Waste Reduction Week lesson: everyone can improve 

Next week residents in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District are being encouraged to change old habits and adopt new ways to reduce their waste.

Waste Reduction Week in the area will begin on Sunday, Nov. 11 and residents are encouraged to learn new ways to become more environmentally friendly.

Even though this area has one of the most extensive recycling programs in Canada, Waste Reduction Week is designed to show individuals that they can do even more for the environment.

Statistics show Canada is one of the largest per capita waste generators – second only to the U.S. On average each Canadian is producing 1.5 kilograms of garbage every day.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has proposed 25 simple ways to cut waste. Some of these include: buying in bulk, buying biodegradable cleaners, refusing napkins, plastic cutlery and straws, and using a reusable mug for coffee and tea. In short, easy but effective lifestyle changes.

Another step is to avoid buying materials that have a household hazardous symbol. Some of these HHP's can harm the environment if thrown into the garbage or can affect water treatment facilities if poured down the drain. Instead, residents are urged to use safer cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar.

The district is also offering three free workshops to the community which are designed to inform the public about waste management.

Each seminar is focused on a particular topic: Composting/Vermicomposting, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and Household Hazardous Products. However, the workshops can be tailored to the specifics of each group.

For more information or to book a group, contact Wendy Horan, the 3Rs Educator for the SLRD at 1-800-298-7753.

During this week, Whistler residents can look for inspiration to the Myrtle Philip school that now has 32 indoor composters and is a waste reduction role model in the area.

Each indoor composter uses worms to break down organic waste in a controlled environment. Vermicomposting at Myrtle Philip is both an educational and an effective way of reducing waste as indoor composting has the potential of cutting overall household waste in half.

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