Heidi Breier 35.50sc

Heidi Breier

Heidi Breier's activity stream


  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:17:55 -0400
    I put out my old, unrepairable computer speakers on trash collection day, and they were picked up – no problem! It’s frustrating that so many electronic goods seem to have built-in obsolescence or can’t be repaired at all.

    Challenge 10 - Send your Electronics to a Better Place

    Send your Electronics to a Better Place e-waste_in_the_truck_smaller.jpg

    Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing problem in Canada. It includes computers, cell phones (and their cables and batteries), TVs, printers, stereos and speakers. The heavy metals, flame retardants and rare minerals in e-waste can be extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Some estimate that e-waste only makes up 4% of the waste stream, but it accounts for 70% of the toxic pollution in our landfills.

    The best thing is to keep e-waste out of landfill. Repair your old electronics if you can still use them, or donate or sell them to someone who can use them. But if it’s definitely not fix-able, send your e-waste to be safely recycled by the City.

    Challenge: 

    • Repair, reuse or recycle your old electronics. Upload a photo in the comments below and tell us about it!

    How to recycle your e-waste

    • If you live in a house, just set out your e-waste on garbage day. Use the green bag delivered with your waste calendar, or put the waste in a box by the curb (best to put out a number of things at once).

    • If you live in an apartment or condo, talk with your building manager about getting an e-waste collection spot for the whole building. When it's full, they just call the City for collection.

    Did you recycle or reuse your old electroncis? Send us a photo and tell us about it below!

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:15:31 -0400
    My roommate and I are collecting hazardous waste in the back shed and will be taking it to a depot at the end of the summer.

    Challenge 9 - Tackle Toxic Trash

    CEDay_Ward19_Haz_Waste_Paint-cropped-sm.jpgTackle Toxic Trash

    Certain types of waste can't go in the garbage or recycling bin because they contain toxic ingredients that can harm the environment or human health. This type of special waste needs to be sorted and sent to the right place so it can be recycled properly.

    Special waste includes batteries, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and fluorescent tubes, medication, paint, oil, nail polish and cleaning products (anything with a 'hazard' symbol). Read the full list on the City website.

    Challenge:

    • Create a space in your home to store this. Choose a safe place away from kids and pets and keep all products in their original containers. Make a sign and let everyone in your household know about it.

    • If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager to create a Special Waste drop off spot. They can call the City to collect it.
    • Upload a photo of your waste collection spot in the comments below.

     

    Where to recycle your hazardous and special waste:

    • Residents can drop off special waste free at any of the 7 City waste Drop-off depots.

    • If you've got a lot of special waste, the Toxic Taxi can come right to your door to collect special waste for free. You need the equivalent of 10 litres of hazardous waste (about 2 and half paint cans).  Call 311 or fill out an online request.

    • If you live in an apartment, talk to your Property Manager about arranging a collection day for the whole building

     

    Take the extra step:
    Find ways to reduce the special and hazardous waste in your home. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. Or make non-toxic cleaners that are safer for you and the environment.  See recipes in Section 8 of TEA's Toxics Reduction Tool Kit.
     

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:14:13 -0400
    I’m definitely a bulk food buyer, and stash cleaned, re-used plastic bags in my backpack, bike bags, and car so that I’m using as few new bags as possible.

    Challenge 8 - Send Packaging Packing

    Mushrooms_bulk_vs_packaged_-_EAlfred.jpgSend Your Packaging Packing

    Too much packaging, wrapping, padding and stuffing comes with most products today. Most of it isn't necessary and is really just a way for companies to advertise. The worst part is that a lot of packaging isn't recyclable in your Blue Box!

    Take a look at the things you buy - is there an alternative with less packaging or recyclable packaging?

    For example, you can buy food in bulk stores to avoid food packaging.

    Challenge: 

    • Avoid products with excessive packaging, or non-recyclable packaging, or Change what you buy to avoid packaging and tell us about it

    • Snap a photo and share your story

     

    Take the extra step:
    Sign our petition to ask companies to stop using non-recyclable materials and to stop offloading the cost of disposal to cities. Click here to sign the petition.

    Read TEA's report on how companies can take responsibility for their product and packagin waste, including great examples of Ontario companies that are already doing it!

    Buying food in Bulk

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:12:36 -0400
    At work, they collect organic waste, but I also maintain a worm composter.

    Challenge 7 - Grow Green Bins

    Food-by-Szczel-cropped-400kb.jpgHelp Grow Green Bins

    One of the biggest types of waste is organic waste - this includes food waste and other things that can be composted, like tissues. However, many Torontonians just don’t have green bins. A large number of people who live in apartments and condos don’t have access to green bins. Many schools, small businesses and community centres across the City also don’t have green bins. That means thousands of tonnes of food waste are going to landfill.

    The good news is that the City offers green bins to every apartment, business, school and building that the City collects waste from. 

    Challenge:

    • Help bring green bins to more Toronto buildings. Call or email the building manager of your apartment, school or community centre to let them know that you'd like green bins for the building.

    • If you have green bins at home, think about community centres, businesses and other places you go that don't have green bins, but should. Write to the relevant property manager, or call your Councillor.

    Make a phone call, or use our suggestions below to send a letter to your building manager. 

     

    Dear (INSERT NAME of relevant property manager for your apartment, school, temple, etc),

    INSERT PERSONAL STATEMENT - e.g. "I live in this building." Or "I attend this school." Or "I use this Community Centre for weekly classes."

    Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste.

    Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

    Please bring green bin collection to our  APARTMENT / CONDO / SCHOOL / COMMUNITY building, so that we can start reducing waste.

    Sincerely

    YOUR NAME,  ADDRESS / EMAIL ADDRESS

     

    Take the extra step:
    Start a backyard composter, or set up a worm composter on your balcony or at your office!

    Organic_dumpster_square.jpg

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:09:27 -0400
    I always check the labels before buying paper products. Sometimes, even if it’s not in bold print, you may still find the Eco-logo or arrows symbol on the back of the package.

    Challenge 6 - Buy Recycled

    100__recycled_Notebooks.jpg

    Buy Recycled

    Buying recycled products is another way to reduce waste. Recycled materials don’t use as many raw materials and natural resources. They also use less water and save energy. Recycled products also help keep the green recycling economy thriving.

    Recycled content is used for many products:

    • office or school supplies (paper, pens and printing cartridges)
    • home supplies (paint, storage bins and garbage bags)
    • clothing or reusable bags made with plastic fibres

    Choosing paper made from 100% recycled paper instead of trees uses 50% less water and energy - and it saves trees!

    Challenge:

    • If you’re buying new products, choose something that is made of recycled materials. Aim for 100% post-consumer recycled content.
    • Share a photo or tell us about it

    Take the extra step:
    Write to a company that you buy from and ask them to include more recycled content in their products.

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:07:54 -0400
    I love my Contigo mug. No spills (when I close it right), and it keeps hot drinks piping for hours.

    Challenge 5 - Choose to Re-use

    Choose to Re-Use!

    It's the small things that add up. One coffee cup or one bottle of water doesn't seem like much. Now, think about how full a garbage can would be with 250 single use coffee cups, one for every work day in the year?

    Now imagine if just 10% of Torontonians (250,000 people) used throw-away cups and water bottles: it would be a nightmare of unnecessary waste!

    But if you choose reusables, like a refillable water bottle, or a travel mug, you can help eliminate this nightmare. You save money and you help the environment (bottled water costs so much more than tap water, and Toronto's tap water is some of the cleanest in the world).

    Challenge:

    • Get a refillable water bottle and reusable travel mug and commit to carrying them with you. Or, if you're having a coffee or tea at a cafe, ask them to put it in a reusable mug instead of a disposable cup.

    • Snap a photo of yourself using your refillable water bottle or mug and share it with us below.

    Take the extra step:
    If you already carry a mug and water bottle, choose a reusable to replace another disposable product in your life - for example using lunch containers instead of disposable bags, or carrying reusable cutlery to use when you get take-out food. Tell us about it and share a photo.

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-07-15 21:06:47 -0400
    I mend my clothes all the time. I’m the darning queen!! :)

    Challenge 4 - Think Twice Before You Buy

    Mending-Robert-Donovan-cropped-400kb.jpgThink Twice Before You Buy!

    Did you know that you can help the environment and reduce waste by simply not buying something? By repairing, sharing, swapping or re-using things, you can avoid wasteful packaging and avoid sending more things to landfill - and you’ll probably save money.

    We can buy less, share things, or buy second-hand things to reduce the waste impact of what we own.

    This includes things like borrowing a book from the library, or sharing tools with a neighbour instead of buying your own. You can also buy second hand clothing or donate your old furniture to a charitable store.

    Challenge: 

    • Instead of buying something new, reconsider it – borrow it from a friend, or rent it instead. Or, if you really need your own, buy it second hand. Share a photo and tell us about it!
    • Instead of throwing out something you don’t use anymore, donate or sell it to someone who could use it. Tell us about it! The City of Toronto website lists local non-profit groups that accept donations of used goods.

     

    Take the extra step:
    Repair it! Instead of tossing something out, get it repaired, or learn to maintain it yourself so it lasts longer. Mend your clothes, or get them altered by a tailor. Tell us about your repair adventure and snap a photo!

    Endorse

  • endorsed 2014-05-08 11:05:50 -0400
    I generate an average of .5 cubic metres of waste per year. My household generates and average of 3.1 cubic metres.

    Challenge 2 - Measure Your Waste

    Knowing how much waste you produce will help you identify how it can be reduced!

    • Use Tool #1 OR Tool #2 below to calculate the approximate garbage your household creates in a year.
    • Enter your calculated household waste per year in the comment box below to complete the challenge.
    Endorse

  • answered 2014-05-08 11:03:01 -0400
    Q: 4 - What do you hope to get from the Waste Free Challenge?
    A: I hope to get some new ideas to help me reduce the amount of waste we produce at home and at work.

    Challenge 1 - Waste Free Survey

    The Waste Free Challenge is 10 simple steps that anyone in Toronto can take.
    Tell us about you, and why you are taking the Challenge!

    Take the survey