Zero waste: 8 ideas to inspire you
Zero waste is very much a part of our daily lives and it’s transforming our consumption habits. Here are a few easy zero waste tips to adopt best practices and to help protect the environment… one choice at a time!
Zero waste is first and foremost about being aware of our decisions and adopting a healthier lifestyle day every day. Whenever you consider purchasing or throwing out an item, keep the 5R formula in mind: refuse (what you don’t need), reduce (what you do need), reuse (anything that may have a second life) recycle (anything that can be) and rot, which means compost (organic waste).
1. Purchase bulk foods
Avoid over-packaged products if you can. Many grocery stores offer bulk products: fruits and vegetables, flour, sugar, rice, oil, spices, cereals, etc. Bring your reusable bags, mason jars, bottles and voilà! Even large grocery chains like IGA and Metro now offer bulk counters for several foods. Forgot your reusable containers? Purchase them at the store! Check out this list of zero waste grocery stores near you. Learn all about purchasing bulk food and here’s a link to the startup kit.
2. Boycott single-use products
You know those famous coffee pods, plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups… Nowadays, it’s easy to bring your own reusable cups and containers. In addition, many local companies offer eco-friendly options that combine design with sustainability: bags for fruits and vegetables, reusable utensils, metal straws, biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes, Q-tips, facial tissues, washable diapers, cleansing pads and more!
Did you know that you can recycle the aluminium foil you use in the kitchen? Paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal are all recoverable. Here’s a comprehensive list of recyclable materials to put in your green bin.
4. Compost your organic matter
Too often tossed in our garbage cans, organic waste represents approximately 35% of our household garbage (hello odours!). Remember to compost your leftover vegetables and fruit, peels, tree leaves, flowers, grass clippings, tea bags without staples, eggshells, tree bark, coffee grounds, paper towels, etc. Learn more about household composting.
In addition, several municipalities provide organics collection and supply bins for home use. Our tip? Put your organic materials in a bag or small bin in your freezer until collection day. Also, if necessary, check with your community garden and local organizations.
5. Choose local, organic and seasonal foods
More local food, less transportation (and less pollution). Encourage local producers. In addition to improving our economy, you’ll enjoy high-quality, environmentally-friendly products. Be inspired by farm-to-home initiatives such as SecondLife (ugly fruits and vegetables packed with flavour), Fermes Lufa and NousRire to simplify your purchasing, with complete organic baskets delivered nearby or directly to your home!
6. Make your own products
Take a moment to think about how much household and cosmetic product packaging we throw out every year. Incredible, isn’t it? Here are 6 recipes for eco-friendly and energy-saving household products that you can easily make at home. To purchase bulk products, choose merchants such as Lemieux (household products) (https://www.produits-lemieux.com/vrac.php), Bigarade (detergent) or La Maison Lavande (dryer balls to replace softener sheets).
For natural cosmetic products, the Montreal company, Bkind, is a wonderful discovery!
7. Furniture and clothing: give them a second life
Vintage is all the rage! Transform your clothes and furniture rather than purchasing new. Thrift stores, donation centres and eco-centres near you are loaded with original finds for your design, renovation or DYI projects. You’ll be pleasantly surprised! In addition, seeing as fashion is #2 (after oil) when it comes to the highest polluting industries in the world, choose to purchase second-hand from companies such as: Deuxième Édition (luxury clothing), Station Service (designer clothing rentals, the Shwap Club (quality clothing exchange) and many others!
8. Consider active transportation
Walking, biking, roller skating, the bus, the subway, carpooling… all good options to reduce our fuel consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions. Think not only about your savings over the long term, but especially about the benefits of contributing to better air quality for your family, and better health and improved physical fitness. Choose active transportation for all your daily trips!
Caring about the environment for nearly 50 years
Respecting the environment and the well-being of families has always been at the heart of our vision and our living environments since 1973. René Voyer, founder of Construction Voyer, was the first builder in Quebec to participate in the R-2000 Home Program. A leader in the field of sustainable and energy-efficient construction, Construction Voyer stands out today for its magnificent Novoclimat 2.0 certified homes, and is recognized as the creator of the very first Net Zero condo building in Quebec.
Sources: Fraîchement Pressé, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Les Trappeuses, Association québécoise Zéro Déchet, Coup de pouce, Foire Écosphère, Circuit Zéro Déchet, Dans le sac, Bkind, Recyc-Québec, Produits Lemieux, Bigarade, Maison Lavande, Seconde Vie, Fermes Lufa, NousRire, Deuxième Édition, Station Service, Shwap Club.