Help eliminate trash at school

September 18, 2013

Reduce packaging waste with reusable containers

September 18, 2013

Food packaging is a big part of school waste streams:
• Many materials used in food packaging are not very recyclable: foil wrappers; waxed liners, papers and cardboard; plastic/paper blends that are impossible to separate; and more
• Even packaging materials that are recyclable (like plastic sandwich bags) are rarely actually recycled, due to lack of sorting facilities or recycling programs, or because of issues of cleanliness
• Individually packaged single portions are especially trash-intensive

So what to do?  You can reduce lunch trash AND lunch costs by investing in:
• A few reusable plastic containers (it’s wise to forego the cheap ones and invest in top quality)
• A spork, a reusable utensil that is a combination spoon-fork (widely available at sporting and department stores)
• A reusable lunch box

The trash reduction is obvious; and you can save money when you buy larger portions and split them at home (for example, yogurt).

For many more tips for a better, greener back-to-school, visit the blog of Tovah Paglaro, the David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green.

Fuel-efficient driving techniques

Here are five driving techniques you can adopt to cut your fuel consumption (and emissions) by as much as 25%:

  • Accelerate gently (remember the ‘egg trick’ from a Green Ideas earlier this summer?  If not, you can find it here.)
  • Maintain a steady speed
  • Anticipate traffic around you to avoid the need for sudden stops and starts
  • Coast to decelerate: take advantage of your momentum and extend the life of your brakes too
  • Avoid high speeds: optimum fuel consumption happens between 50 and 80 KMH

You don’t have to spend a nickel to take advantage of these savings, just change a few driving habits.  For more details, visit the source of this information, Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency.  Read an article with more eco-driving tips here.