Edited To Add:
It's not too late to write your take on how to reduce packaging in our lives! We've extended our deadline for posts to Sunday, September 16th. And don't forget to send us your link to be entered to win one of our groovy prizes .....
posted by: Sandra
It's been far too many years since my calendar has started in September. Yet somehow, programming from all those days as a student, makes this time of year feel as ripe for resolutions as New Year's Eve.
Today is the first day after the last long weekend of the summer and all the kiddies are heading back into the classroom. Whether you are going back to school, work or daycare, today is about new beginnings and getting into a routine.
But routines don't always have to be boring. In fact, what better time to start BlogHers Act Canada's 12-months of personal eco-challenges. Each month we'll embrace a different eco-issue we can make changes in our own lives to help the environment. And for September, on this first day of back to school/work/daycare, we are challenging ourselves to do it with less packaging.
About 10% of every one of your shopping dollars is used to pay for packaging of the products you buy. And it's reported that approximately 30% of municipal waste comes from packaging. Thirty percent. I cringe every time I look in my shopping cart that is filled with more packaging than the goods they encase. Packaging that ends up in my recycling bin as soon as I get home.
So what can we do about it?
Firstly, in the spirit of the BlogHers Act Canada initiative, we can spread the word. Blog it. Blog it. Blog. It.
We invite all Canadian bloggers and FOC-ers (Friends of Canadians) to participate in writing a post about how you plan to reduce packaging. Write whatever part of this issue is most important to you. Share your own tips and clever ideas. Rant about how hard it is to use less disposable items. Review a great product. Do an expose on companies with particularly excessive packaging. Write a Haiku.
With enough of us blogging it and engaging our readership, we can get more people thinking and acting on tangibly reducing the amount of packaging that ends up in our landfill.
Write your post by Wednesday, September 12th and leave us a link and we'll share a round up of all the blog coverage on this issue.
AND if saving the world from the evil perils of excess packaging weren't incentive enough, there will be prizes! All bloggers who write about this issue will be entered in a draw for one of two awesome-tastic, packaging-conscious prizes:
You could win an 18oz Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Reusable bottle. It fits in most lunch boxes and bags and is toxin free.
One lucky blogger's prize will be a Basura insulated, 100% lead-free, reusable lunch bag. Each bag is one-of a kind and is made from recycled juice packs by a women's co-op in the Philippines.
But this challenge isn't just about blogging.
We are also gonna walk the talk and all really commit to do something.
To get the ball rolling, we've compiled an initial list of eco-licious ideas on how you can reduce your packaging:
~ Stop drinking water from plastic water bottles and fill up reusable containers instead. We use billions of plastic water bottles each day and most still end up in landfills.
~ Stop buying other single-serve, disposable beverages too like canned pop or juice boxes. Buy the larger containers and pour into reusable bottles to bring along for lunch.
~ Save the world one Java at time. Instead of disposable coffee cups from your local barista, bring your own coffee mug or thermos and fill 'er up.
~ Buy groceries in bulk. Consider "family sized" items that use less packaging or go to the bulk food bins - you'll save money too!
~ Order less Take-out. Pack your lunch or eat in to reduce the amount of take-out disposable packaging. Or, if you do have to eat out - skip the drink lid and straw.
Our eating habits aren't the only place we can make a difference. Here are some other shopping tips for the back-to-school time of year:
~ Look for refillable pens.
~ Use rechargeable batteries.
~ Buy school/office supplies in bulk.
~ Hit thrift stores and yard sales to reuse and repurpose items like funky retro fashions and decor for your college dorm room.
What other ways can we each reduce our consumption of unnecessary packaging? Share your thoughts and ideas between now and September 12th.
And here's the best part of the September challenge ... let's keep count.
We'll start with the disposable drink containers and ask that we all keep track/estimate the impact of our personal changes this month...
~ How many disposable plastic water bottles would you and your family have used?
~ How many disposable coffee cups do you save by bringing your own?
~ How many cans of pop do you save buy buying larger sizes or switching beverage choices?
We want to know. Keep track and share your progress. Every single one counts. At the end of the month, we'll share a grand tally of how many bottles and cups and cans we saved together. This should be fun!
Just one person drinking from a few less plastic bottles of water might not save the world on their own. But if we all do it ... now that's starting something!
And if a mantra to use less packaging gives you another reason to go for the jumbo size bottle of vino the next time you are at the liquor store, well then we say ... cheers to going green!