Garbage-Free February

In the winter of 2006, a single individual took up the challenge to try a garbage free existence for a month. From that first experiment in sustainable living, Garbage-Free February was born here in Red Deer. Officially declared in the City of Red Deer by Mayor Morris Flewwelling in 2012, and renewed by Mayor Veer in 2015, it remains a yearly celebration of sustainable living. The goal of Garbage-Free February is to make choices as a consumer (citizen) that will not produce any contributions to a landfill*. For the entire month of February aim to:

  • purchase only recyclable and reusable goods
  • learn about and use your local recycling program
  • bring your own bag to the grocery store/market
  • eat 100% organic food and buy in bulk
  • compost any organic waste that you produce
  • use www.freecycle.org and/or Neigh*Borrow in your community
  • come up with more ideas and share them with others

* exceptions - like toilet paper - are allowed!


Prep Session - Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017 - 6pm - RDC, Room 1007A
Campaign Kick-off - Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017 - 6pm
Red Deer College - Room 2906

Get ready for the eleventh Garbage-Free February starting in January with "personal preparation month" so you can ditch the New Year's resolution and join the garbage-free revolution! We hosted a quick seminar on January 4th to help you figure out how to navigate a waste-free month in February... or at least something close... and invited everyone to take on the weekly challenges (e.g., plastic-free, winter composting, zero-waste cooking, etc.) with the help and great informational resources of the Recycling Council of Alberta. The official campaign kick off is Wednesday, February 1st at the Red Deer College in room 2906 starting at 6:00pm.

We're very happy to welcome Olds College student and owner of Ceres Solutions Ltd, Alex Villeneuve to speak at the Kick-Off event! Alex enrolled in the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program in 2015, and during the first shift in the school’s brewery he noticed that the spent grains were difficult to dispose of. It was during this time that he learned ways of producing food from grains that would otherwise become waste: “The experiences and mistakes I made during these projects all contributed to me incorporating Ceres Solutions Ltd,” he explains. Ceres Solutions Ltd., has found a valuable use for what was previously a waste by-product from beer brewing by recycling the spent grain used by Alberta brewers. The grain is pasteurized, then inoculated with mushroom mycelium to break down leftover fibre, which produces enough nutritional biomass to yield protein-rich mushroom crops. The spent grain mash is then fed to cows, closing the zero-waste cycle.

2017 is ReThink Red Deer's 10th Anniversary and we're looking forward to teaming up again with the Red Deer College Green Campus initiative, the Recycling Council of Alberta and their Waste Reduction Week (Oct) and weekly challenges for the duration of the GFF campaign, Canadian Wood Waste Recycling, and Zero Waste Canada to help leverage all of the great work the City of Red Deer is accomplishing with their Waste Reduction programs like the new curbside organics pick up pilot, residential backyard composting, and increase of eligible plastics in the successful Blue Box program!

Check out our #ZeroWasteAdventure resources here - http://www.rethinkreddeer.ca/GFF-resources

 


Garbage Free-February 2016

10th Anniversary

"1 person, 0 waste... 10 years."

Campaign Kick-off - Sunday, Jan 31, 2016
1:00pm at Red Deer College - Margaret Parsons Theatre

For this special anniversary celebration we are proud to team up with RDC Green Campus and introduce our new intern, Starr Brainard from Washington who will work with us throughout the growing season and into the fall harvest. More info on a developing commercial-scale composting pilot project TBA at the event!

We're also teaming up on a larger annual promotion with the Recycling Council of Alberta and their Waste Reduction Week (Oct) and are happy to cross promote the great work the City of Red Deer is accomplishing with their Waste Reduction programs like the new curbside organics pick up pilot, residential backyard composting, and increase of eligible plastics in the successful Blue Box program!

We welcome everyone to join us for a special presentation about urban lumber recycling in Red Deer as Shawn Moore of Trimmed Line Tree Services tells us about how he and his team are turning tree waste into treasure! Check it out here - http://www.trimmedline.com/en/urban-logging.html

PLUS, we'll watch the 25-minute Global Oneness Project film, "What Would It Look Like?", and help brainstorm the weekly challenges we can run over the month of February... which is a leap-year in 2016!

 

"What Would It Look Like" synopsis:

"Increased global consumerism has vast environmental, economic, and social repercussions. Thought leaders across the globe investigate the unsustainable cultural values at the root of modern consumption."

Background: this film, shot in Ecuador, India, the Middle East, South Africa, and the U.S., provides perspectives from global thought leaders concerning the negative effects of consumerism and globalization. According to the Worldwatch Institute, the United States, with less than 5 percent of the global population, uses a quarter of the world's fossil fuel resources - burning up nearly 25 percent of the coal, 26 percent of the oil, and 27 percent of the world's natural gas - for mass production of goods and services.

Consumerism, the concept that an increasing consumption of goods is greatly beneficial to the economy was an intentional shift from product utility to desires. The origin of a consumer society as we know it today can be traced back to 18th century England. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the availability of consumer goods greatly increased and for the first time consumers could choose to purchase goods because they wanted to rather than out of need. The rapid expansion of the advertising industry in the 1920s - when American corporations began linking mass-produced goods to unconscious desires - dramatically changed patterns of consumption around the world. Automobiles, television sets, clothing, and household appliances became widely used to express cultural values, and began to take on meaning and shape lifestyles. Consequences of mass consumption include severe environmental degradation, conflict over limited resources, health issues, unsustainable personal debt, and more.


We'll have some prizes to give away and we'll give you an update on the upcoming events for ReThink Red Deer in 2016 including the EcoLiving Fair + Workshops (Repair Cafe and Seed Swap), free Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project workshops and field days, Garlicgalooza, and the Fall Harvest Supper!
 

Garbage-Free February Synopsis:
10 years ago, a single individual took up the challenge to try a garbage free existence for a month. From that first experiment in sustainable living, Garbage-Free February was born here in Red Deer.

Officially declared in the City of Red Deer by Mayor Morris Flewwelling in 2012, and renewed by Mayor Veer in 2015, it remains a yearly celebration of sustainable living. When thinking about Garbage-Free February, the Board of ReThink Red Deer recently decided it was time to ramp up this project and bring it to life for more Red Deerians - and 2016 is the 10th Anniversary!

For 2016, we're planning to team up with groups like Zero Waste Canada, the Recycling Council of Alberta (Waste Reduction Week), Peavey Industries (Car Recharging Stations), The City of Red Deer (Residential Composting Program), and Red Deer College (Green Campus), with plenty more to come!

We're also taking advantage of the 5th EcoLiving Fair in March by co-hosting a 2-day Repair Cafe with the Red Deer Public Library - www.repaircafe.org/en

The goal of this event is not to be completely free of garbage from the start but an invitation to begin the journey towards a sustainable future. Come explore ways to reduce our daily waste by finding and changing the little things that will add up to amazingly BIG things over time. If we work together and master the little things, we will find that "zero-waste" isn't as insurmountable as you might think.

We want to make this fun as well and something everyone from 1 to 100+ can be part of. We’ll be posting informative articles, tips, and videos to give ideas and food for thought on our Facebook event page. We also envision that participants will post and share their ideas, successes, and challenges to build community for long-term support and growth of the event.

ReThink Board Members will also be around to answer any questions that people may have. We are even looking at getting some prizes lined up… so stay tuned for that part as well as all of the 10th Anniversary details!

Join us won’t you???

Ditch that New Year's resolution and get on board with the Garbage-Free revolution!

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