COACH Series

This is a new series of events featuring our resident experts in home energy efficiency, RAIN Smart Homes and waste reduction.

New date and time!

Go beyond diverting waste from the landfill

We tend to generate lots of waste just by living our day to day lives. At the same time, new rules and pickup schedules have made it more important to think about the waste we put out to be collected. In the long run, managing our waste though is not enough, living sustainably means reducing our waste.

Come learn from our resident expert how to reduce your waste in 9 easy steps!

With this advice, you’ll be ready to accept the 7 Day Zero Waste Challenge. Or at least know you’re doing your part to reduce the waste your home generates.

Andrea Bale, Waste Reduction AdvisorPresented by: Andrea Bale, Waste Reduction Advisor

Andrea Bale is the Customer Engagement and Outreach Coordinator for the Energy and RAIN programs at Reep Green Solutions. More recently, she became the Waste Reduction Advisor for Reep’s new waste reduction initiatives. She has a Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a BSc in Life Science from McMaster University.

  • Presentation: 7:30 p.m.
  • Questions & Answers: 8 p.m.
  • OPEN HOUSE: 8:15 – 9 P.M.

Stay to explore the Reep House for Sustainable Living. Or feel free to come after the presentation to check out the house’s environmental features.

Transportation:

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St.

If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Joseph Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St.

 

Here’s one of the stories that we share in our 2017 Report to the Community about how we help you live sustainably.

For five days, use one Mason jar to hold all of your home’s garbage destined to be buried in a landfill. In October 2016, 123 people across Waterloo Region accepted the Zero Waste Challenge.

For most of us, our day-to-day lives generate a lot of garbage as we live in a society where that is the norm. We generate so much waste that we need to manage it and have programs to divert it. All of that work is important and necessary, but is it really enough?

The zero waste movement says no and Reep Green Solutions agrees. It is time to go beyond managing waste and instead live sustainably by reducing waste and taking better care of our natural resources.

If participants in the Zero Waste Challenge wanted their jar to be as empty as possible, they needed to think about decisions they usually make automatically. They needed to think about what to buy when grocery shopping or where to shop. They also needed to think about how they could send less waste to the landfill by improving their recycling or composting.

Natalie Heldsinger and Jackson Smith of Waterloo took part in the challenge as a way to improve upon their commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. “We found using the Mason jar made us hyper-aware and conscious of the choices we made,” said Jackson.

The challenge motivated them to think more about their choices and participating in the challenge with other community members and sharing their progress increased their sense of commitment.

“One benefit of participating as part of a community challenge,” said Natalie, “was being able to share lessons with other participants. We were able to share our experiences and learn from others, which made a difference. We found that shopping at farmers markets significantly helped to reduce packaging.”

In the 2017 challenge, more people are expected to participate! And by supporting each other, we can rethink our society’s relationship with waste.

28 Sep 2017

Clothing swap!

A Zero Waste Special Eventclothing hanging in closet

This event is inspired by our Zero Waste Challenge as it helps to reduce your waste when you swap your clothes with others who reuse it. Anyone interested can particpate even if you’re not involved with the challenge.

Refresh your wardrobe the sustainable way

Join us for Reep Green Solution’s clothing swap to freshen up your wardrobe without the cost (or waste!).

Bring your gently loved clothing and accessories, and in exchange take home your favourite gently used items. All items that are not taken home will be donated after the event.

7:00 – 8:30 P.M.

Reep House for Sustainable Living

Also join us for the sustainable fashion presentation right before the swap.

You can also explore the Reep House for Sustainable Living.

Transportation:

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St.

If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Joseph Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St.

 

photo credit: The Bees anne’s closet 5 via photopin (license)

SUSTAINABLE LIVING SERIES

This event is inspired by our Zero Waste Challenge as it helps to reduce your waste when you swap your clothes with others who reuse them. Anyone interested can attend even if you’re not involved with the challenge.

How to reduce your textile waste

The talk will cover:
·         We are a consumption hub
·         The life cycle of clothes
·         The effect of clothing in landfills
·         Textile recycling
·         What can we do?
·         What can and should be donated?
·         Reduce – Rethink consumption – 10 Tips

Presented by Sabine Weber

Sabine Weber

Sabine worked for nearly twenty years in Europe as product manager/head of design in the fashion industry and international buyer/team leader in retail for different brands before she came to Canada eight years ago. She worked as a college instructor and taught courses in fashion marketing, product knowledge, sustainable fashion, product management and international trade. While teaching at Humber College she discovered her passion for ethical and sustainable fashion and decided to go back to university to earn a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Studies at U Waterloo with a focus in waste management and social marketing. In her thesis she examined textile waste and studied the ways consumers manage their unwanted garments in order to developed strategies to change behaviour. In December 2015 she founded Sustainable Strategies & Solutions, for which she currently works on different consultant projects. One of her projects in 2016 was the Tip of the Iceberg Textile Diversion Symposium in Markham. Since 2015 she teaches at Seneca and in 2017 she conducted a social marketing campaign for textile diversion with her students and the support of faculty.

Presentation: 6 p.m.

Question and Answer: 6:30 p.m.

Join us for the Clothing Swap: 7:00 – 8:30 P.M.

You can also explore the Reep House for Sustainable Living.

Transportation:

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St.

If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Joseph Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St.

 

 

photo credit: FXTC Paris Street 5 via photopin (license)

Recently moved into a “new to you” home? Here’s the fifth in a week long series on things you can do to improve your home’s sustainability.

by Peter Speckner, Communications Coordinator

  1. Walk or ride a bike to get around
    Driving your car causes pollution, needs money for gas and maintenance, plus the costs of parking. Walking or riding a bike is also good exercise and far better for the environment.
  2. Buy in bulk or from your local farmers’ market
    farmers marketProducts from stores come with more packaging, and have usually traveled quite the distance to get there. Local products have used less energy to reach the market, and will help strengthen the local economy.
  3. Use reusable items instead of single-use or recyclable
    Plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and take-out containers are some of the easiest things to avoid using. By using glass bottles, reusable bags, and bringing your own container to stores and restaurants, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste you create.
  4. Grow some of your own food
    backyard gardenIt used to be that families grew the majority of food that they ate. Mass food production and grocery stores have taken that need away. Growing your own food can have its own benefits: lower cost, environmental awareness, educating children on food production, and the knowledge of what goes into your food (ie. pesticides).
  5. Use all-natural, non-toxic cleaning supplies
    It might be surprising to find out that the majority of the cleaning products we use are actually bad for the environment. Most don’t think of what happens to that dish soap or floor cleaner that went down the drain, but the sad fact is it will most likely find its way into Mother Nature, where it will cause problems. There are plenty of cleaners out there that are environmentally friendly, do just as good a job, but won’t harm the environment when they find their way there. Or better yet make your own cleaning products!

 

Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!

Here is a presentation to assist participants in the Zero Waste Challenge Waterloo Region that also helps anyone interested in reducing the waste they create. If you’re looking for more information, check out our zero waste 101 page.

Do you have any tips? Please share them in the comments below!

 

REEP Green Solutions is excited to announce a week long Zero Waste Challenge in Waterloo Region from October 24-28. This event will help guide those interested in participating to learn how to get involved to effectively limit their waste. We also suggest that you review the ideas and strategies shared on our Zero Waste 101 page.

So you have decided to participate in the Zero Waste Challenge Waterloo Region? Or perhaps you are just looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste that you send to the landfill.

Members of our Zero Waste Team will share with you strategies on reducing your waste so that even a family can successfully meet the challenge.

You’ll learn about 5 Rs:

  • Refuse and instead purchase items that can be borrowed, rented, and repaired.
  • Reduce waste by saying no to excessive packaging (i.e. gift wrap).
  • Reuse by passing items along to others who may need them (i.e. donating).
  • Recycle items to save their value (i.e. batteries).
  • Rot the rest (i.e. composting)

 

Our Speakers:

Devin Bettincourt and Naomi Sunu are both members of the Zero Waste Waterloo Region team as volunteers with REEP Green Solutions.

AGENDA

  • Presentation: 1:30 p.m.
  • Q & A: 2:00 p.m.
  • Meetup of Zero Waste Challenge Participants: 2:15 – 3:15

OPEN HOUSE: 2:15 – 3:30 P.M.

Come early or stay to explore the REEP House for Sustainable Living. Or come to check out the house’s environmental features.

Transportation and Parking

If REEP House for Sustainable Living is a short walk from your home that is the best way to get there.

We have a bike rack in front of the house for several bicycles. Since the house is very close to the Iron Horse Trail that may be a good choice.

Several GRT bus routes use Queen Street and have stops near Mill Street.

If you are driving, we encourage you to car pool with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in a small private lot off Mitchell Street. Just walk across the grass to the back of the house or use the sidewalk on Queen to enter the front of the house.

 

Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!

Natural Hygiene Products

by Devin Bettencourt

Your skin is your largest organ and it’s like a sponge, absorbing everything you put on it. Unfortunately, many store-bought personal hygiene products are packed full of chemicals, which pose a threat to your health and well-being. Chemicals such a BPA, BPS, DEHP, Phthalates, and Fragrances have been linked to the development of certain cancers, endocrine disruption, infertility and birth defects, cardiovascular and heart disease, and even organ failure. Pretty scary stuff! According to EWG (a non-profit organization that seeks to educate consumers on product safety), only 11% of cosmetics are tested for safety by the cosmetic industry. These are products many people put on their skin every single day!

In addition to many of these products being hazardous for our health, many products are packaged in plastic which pose a threat to our environment. This contributes to the excessive plastic waste that is currently overfilling our landfills, leaching chemicals into our water supply, and floating in our oceans resulting in marine life fatality. If you want to learn more about the effects of single-use plastic on our environment the Plastic Pollution Coalition is a fantastic organization that seeks to empower people and companies to eliminate plastic pollution.

So what can you do now for your health and the health of the environment? Make natural hygiene products at home! It is a safe and simple alternative to store-bought products, it much less expensive, and you can drastically decrease your waste production! Below we have attached some links and videos to get you started on making your own natural hygiene products.

Have fun!

Toothpaste

Here is a quick video on how to make your own zero waste toothpaste:

Deodorant

Here is another video on how to make your own zero waste deodorant:

Learn more:

Coconut Oil Toothpaste – Pare Down

Homemade Natural Hygiene Products – Earth Mamas World

 

Photo Credit: Devin Bettencourt

 

 

Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!

Natural is the Way to Go

Enough with the store bought cleaning products. It’s time to replace old those expensive store bought products in your home for natural homemade cleaners.  It’s a great way to save money, limit plastic packaging and avoid unnecessary dangerous chemicals! Homemade cleaning products are just as effective as the products you buy at your store and incredibly quick and easy to make.

Take a look at the Be Zero – Natural Cleaners blog post for some great ideas on how to make natural cleaners for your bathroom, windows, kitchen, floors and more!

Below is also a video covering more natural cleaning products and tools you can use for zero waste cleaning today:

Learn more:

About Home – Homemade and Natural Cleaning Products

Photo Credit: Devin Bettencourt

 

 

Check out REEP Green Solutions Zero Waste 101 for more blog posts and videos on how you can reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle!

Declutter Your House

In today’s society, the market system depends on our ever increasing consumption of goods and services. As a result companies have done their best to convince us we need the latest and greatest gadget, pair of shoes, car, decor… the list goes on and on. This has lead to a great deal of over-consumption, which has detrimental effects on our environment. It is no overstatement when we say many of the world’s ecosystems are collapsing, habitats are being degraded, species are facing extinction, and we are polluting our basic necessities for life – water, air and land. So what can we do?

Aiming for a more Zero Waste lifestyle is a great opportunity to take control of your impact on the environment. Decluttering your home can seem like a daunting task, but many people who have challenged themselves to do so not only support a more sustainable lifestyle, but find it quite liberating! There are many online sources to help guide you through the process of decluttering your home. At the bottom of this blog post we have attached some site links with great simple steps you can follow to begin decluttering your home today!

Bathroom

Lauren Singer, well known for her Trash is for Tossers blog, covers in this video zero waste alternatives for your bathroom!

Kitchen

This video covers how this vlogger has made her kitchen more green, more cost effective, and closer to zero waste!

Learn more:

Declutter Zero Waste Challenge – Be Zero

6 Popular Decluttering Methods – Break the Twitch

How to Create a Zero Waste Capsule Wardrobe – My Zero Waste

 


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