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  • Woman Recycling

Beth, Preston | September 1, 2019

In this region overall, we do pretty well with how we deal with the things we throw away. Systems are in place for people to sort out compost, recycling, and garbage. We pat ourselves on the back when everything is on the curb.

Here in Waterloo Region, we should feel pretty good! After all, it was our region that spearheaded the blue box movement back in 1981.

However, people are producing more waste than ever, and the impact on our earth and ecosystem is huge.

National Geographic is hosting a challenge for people around the world to pledge to reduce their plastics, especially single-use plastics. I know I try my best! Here at Idea Exchange, Preston, we have a bottle filling station attached to the water fountain. I have gotten into a habit of filling up my reusable water bottle at home, refilling at work as needed, and now I bring it everywhere I go. I have no need to buy plastic water bottles at all.

Similarly, I now have a collection of reusable cloth bags that I (usually) remember to bring to the grocery store. Last year our family added a set of small drawstring produce bags to put our lettuce and apples in instead of using the thin plastic bags.

Still, I definitely have my weak spots. One item I pledged to reduce with the National Geographic challenge is to-go cups and lids. I like an occasional hot drink in the morning (made by professionals!), and, although many places are switching to paper or compostable cups, there are still many places that use plastic.

So, I pledge here to all of you, as well as to National Geographic, that I’m going to dig up my travel mug, throw it in my purse, and get my latte to go in that instead! You’re welcome, sea turtles. It won’t make much difference if it is just me, though. If you’re interested in being inspired to use less plastic, take the pledge here! Idea Exchange also has plenty of resources about other ways to go green.

Otherwise, I do my best with my household garbage, recycling and compost, too. Although, honestly, sometimes it is hard to keep up with changes. I know I had a lot of questions after the curbside pick-up schedule changes that happened in our region last year, and I find myself constantly questioning which items are accepted in the blue bin and green bin now.

I’m excited to report that at Preston Idea Exchange on September 25, you will have a chance to ask questions directly from the source. Waterloo Region Waste Management will be presenting an information and question and answer session to help sort fact from fiction, and help make the ongoing trash task easier.

Sign up here to register online in advance, or register by phone or in-person at any Idea Exchange location.