Waste Reduction Week

Starting on Monday October 21st until Sunday the 27th, Waste Reduction Week is recognized in Canada. Each day during Waste Reduction Week has a theme that emphasizes the daily actions we can take to reduce our waste and help our environment. When you donate and shop at our ReStores, we can accomplish waste reduction goals on each of the Theme Days this week! Our organization works within the Canadian Circular Economy which promotes environmentally sustainable practices: swapping, repairing, and purchasing used items. Here is how we promote resource efficiency and waste reduction through our donation and ReStore process.

Monday October 21, Circular Economies:

The first Theme Day during Waste Reduction Week 2019 is the Circular Economy. We take pride in our circular economic non-profit organization’s model. This concept contradicts the conventional Linear Economy of take, make, and dispose. The Circular Economy promotes environmentally and economically sustainable practices: swapping, repairing, and purchasing used items. Visit our ReStores and complete your next to-do list using donated products before you pay retail price. When our ReStores sell donated products, we create a sustainable future through developing the Canadian Circular Economy.

Tuesday October 22, Textiles:

Tuesday’s theme during Waste Reduction Week is about responsibly purchasing and caring for our textiles. The modern fashion industry not only demonstrates the wasteful practices of the linear economy model, but it also negatively impacts our environment. We encourage you to consider the environmental implications of “fast fashion” through repairing, repurposing, and donating your textiles. Next time you are decluttering your space, think about donating those unused clothes to a local consignment store on your way to our ReStores. In the spirit of waste reduction week, we encourage you to strengthen our communities and planet through donating your used textiles to a local consignment store.

Wednesday October 23, Champions and Innovators:

Waste Reduction Week’s Wednesday theme highlights Champions and Innovators who lead by example to reduce waste in Canada. We reduce waste through reselling donated products at our ReStores. Every donation helps a family help themselves. In 2017, our Canadian ReStores diverted an estimated 40,000 tons of product away from landfills. We appreciate when you donate to and purchase from our ReStores because that creates a sustainable future through developing our Canadian Circular Economy. All of $72 million in profits generated from our Canadian ReStores allows your local Habitat for Humanity to partner with even more families in need of decent, and affordable housing.

Thursday October 24, Plastics and Packaging:

We support Waste Reduction Week’s Thursday theme of reducing plastics and packaging waste. We can all make simple changes in our daily lives to reduce our plastic footprint. Consider shopping at your local Habitat Heartland ReStores because gently used donation items often do not have plastic packaging. When you shop at the Habitat Heartland Ontario ReStores, then you usually do not have to throw away plastics and packaging from the items you buy. Also, many of our corporate partners donate items when the external packaging is updated in their own stores.  By donating these items to a ReStore, they keep them available for purchase rather than creating new packaging or throwing them away. Shopping for your household items in our ReStores not only supports our environment, but helps us build decent and affordable housing.

Friday October 25, Food Waste:

Friday’s Waste Reduction Week Theme Day focuses on reducing our Food Waste. The Waste Reduction Week initiative recommends that we not only plan our meals, but also eat what we buy. Our ReStores sell gently used kitchen appliances that can help you keep your food purchases fresh until you are ready to prepare and eat them.  You can also shop for gardening supplies to help you grow your own local produce.  Habitat Heartland Ontario can help you accomplish your food management goals through our ReStores’[ items. When you support Habitat’s ReStores, the profits support our mission of building affordable homes for local families in housing need.

Saturday October 26, Swap, Share, Repair:

On Saturday of Waste Reduction Week, consider donating to your local Habitat Heartland Ontario ReStore. Our ReStores are featured on the Waste Reduction Week’s website to demonstrate how you can get involved in the sharing process. What is the next best thing to borrowing something for free? Buying the item for a decent price at your local ReStore. Our ReStores contain new and gently used donated products that are resold and not thrown away in a landfill. Every donation helps a family help themselves. Stop by our ReStores next time you are repairing or renovating: we may have exactly what you need. When you buy a donated item from our ReStore, you are directly contributing to our mission: everyone deserves a decent place to live.

Sunday October 27, E-Waste:

The final Theme Day of Waste Reduction Week identifies responsible E-Waste recycling habits. We also encourage you to responsibly recycle your e-waste: batteries and technologies can be recycled to reduce e-waste and pollution. Consider shopping for donated electronics at your Habitat Heartland ReStores. We work with local companies that have their recycling facilities located in Canada. Habitat for Humanity ReStores receive payment for the collection of e-waste which is then used to help build homes for families in our community. Our ReStores’ profit from donated technology allows families to partner with Habitat Heartland Ontario to build or improve a place they can call home.

The Waste Reduction Week initiative is observed from October 21st to 27th, and if you want more information about it you can visit their website at https://wrwcanada.com. To learn more about our ReStores and how to donate, please visit https://habitat4home.ca/restore/restore-hours-locations/. Find out more about what we do to build strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter in your community by visiting http://habitat4home.ca/get-involved/.


Written by:  Spenser Henstock, Habitat Western member and writing student