An idea for waste

I get asked a lot about the garbage strike.  While there’s not a lot I can do to settle a municipal labour dispute as an aspiring MP, and people recognize this, as a Green MP I could do rather a lot to help Toronto achieve its stated goal of zero waste, which would make a garbage strike a lot less unpleasant. We should really be following Germany’s example of heavily taxing packaging and making the producer responsible for taking it all back.  In addition, Germany has lifetime product responsibility legislation which obligates the manufacturer to take back the product itself at the end of its lifetime and dismantle it.  Products are made to be disassembled and materials reused in continuous cycles.  This design for recycling means that products tend also to remain separated, so fewer noxious chemical processes are involved both in the manufacture and in the disassembly.

One of the posts on Riverdale Rapids yesterday suggested taking garbage back to the grocery store during the garbage strike, to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the amount of packaging that comes with the foods we buy.  It’s an interesting idea, and one which I would support, but only if we recognize that supermarkets and department stores are just part of a long production chain themselves, just like we are.  One good thing that comes out of a garbage strike is that we all get a much better sense of how much of the stuff we produce, how quickly it accumulates, how nasty it is to deal with.  And accumulating it in a supermarket parking lot may give us a better sense of the cumulative amount in our community.  But I’d favour helping to clean up at the end of the strike, once the lesson is complete.

One response to “An idea for waste”

  1. Magda Constans writes:

    Hi Adriana,

    I’d like to share some ideas that have worked for me.

    One way that I have reduced a substiantial amount of packaging is by purchasing at least some of my food in bulk. In recent months, I’ve started buying my beans, cous-cous, rice, tea, spices, and much more from the bulk section in the Big Carrot. They have an ever-growing variety of products. I continue to substitute packaged items that I use to buy from either mainstream supermarkerts or even the Big Carrot, for buying the same items in bulk now. I’ve been very pleased with the freshness because the storage of food products at the Big Carrot is much less and they move fairly quickly I’ve been told.

    I’ve also started purchasing some of my cleaning products in bulk from Grassroots on Danforth Ave. One product that I recently discovered and that I’m very excited about is called +12 or 12% vinegar acidity. Regular store bought vinegar is 5%, which I had been using at home in a mix of one part vinegar with 8-10 part water, so when I discovered the 12% which is a stronger vinegar and used for cleaning purposes, I was very happy and I’ve been happy with the results! I use it for everyday general cleaning, disinfecting, and wiping up! I want to eventually reach a point where there is nothing even remotely toxic in my home, completely pet and child friendly, less packaging waste, and not (or much less) harmful in our soil, water or air!

    For more heavy duty stains, I have searched and found a product called Universal Stone, but have not tried it yet, but it comes highly recommended, also some hydrogen peroxide ( I think its 3%) and that’s also sold at Grassroots as I’m told.

    I am continuing on my mission to source out purer products that work well that are friendlier to our planet and its animal and human inhabitants!

    Magda Constans

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