if they’re interested in sharing large quantity items.

  8. Share your Harvest.

    Do you have a fruit tree on your property that produces more fruit than you can consume? Join Fruit Share, a non-profit organization that connects homeowners with volunteers who will pick your fruit and share the harvest.

  9. Donate Unwanted Items.

    One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Don’t throw away items that are still in good condition, donate them to a local charity of post them online. Many people and organizations are willing to pick up if the price tag is zero!

  10. Gift an Experience.

    Many people would like to try new things but won’t spend the money on themselves. Try gifting a yoga class or workshop -- they won’t clutter up the living room! Check out our events calendar or stop in at the Nature Shop to learn more about upcoming events and experiences at FortWhyte Alive.


October is Sustainability Month! This month, we’ll be providing tips on how you can incorporate sustainability into your everyday activities. And by sharing what you, your friends, and community are doing to get sustainable this October, you could win some great prizes from our friends at Sustainable Manitoba. Tag your Instagram photos and tweets with the hashtag #GetSustainable to enter. Together, we can create a more sustainable Manitoba! Find out more at sustainabilitymonth.ca.



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