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May 29th, 2024

Green Corner: Small changes, big impact!  

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When it comes to waste reduction, we all must do our part. It helps save money, it’s good for the environment, and it helps keep our space clean! Reducing our waste can be as easy as bringing our reusable bags when we go shopping or finding new uses for things like a cookie tin as a sewing kit. 

Fixing items before buying something new also helps reduce waste! Drop in at the next Repair Café on Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Ray Friel Recreation Complex – Fallingbrook room (1585 Tenth Line Road) to have one household item repaired for free. Volunteer fixers and menders will repair electronics, clothing, small appliances, jewelry, and more! Visit for more information.  

Here are more simple tips to reduce waste by following the 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. 


  • Buy less. 
  • Create a shopping list before hitting the grocery stores, and stick to what you really need. 
  • Instead of using coffee pods, try making coffee or tea traditionally. 
  • Choose to go paperless for your bills, receipts & documents. 


  • Plan weekly meals to reduce food waste. 
  • Take inventory of your fridge and pantry so you are mindful of foods and leftovers that need to be eaten soon. 
  • Use reusable cutlery, dishes and glassware. 
  • Use reusable bags, bottles, cups and containers while out and about. 


  • Give your household items and furniture a second life by donating them to thrift stores or local charities. 
  • Regift things you don’t need or swap them with others. 
  • Keep boxes and shipping materials like bubble wrap for the next time you need to mail a parcel. 
  • Save gift wrap and bags for another occasion. 


  • Use empty glass mason jars as vases, candle jars or to store food in. 
  • Good at sewing? Upcycle and turn any bland piece of clothing into an eye-catcher or turn old clothes into household rags to replace paper towels. 
  • Make bird feeders out of plastic bottles or milk cartons. 
  • Save and wash empty containers like yogurt containers or ice cream containers to use as household kitchenware. 


  • Participate in the city’s recycling and composting programs to help divert waste from landfills. 
  • Check out the City of Ottawa’s Waste Explorer to find out how to dispose of your household items properly. 
  • Most household items can be taken back for reuse or recycling to retailers in Ottawa! Visit the Waster Explorer to find a retailer near you. 

How can you reduce waste at home? Visit for more tips!