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October is Quebec’s “Waste Reduction Week“! Every year, Zero Waste Quebec hosts this week to raise awareness, provide tools and inspire environmentally conscious Quebecers to minimize their ecological impact by reducing their waste. This year’s theme is the evolution of humans into “Eco sapiens“. The activities, conferences and other inspiring publications take place throughout the week, from October 23 to 31, 2021.
What does it mean to be an Eco sapien?
This evolved being adopts specific habits in order to live in harmony with the environment due to their understanding of being part of an ecosystem and feeling responsible for its protection. Thus making “ethical, ecological, fair and united” choices.
How might this translate into everyday life?
When it comes to food, the environmentally conscious being will seek to avoid waste, chemical inputs (fertilizers and pesticides), unnecessary GHGs, social injustices, superfluous packaging and ultimate waste. Therefore, they buy the right amount of organic, local, ethical and bulk products and bring their own dishes and reusable cutlery if they are eating on the go.
At home, someone trying to reduce their ecological impact will save water by purchasing aerators for their showers and faucets, flushing the toilet only when necessary, avoiding unnecessary running of water, and collecting rainwater to water their plants if possible. They will save electricity by ensuring that unused electronics are unplugged and that their home is energy efficient. This can mean that it is well insulated and does not require more effort from the heating system in winter to keep it at an adequate temperature. They will also choose their home based on its proximity to the places they visit often to avoid long commutes.
For clothing, eco sapiens will steer clear of “fast fashion” which is notoriously damaging to the environment and humanity’s well-being, as we’ve mentioned before here. They will therefore choose second-hand clothes (fashion is cyclical!), they will repair broken items instead of replacing them and they will favour natural fibres over synthetic ones, which are known to release plastic microfibres into the waterways via the washing machine.
To get around, active transportation or public transportation remain the most ecological and healthiest alternatives. In fact, they require less fossil energy to travel the same distance, in addition to promoting physical activity. To avoid accelerating global warming, eco sapiens will turn to electric transportation, but only where the source of electricity is “clean”, i.e., not dependent on non-renewable resources.
Eco sapiens are social creatures at heart. So, neighbourhood cleaning missions and greening projects, for biodiversity will be greatly appealing to them, along with other positive activities for the environment.
Find a friend who challenges you to move towards becoming an eco sapien. As part of the 20th edition of the waste reduction week, a mobile application, Project Z, is available to encourage participants to improve the way they spend their money through individual or group challenges. It’s a fun way to push our reduction efforts to their limit!
Organizations and initiatives
Even if the evolution process of the eco sapien seems to be personal, society directly benefits from it since the values of those who are committed permeate their professional environment. This is how organizations become involved in this ecological transition. At Earth Day Canada, we support this movement by encouraging them to take action for the environment. Among our flagship waste reduction projects, we are supporting local businesses in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough in the Zero Waste Challenge – Business. We also have a program designed to optimize the management and recovery of residual materials from IGAs and IGA Extras in Quebec and New Brunswick. Watch the explanatory video right below!
Quebec’s “Waste Reduction Week” is a good time to go above and beyond and to feel better about our daily consumption! So have fun with it!
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