Thursday, March 27, 2008

Garbage Fees In Effect This Summer For Toronto Buildings: Top Ten Tips For Apatrment / Condo Dwellers To Eliminate Waste

Another great reason to reduce, reuse and recycle. As of July 1st, 2008, Buildings will be charged for garbage pickup. How long do you think it will take property management to pass those charges along to us? They will likely hike up our maintenance fees (again) or find a less obvious way to pass the buck.

I personally put lot of effort into minimizing my garbage output, so I feel as though I am trying to do my part. Still, my building does not have an organics/composts option, which means I am throwing perfectly compostable materials such as potato peelings and egg shells into the garbage. Do any buildings in downtown Toronto offer this option or is it just my building that ignores this opportunity to reduce waste?

Keeping in mind that composting is out for me (for now), here are my tips for helping Toronto Condo owners and renters eliminate waste:

1. Use fabric bags instead of disposable plastic.

2. Purchase in bulk and refill containers. This goes for shampoo, soap, and cereal, everything possible.

3. Don't purchase individual bottles of water. By a Britta and re-fill you washable water bottle.

4. Try not to purchase individual portions of any beverage. Again, Refill a washable water bottle.

5. Put your recyclables directly into the recycling. There is no real need to tie them up in a plastic bag first. If you must use a bag, make it paper.

6. Try to cut down on packaging. For example, the other day I had the opportunity to purchase batteries (A) with minimal packaging or batteries (B) with excessive packaging. I made the immediate and conscious effort to choose batteries (A).

7. When possible, avoid those clear plastic bags in the produce section of your grocery store. If you are only purchasing one onion, you do not need to put it in a bag, right?

8. Donate. All of those items and clothing that used to be cool but now look a little junky can be donated instead of thrown out. I am sure someone will still find them cool!

9. Trying using natural, all purpose cleaners like vinegar, baking soda (purchased in bulk, of course) and lemon instead of all of those single purpose cleaners like Windex, Toilet bowl cleaner, and Tile cleaner. At the same time, use old clothing as rags, don't buy disposable cloths, or go crazy with the paper towel.

10. Try to stop using cling wrap, baggies, and paper towels. Why not put your sandwich in a re-usable container instead?

Please feel free to leave a comment to add on to this list. I am always looking for ways to eliminate garbage.

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