Canada’s single-use plastic ban came into effect on December 20, 2022, and we’re already seeing retailers and restaurants moving away from single-use plastics. So it’s no surprise that we want our resolutions to be plastic-free and zero-waste-focused this year.
We’ve come down to five resolutions we’ll focus on, and we encourage you to add them to your list.
- Create and pack a zero-waste kit.
- Buy fewer packaged foods.
- Pack your lunch when you’re going to school or work.
- Reach out to your representatives about issues that are important to you.
- Read literature about living a plastic-free lifestyle and the positive impact of straying from plastics.
Create and pack a zero-waste kit.
Creating your zero-waste kit is essential during this period of straying away from single-use plastics and other plastic waste.
- Start with a lightweight non-plastic bag that fits your most commonly used bags. This will help store all your items in one spot.
- Next, you’ll want to pack a multipurpose cutlery set that includes the basics of a reusable spoon, fork and knife for those quick bites at the park or in a car. Finally, you’ll be ready to eat anywhere with this set available.
- Following this, a sustainable straw for your coffee or other beverages will come in handy.
- Additionally, a reusable water bottle is convenient, keeps you hydrated throughout the day, and can be easily refilled if there are water stations nearby.
- BONUS: If you have space or can store items in your vehicle, you can add a travel mug and some reusable containers, especially useful when you have restaurant items to go.
Buy fewer packaged foods.
We encourage everyone to choose plastic-free foods as much as possible this year. There are several ways to do this.
- Look for fresh fruits and vegetables not wrapped in plastic. For those “hard-to-avoid” items packaged in plastic, like strawberries, try to find ways to repurpose the packaging for as long as you can.
- Avoid using the plastic bags offered in grocery stores for produce. Instead, use reusable cloth or mesh bags to carry your produce.
- Frequent and support zero-waste grocery stores or refilleries for everyday essentials. This will challenge you to prepare for your shopping trips in advance.
Pack your lunch when you’re going to school or work.
Our third resolution is to pack our lunches when we go to school or work. Packing your lunch is an easy way to avoid using single-use plastics while reducing food waste.
Packing a lunch also has other benefits besides being zero-waste friendly, including saving money, eating healthier, improving your cooking and food prep skills and a way to relax by being intentional with what you’re making for your body to consume.
Reach out to your representatives about issues that are important to you.
Next, take more action this year. List your local, provincial and federal representatives and contacts and speak out on issues you want to be addressed. Connect with friends and family to gather support and confidence and see change unfold.
Last year, we petitioned the Government of Canada to strengthen the single-use plastic ban and gathered almost 1,500 signatures. You’d be surprised how many people care about the same issues you do and are seeking change.
Read and listen to literature about living a plastic-free lifestyle and the positive impact of straying from plastics.
Last but certainly not least, we encourage you to read literature or listen to podcasts on the impacts of plastic waste, how to switch to a plastic-free lifestyle and current solutions to tackling plastic pollution. Consider this an opportunity to feel inspired by the innovation in this space and how much restoration and regeneration of nature can occur if we eliminate plastic.
Our recommendations to start are the following:
1. Say Goodbye To Plastic: A Survival Guide For Plastic-free Living
2. Downside Up Podcast: What if we lived in a world without plastic? by CNN
3. The Indisposable Podcast by Upstream
4. Plastisphere Podcast
5. Inspiring Green Consumer Choices: Leverage Neuroscience To Reshape Marketplace Behavior by Michael E. Smith
There are many ways we can reduce our total plastic waste, and many innovative groups and people are finding solutions to our plastic problem. We’re looking forward to the day when Canada and all other countries meet their zero plastic waste and goals. But, it is only upward and onwards from here.