5 R’s of Waste Reduction: Reuse

5 R's of waste reduction continued

This week’s theme is the third of the 5 R’s of Waste Reduction: Reuse

Nearly everything we buy on a daily basis ends up in the garbage. Finishing its life in the landfill contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution to our waterways and natural spaces on land. By cutting our consumption, we are able to reduce our environmental impact on natural systems and contribute to a healthier, more resilient planet for all species.

How can we do that? Reuse! One of the best parts about reusing is the ability to save money.  We also save energy and natural resources needed to make a new product, conserving our natural systems. Reusing is easier than you think, and has even become a new trend – thrift shopping, antiquing, shopping for vintage clothes and furniture, clothing swaps and sales, online second-hand shopping and so much more!

Bike RepairMany times, reusing a product will also require you to do some repairing. This might take a bit of practice, but learning how to mend your own products can be really fun and is a great skill to have. If you need help, there are lots of repair cafes in the region, and even one right here on campus. Campus Tech is an authorized repair centre on campus for Apple, Lenovo, Fujitsu, and Toshiba. The service offers free consultations and services include replacing screens, hard drives and data transfers, and recovery so you can give your tech equipment a new lease on life!

Resources on campus

  • Eco-container: Purchase a reusable container at Food Service Outlets for $5 and receive 20 cent discount each time you use it. Exchange your container after each use to be cleaned for next time. More convenient and saving money, perfect!
  • Lug-A-Mug: Bring your reusable mug to any Food Services Outlet and get 20 cents off, or 10 cents at all of our franchise outlets on any hot beverage on campus
  • The Bike Shop: Repair your used bike, rent or buy a pre-loved bike on campus
  • SCI second hand clothing sale: Find the second hand clothing sale on campus each term providing affordable second hand clothing. More details about SCI can be found here. 
  • Feds used books: Give in your used text books and find pre-loved textbooks for your new term; alternatively, you can borrow a book from the library
  • Campus Tech: An on-campus service centre for technology equipment giving your electronics a longer life

At home

  • Return your beer bottles or cans to your nearest Beer Store or buy from local farms where you can return the packaging for re-use
  • Give unwanted toys and books to hospitals or schools
  • Put unwanted clothes in used clothing bins
  • Save wrapping paper and boxes to use again
  • Shop at second hand stores or use online trading websites to buy items that are unwanted by others
  • Make memo pads out of waste paper

Our Zero Waste Challenge is the perfect way to make use of these resources and try your hand at having a more ‘reusable’ lifestyle. We are challenging students, staff, and faculty to join us to go zero waste for a week. Simply pick up a jar, register online, collect your waste for the week, tell us how you did and you can win lots of exciting prizes! We also invite you to come to our open lecture about how to reduce your material footprint during our #WasteWeekUW activities and learn more about reusing.

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