These adorable comics are perfect for anyone trying to reduce waste

Waste Aware Animals balloons
© Mira Petrova (used with permission)

They show that the struggle is real, and you’re not alone.

Mira Petrova is an artist from Sofia, Bulgaria, who has been trying to live a zero-waste lifestyle for a long time. But like anyone who has tried it, she knows how hard it can be. Whether it’s because of one’s own mistakes or the frustrating limitations created by product designers or retailers, it is almost impossible to do away with waste completely.

Rather than get discouraged, Petrova has turned to art as a way to stay motivated. She creates delightful, engaging comic strips that illustrate the many situations in which she has found herself – dealing with mounds of non-recyclable wrapping paper and paper bills, wanting to pack a waste-free lunch, buying second-hand clothes for environmental reasons, refusing a plastic grocery bag at the store, turning down plastic straws over and over again, and trying to repair broken items to prevent them from going to landfill.

Her comics resonate with readers because we’ve all been in these situations before and know how it feels. The characters themselves are endearing – cute little cartoon animals featuring a Mr. and Mrs. Fox (styled after Petrova and her boyfriend) with other animal friends in a mostly urban environment. As Petrova told Bored Panda, “Who could possibly be a better inspiration for sustainable living?”Her message is not to give up! We might not become zero-waste celebrities with an entire year’s worth of trash in a single glass jar, but becoming “waste aware” is a huge step in the right direction. Keep plodding, push past the roadblocks that will inevitably crop up, and persistence will win the day. Now, sit back and enjoy a selection of my favorite comics, chosen from the Waste Aware Animals Instagram page with Petrova’s permission.

Waste Aware Animals carbon© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
Waste Aware Animals toothpaste© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
Waste Aware Animals shopping bag© Mira Petrova (used with permission)
waste Aware Animals furoshiki© Mira Petrova (used with permission)

You can see more Petrova’s wonderful work on Instagram or Facebook.

SOURCE

Five things you can do to minimize your post-holiday waste

No one needs a reminder that the holidays are just around the corner. But with everyone so focused on getting everything done ahead of the festive season, it can be easy to forget about making plans for once it’s all over. This is especially true in relation to the excessive post-holiday waste that comes with the season’s shopping, wrapping, eating, and decorating.

Thankfully, there are lots of ideas on Metro Vancouver’s  website to help people consume more thoughtfully over the holidays. And even after the festivities are over, there are a number of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, so that you minimize your post-holiday waste.

Jack Froese, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee Chair hopes that the campaign, now in its ninth year, will encourage residents to make at least one change this Christmas, so that they can create memories, not garbage.

Below is a list of some of the best approaches to ensure your pre- and post-holiday season is joyful, not wasteful.

Package away waste

More shopping means more packaging, which means more trash. But with a little bit of forethought you can still get through your gift list sustainably.

“I think part of the post-season garbage is created by so many people shopping online now,” Froese says. “Ordering your gifts means you’re getting cardboard boxes, foam peanuts, or bubble wrap and people might not realize what they can do with that.”

But the good news is that almost all packing material can be repurposed. Or if you’re looking to recycle, visit  or contact your municipality for further information about which items can be collected curbside and which are accepted at your nearest depot.

Tree-cycle

After the Christmas tree has relegated its star as the centerpiece of your décor, don’t throw it in the trash. After you’ve removed all the ornaments, visit  for recycling locations.

“Your municipality will also talk about tree-chipping events where you can bring in your Christmas tree and for a small donation, then they will cut it up for you,” Froese adds.

But he warns that a real tree with flocking, the artificial snow, on it cannot be composted.

“You might think that you’re being environmentally friendly because you’re getting a real tree, but if you cover it in fake snow then you can’t compost it and it’s garbage,” he says.

If you opt for an artificial tree, try to get one secondhand and store it properly so it can be used year after year. While they can be reused, you would have to use one for 20 years before it’s “greener” than a real tree.

Out with the old and in with the new

It can be tempting to start the New Year with a clear-out since you now have a pile of new items to replace the old ones. But that doesn’t mean you should be adding to your post-holiday waste.

Trashing old electronics can be dangerous for the environment, so think about donating or selling them. There are also depots, where they can be safely recycled.

When it comes to unwanted gifts, consider hosting a swap party. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, after all. If you receive something that you know a friend will love, then re-gift it. Anything else can be donated or sold through online sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

There’s always next year

Remember that Christmas comes around every year, so there are lots of items that can be reused again and again.

Small changes such as limiting your use of single-use wrapping paper by choosing eco-friendly options like newspaper or reusable bags can make a big difference long term. When possible, save any large pieces of wrapping paper for use the following year.

Keep any greeting card you receive for future crafts or use them as gift tags next Christmas. Most paper cards you use can be recycled, but watch out for glitter or plastic adornments, which can’t be added to your paper recycling.

When it comes to decorations, do yourself a favour and take the time to put them away properly. No one wants to open the box come December to find a ball of tangled lights and broken baubles. Make use of some of the surplus packaging you’ve received to protect your decorations. And wrap lights and tinsel around paper towel tubes or bottles so that they don’t get damaged and are easy to unravel next season. You’ll thank yourself later and so will Mother Nature.

New Year, no waste

If you’re hosting a New Year’s eve party, send e-invites instead of paper ones, which is not only more eco-friendly but will also ensure your card doesn’t get lost in the Christmas post.

Avoid the temptation of single-use decorations, dinnerware, and napkins and opt for reusable versions, which can be pulled out at parties for years to come.

Instead of cramming your fridge with Tupperware of full of food that will inevitably end up in the garbage, send your guests home with a plate and avoid the unnecessary trash.

Kick off the New Year as you mean to go on by making it your resolution to make the most of the holiday season—and beyond—without the waste. SOURCE

Green Party’s election climate plan gets top marks from municipalities

More than 200 municipal leaders have issued a “report card” on the federal parties’ climate platforms in hope of pushing Canada’s next government to better tackle the climate crisis’s impact on cities.

The Climate Caucus is a network of hundreds of Canadian mayors and city councillors working to limit global heating to 1.5 C, as recommended by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s.

On Wednesday, the organization released grades for each party’s climate change platform based on an assessment of their policies on transportation, buildings, waste, land use and adaptation.

The grades are as follows:

    • Conservatives: D-
    • Greens: A-
    • Liberals: B
    • NDP: B
    • People’s Party of Canada: F

“One of our main purposes as local governments is to challenge the provinces and federal government to do more on climate change,” Rik Logtenberg, a city councillor in Nelson, B.C., and co-founder of the Climate Caucus, said in an interview. “We have sympathy and understanding of the task at hand that others don’t. We understand that fighting climate change is complicated, especially if you’re trying to build a realistic climate platform. We understand that it’s difficult.”

According to UN Habitat, cities consume 78 per cent of the world’s energy, and produce more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, cities will be home to two-thirds of the world’s population.

“Our asks have a lot of weight, because these are specific things we need tomorrow. Cities are carrying a lot of the weight right now to mitigate climate change, so this report card is deeply grounded in the reality of today” – @riklogtenberg

In Canada, cities are on the frontline of the fight against the climate crisis, Logtenberg said. But receive just over 10 cents on the dollar of all taxes collected in Canada, 80 per cent of which goes directly toward providing services, operations and maintenance.

This means local governments have only 20 per cent of the tax dollars they receive to protect and preserve the majority of Canada’s infrastructure from climate change.

According to a recent report conducted by Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, avoiding the worst effects of climate change at the municipal level will cost an estimated $5.3 billion per year, shared among all three levels of government.

Whoever forms government Monday will have to work with the leaders on the ground dealing with the issues that best facilitate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“We, probably more than any other organization in Canada, are dealing with the impacts of climate change already,” Logtenberg said. “We’re actively working on rebuilding our transportation infrastructure. We’re rebuilding our building codes. We’re managing our municipal composting system with the intent of removing methane. We are dealing with the realities of climate change day to day.”

“Our asks have a lot of weight, because these are specific things we need tomorrow,” he added. “Cities are carrying a lot of the weight right now to mitigate climate change, so this report card is deeply grounded in the reality of today.” MORE