Kudos from the Glebe Zero Waste Committee

By Katie Kessler

Pollution is rampant these days and it’s having a profound impact on the environment. It will take major policy changes to get society headed in the right direction, but it’s inspiring to see individuals and businesses take action to reduce waste.

In this column, the Glebe Community Association’s (GCA) Zero Waste Committee will feature – and commend – residents’ practices in waste reduction.

This issue, we’ve caught up with Catherine Johns, a Glebe resident, to discover the creative ways she has found to reduce her waste footprint. Here’s how she does it:

“As a retired single woman in a single-family home, my regular waste is minimal and mostly plastic. I put a grocery store sized bag out every two weeks, sometimes once per month. My green bin goes out weekly, often with only one small compost bag or yard waste. My paper and plastic recycling go out at most once per month.

“One way I use to cut down on waste is to purchase a minimum amount of pre-packaged or prepared goods. Also, I shop at bulk stores or select from loose fruits and vegetables using reusable vegetable and cloth bags. I also buy items such as yogurt in reusable jars.

“Along with recycling using the green and black bins, I recycle batteries and light bulbs through Staples and plastic bags through the recycle bin at the McKeen Metro grocery store on Bank Street.

“When it comes to composting, I have a backyard compost bin and use the city compost bin for those things that take a long time to decompose (corn cobs, avocado peels, Kleenex, and paper towels).

“I reuse plastic clamshells, such as lettuce containers, for storage. They are perfect for this purpose as they are see-through, unlike shoeboxes. I return fruit baskets to vendors at the farmer’s market or reuse them for storage around the house. I reuse large zip lock frozen fruit bags. One particularly good use for them is to hold garbage when camping as the zip lock keeps in the smells.

“I give stuff I no longer need to neighbours through the Glebe Buy Nothing Group on Facebook.”

Thanks, Catherine, for your work in reducing waste in our community.

If you’ve been making efforts on this front, we may feature you in a future column. Please send a short paragraph explaining how you are reducing your household or business waste to environment@glebeca.ca, attention Katie.

New to Canada and conscious of her own waste footprint, Katie Kessler joined the Glebe Community Association’s Zero Waste Committee (a subcommittee of the Environment Committee) to learn more about waste reduction and to help raise awareness of simple changes in our daily living that can have a big impact on the environment.

Catherine Johns, Glebe resident, reduces waste by reusing zip lock frozen-fruit bags and plastic clamshells such as lettuce containers for storage. PHOTOS: CATHERINE JOHNS
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