Ontario Nature Blog
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© Lora Denis
Our planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented stress. The good news is that you can help restore a healthy planet by reducing your environmental footprint, and we’re here to help you. This blog is the first in a series that will help you go #GreenStepByStep. Subscribe to our blog to follow along!
Ontario is the worst offender in Canada for plastic pollution and it’s estimated that 10,000 tonness of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes each year. Luckily, hope is on the horizon with recent discussions about banning single-use plastics in the province.
In the meantime, here are some simple ways you can help reduce plastic waste.
Take the pledge to reduce your environmental footprint by commenting below with ways you’re going to make a difference every day.
Read the next blog in the series.
Can you provide the source for the comment “Ontario is the worst offender in Canada for plastic pollution”? I’d like to use it in an argument with a friend. Thanks in advance!
You can make toothpaste in a mason jar using a 2:1 ratio of baking soda and coconut oil plus a teaspoon of mint essential oil. It’ll save the plastic packaging and it’s way better for you since you’re not putting harsh chemicals in your mouth. Also, my lips don’t get chapped anymore!
Also here’s how I’ve stopped using shampoo: https://theartofsimple.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/ and my scalp honestly feels so much better.
And if you garden, fruit containers are perfect to reuse as plant containers! They even have drainage holes.
One more thing, here’s more on the plastics conversation: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-plastics-ban-1.5050539
While in Honduras recently we were asked if we wanted a straw for our drinks and if so what flavour. They were edible straws that imparted no taste to the drink until you ate it when you realized what flavour it was. If a small country like Honduras can do it why can’t Canada. We recently purchased reusable cloth bags for our produce and fruit purchases and have been asked by a number of people where we got them. Although there are a myriad of huge problems in the world, my motto is “Think globally but act locally”. Since we travel frequently by air we now only own 1 car and we plan trips to avoid multiple trips a day for errands and use transit when possible to reduce our carbon footprint. This list is only the tip of the iceberg what other things we can also do.
I think that a change in life style activities can be a valuable step to take.
Buying new when something breaks fuels the demand for the big corporations. We can halt the mass consumption of resources if we were to fix things for as long as possible before discarding. Buying used and not succumb to the need to have things new all the time. Paying for services that fix and maintain appliances would still drive the economy I suspect.
I always enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of repurpose things that others regard as useless junk.
I’m a single senior living on very limited fixed income at the poverty line, but with a desire to see tough measures enacted against pollution and climate change. I used to donate, but that’s not possible now. I do what I can to reduce these. All aspects of our culture, recreational activities included, need to be assessed for their effects on pollution and waste. Plastic/styrofoam containers and drinking straws? History! I use one light duty, plastic grocery bag to contain a normal week’s garbage. How will garbage be contained to put it out for collection? I suggest a paper-like bag with a waxy coating inside to make it functional, but degradable, AND separate collection of compostible materials to reduce the amount of ‘garbage’. I I believe this could be done if governments had the will to do create effective changes.
If it remains unchallenged to step onto one of hundreds of thousands of DAILY international flights from Canada and around the world, we are contributing a huge blow to the planet. Who will do the math on how much aviation fuel is burned on a daily basis around the world, with resulting exhaust gasses injected into the upper atmosphere? It is global pollution on a grand scale that I don’t hear about . I see only the happy Canadian families exiting the country en masse for a March break. Global travel has to be a dire cause of global pollution. Can it be curtailed? As a first step forward, I believe the Air Miles programs should be banned.
There is a proposal coming before the Ontario Government to ban all single use plastics. Write your MP and let them know that you support this plan. I am pretty sure wide spread social change will not come about unless it is made to happen. When plastic cutlery and plastic water bottles are no longer available, everyone will learn to bring cutlery and reusable water bottles.
As for climate change, it is a very small step but go vegan! Just switched to this diet and am feeling great! But you have to make conscious choices with this too. I try to avoid the palm oils and try not to use almond products as the California Almond industry is a huge environmental issue. Ultimately, it is pretty hard to not cause an impact on this planet. We can only do what small things we can and hopefully cause enough pressure on government to make the bigger changes that will actually improve our planets future. Just my thoughts anyway!
Has anyone ever seen the waste generated by health care?
Electronic waste, human waste, food waste,toxic waste…talk about plastic waste! everything is one use only..we all want the best..right? the problems we have all helped to create are insurmountable. There is no solution and it isn’t like we weren’t warned..way back in the sixties when environmentalists told us we needed to change our ways .the whole system has just spiralled out of control. Choosing to use or not use a straw is not going to make a particle of difference.Sorry!
I do try my best to fill all mentioned in the blog, and manage most of it. Another thing I do is use paper bags to get things at the Bulk Barn store where possible and transfer them to my glass containers at home.
Twelve out of seventeen points, 70.5%. I definately left room for improvement.
The pursuit of perfection requires more than a thoughts and prayers approach.
These are nice but not really honest. The crisis our natural world including us faces is far, far, far more severe than any of these things can change. We have to recognize that we ARE nature, not its masters or merely it’s beneficiaries. Our consumption of nearly everything has to be reduced dramatically, AND we have to do everything possible to dismantle the corporations who rule our world, starting with the fossil fuel corporations who are actively destroying our climate. Personal change is helpful, but it cannot be a substitute for dramatic social change.
We buy as much as possible at Bulk Barn using our own containers. We’ve given up liquid hand soap in favour of bars which, at Bulk Barn, have zero packaging. We’ve also found a store that sells bulk dish and laundry soap.
We use only cloth napkins and bring containers when eating out in case of leftovers.
We buy soap (bar, washing liquid) and shampoo that does not contain glycerin derived from palm oil – sometimes this requires writing to the manufacturer to determine the source of glycerin used.
We in the east of the province are doing our share. The Friends of Lemoine Point operate a native plant nursery where we grow trees, shrubs and forbs, mainly from seed and cuttings collected at Lemoine Point Conservation Area. Each year since 1998, we have planted 800-1000 trees and shrubs at the Point. We take part in earth day cleanup. Small steps but everything counts.
This would make a great poster. Any chance of it being converted into an easy print version?
And before you say it, I know we’re aiming to reduce waste but having one or two copies in prominent locations at work and the staff house would reach a wide audience.
That’s an excellent idea. We’re going to look into converting this into a printable format.
While these are all good recommendations, I’m surprised there is nothing here about taking action on climate change by going vegan.
Excellent point! Stay tuned for more blog posts in the coming weeks 🙂
Considering the many stresses on bees, I’m not sure beeswax wrap is the best option for going green. Instead, we could all choose to use some of our many extraneous plastic bags to wrap food, instead of toxic plastic wrap, or buy glass or stainless steel dishes with lids to store leftovers.
When dining out, the Wynia family have become vocal in “refusing the straw”. We simply express, “No Thanks, We Don’t Want Plastic Straws – They are Bad for the Environment “.
We have a family set of stain steel straws that can be washed and used again and again.