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Simple actions to start a zero-waste journey

Reducing the amount of waste you produce is a great place to begin if you want to lower your environmental footprint. Waste represents not only a loss of resources and a loss of money, but it also contributes to pollution when it ends up in the landfill. If you've been inspired by the zero-waste movement, then there are a few simple daily actions you can take to start limiting your waste production and saving money at the same time.

Don't worry if you can't get to zero-waste right away. The goal here isn't perfection, but to begin your journey towards reducing your waste in an effective and sustainable way. Here are some basic, everyday tips to help you get started.

Organize your kitchen

Much of the waste that comes from a household is produced in the kitchen in the form of food, packaging, and cleaning waste. Better organization in the kitchen can help you significantly reduce the amount of waste produced in your home.

To reduce your food waste, start by organizing the refrigerator. This will make it easier to plan meals and encourage you to use ingredients before they expire. Preparing more meals at home will also cut down on how often you order takeout, which is more expensive than cooking at home and which usually comes with excess packaging.

Pantry organizers will further help organize your kitchen, clearing up space for food storage containers that you can use to preserve bulk food and ingredients. Buying in bulk is a great option as it will greatly reduce the amount of single-use packaging you consume.

Another main source of waste in a kitchen is single-use paper towels, which are often used for cleaning up minor spills or wiping down surfaces. You can easily replace paper towels with reusable dishcloths or simply make your own rags from extra pieces of fabric or old shirts.


Replace your garbage bin

When you only have one, large garbage bin in the kitchen, a lot of food and packaging waste that could be diverted will end up in the landfill.

Avoid this by replacing your single garbage with a three-bin solution including a recycling bin and a compost bin for more efficient kitchen waste sorting. Every time you go to throw something in the garbage, you'll be able to ask yourself whether it can go in the recycling or the compoast bin instead.

If you sort your waste correctly, then you should be able to save some space by switching to a smaller garbage bin. In fact, your recycling and compost bins should ideally be larger than the bin you use for waste.


Act on your lunch

Reduce your waste while out of the house by properly preparing for the day ahead, especially when it comes to your lunch.

For starters, don't leave home without a reusable water bottle and, if you're a coffee drinker, without an insulated bottle as well. Either brew your coffee at home or have your favourite coffee shop fill up your bottle rather than serving your drink in a single-use cup. Some shops even offer a discount for bringing your own bottle!

Reusable food containers are also a must-have for reducing your lunchtime waste. They make it easy to bring your lunch from home and avoid individually wrapped snacks.


Make your own compost

Consider making your own compost in an outdoor composter. It is estimated that making your own compost can help homeowners reduce household waste

Composting is much easier than you might expect and really won't take much extra time or effort on your part. Simply put all organic materials, like leftover vegetables, leaves, and old newspapers, into the compost bin. Then, all you need to do is occasionally mix the compost and the organic processes going on inside of the bin will take care of the rest.

Making your own compost will allow you to save a lot of money on fertilizer the following season. You may even become so proficient at it that you will be able to offer some high-quality fertilizer to your friends and neighbours!


Refuse before recycling

Recycling and composting both offer better alternatives for dealing with waste than throwing it in the trash. The ideal scenario, however, is to not produce waste that needs to be dealt with in the first place. This means being more mindful about bringing less waste home by asking yourself if you really need something before you buy or accept it.

For example, if someone offers you a free promotional item that you know you won't use and will just end up throwing out, it is perfectly fine to decline. While you are out, make sure you also always have a reusable bag on-hand so that you can avoid bringing plastic bags home.

One way that you can help others produce less waste is by giving away or selling items that you don't use any more to someone who will make use of them. That way, they will get what they need without having to bring home the extra packaging that comes with new products.


Opt for products with recycled content

Recycled materials can often be incorporated into the design of everyday products without compromising their quality. By opting for these types of products, you encourage manufacturers to use recycled materials and help ensure that the materials which end up in your own recycling bin get repurposed. This reduces the use of raw materials and contributes to the preservation of natural resources.

Many ECO products are made with recycled materials, including rubber stair tread, ceiling tiles and panels, felt pads, and recycled paint. Just look for the ECO symbol to discover more.


Discover more than 5 000 ECO products for the home! You could enjoy their many benefits for your family and the environment, such as a reduction of your energy consumption and better air quality.

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Bring back some products in-store for recycling

There are several products around your home that can pose a hazard to the environment if they end up in the landfill. Divert these products from the landfill by dropping them off at a RONA location and benefit from our Take-Back Program.

This program ensures that old compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, batteries, and paint are safely disposed of and recycled.
Contact your store to see whether it participates in the program.

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