Tuesday, 23 January 2018

2018 Reuse Resolutions

Happy 2018! With another year, comes another list of resolutions. You may have committed to some resolutions that are still going strong, or your resolutions may already be nonexistent. In any case, there's still time to take action this year, especially with regards to reuse. Let's change our waste habits together in order to produce less waste in 2018. Who's up for the challenge?

To get started, here are some simple reuse resolutions that you could commit to this year.

1. Be a reuse champion in the kitchen

We often transport our food or store away leftovers in the fridge. These are great habits; yet, how can we make these habits even more sustainable? One way is to remove disposable packaging materials such as plastic wrap, plastic bags, disposable containers or any other 10 Disposables to Ditch from your Kitchen. You may not choose to eliminate them all at once, but removing one kitchen disposable at a time can decrease your waste. Then, add in reusable products such as reusable containers, reusable snack bags, reusable wrap or even just start reusing your yogurt containers.

Want to go one step further? Start bringing your reusable containers to restaurants and other events where there might be food. Package up your leftovers in reusable containers, while encouraging others to do the same next time.

2. Rethink the free swag

It can be hard to resist something that is free: lanyards, stress balls, pens, notebooks, magnets, buttons and other trinkets. You can accumulate a lot of free swag, but do you ever use it? Not always. It is definitely great to repurpose free furniture and eat free food, but maybe let's slow down on all the free swag. Stop to think -- will I use it? If not, leave it for someone else who might really need it.

3. Bring out the reusable grocery bags

How many times do you go shopping and forget to bring your reusable grocery bags? With more and more grocery stores charging a fee for plastic bags, it is also a cost savings solution to bring your own reusable bags. Stash them in your vehicle or hang them on your doorknob to grab them on your way out of the house. 

Want to go one step further? Invest in reusable produce bags or make your own DIY produce bags. Use them at the grocery store, instead of disposable plastic bags. Or just grab your produce, without a bag!

Source: Wellness Mama

4. Borrow instead of buy

As consumers, we are prone to buying new items whenever we see a need. It can sometimes be the easiest and simplest solution; yet, definitely not the most cost effective nor sustainable option. This year, before making a purchase, look at other lending option beforehand.

For example, head to an Edmonton Public Library to borrow books instead of buying new, check out Edmonton's Tool Library to rent tools for your next project or even reach out to a friend to borrow a dress for a special occasion. You would be surprised how many people are willing to lend out their things. Or you could even organize swaps in your community such as clothing swaps, baby item swaps or even tool swaps.

5. Box up those Reuse Centre donations

In order to reuse waste in your home this year, why not commit to the goal of bringing your accepted items to the Reuse Centre. To make this happen, find a box, label it, attach the Reuse Centre accepted items list and place it near your other waste containers (garbage, recycle, Eco Station).

One of the best ways to create a change of habit is to make a resolution simple and accessible, while also having a visual reminder. Therefore, the first step of creating a purposeful Reuse Centre donation box will get you on the right track. Need help sorting your waste? Don't forget about the WasteWise app which can help you learn what goes to the Reuse Centre and what goes to the other waste streams.
Source: CBC Edmonton

Have some other reuse resolution for 2018? Share them in the comments below!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

DIY Vision Boards: Making Your Dreams a Reality in 2018

Every December, nearly all of us make New Year's resolutions with the best of intentions - maybe you want to eat healthier and start exercising more, or get out of debt and start saving money. A new year means new possibilities and opportunities; but, by February most of us have already lost sight of our often lofty goals. Unfortunately, only 8% of us will stick to our New Year's resolutions and accomplish our goals by the end of the year.

How can we increase our chances of achieving our resolutions and stay focused on our goals all year long? Cue vision boards! Visualization techniques are incredibly powerful mind exercises that have been helping professional athletes increase performance for years. By creating a vision board that legitimizes your goals and aspirations, you create a sacred space for your hopes and dreams that will help keep you focused on your resolutions all year long.

Here at the Reuse Centre, we are always looking for ways to reduce our waste and lessen our impact on the environment. Follow the steps below and create your own vision board for 2018!

1. Set your goals before you start

Even before you pick up a thumbtack or a pair of scissors, take some time to focus on what you want to accomplish over the next year. Reflect on your achievements from 2017 and visualize the direction you'd like to go in 2018. What would you like to change about yourself? Are there areas in your life that you would like to improve? Successful vision boards focus not only on material things, but also how you want to feel. Once you have a clear vision, you can start building your board!

Source: Louise Gale

2. Choose a base and gather materials

There are so many amazing vision board ideas out there! A quick search on Pinterest will deliver endless ideas and possibilities for designing your board. You can choose to keep it simple and fluid with thumbtacks and a cork board, or you can create something more permanent with a specific flow of ideas on a poster board. Personally, I really like the designs that feature goals and aspirations radiating outward from a central point, but the choice is yours!

Source: Happy Soiree

Once you decide on an overall design or theme, start gathering your materials. The sky is the limit! You can include personal photos, inspirational quotes, daily mantras, magazine clippings, art or doodles you've created, bucket lists or literally anything else that speaks to you. Try to keep your visions as clear and concise as possible to help you stay on track. Here at the Reuse Centre, I used a variety of magazine cuttings, paper scraps and letter tiles to create the foundation for my vision board:

Laura's vision board in progress
Source: City of Edmonton

3. Make it your own!

After you've added the bulk of all of your goals and aspirations, feel free to add details to make your board come to life! Experiment with 3D elements and don't be afraid to use different colours, patterns or textures. I used a variety of materials found at the Reuse Centre, including calendar photos, burlap, artificial flowers, puzzle pieces, sequins and bottle caps to finish off my board:

Laura's vision board details
Source: City of Edmonton

4. Put it on display

After you've finished your board, place it in a visible area where you will interact with it every day. This could be your office at work, your room, your kitchen or anywhere else that you could use some inspiration. Take a few moments each day to focus on the goals you have laid out for yourself in order to keep your resolutions in check. Check out a few more examples, including my finished one!

Source: Instagram

Laura's finished vision board
Source: City of Edmonton

Want to make 2018 your best year? The Reuse Centre will be hosting a free DIY Vision Boards workshop on Saturday January 20, 2018. Drop-in anytime between 1-3pm to create your own board with repurposed and reusable materials.

Have you made your own vision board before? Tell us about it in the comments below.