July 9, 2002, TORONTO - The current strike by Toronto municipal workers has emphasized the importance of efficient garbage disposal. It has also highlighted the need for our species to significantly reduce our garbage.
"Garbage is something that we tend to take for granted," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "Once we put our garbage in bags and take it to the curb we forget about it. We have little idea of how much garbage we create as individuals, as a community, where it goes and how it impacts the environment."
Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director and Toronto resident, realizes that while people’s garbage woes are put in the spotlight when a strike occurs, it goes far beyond that.
"We’re running out of places to put our garbage and the environment and other species are suffering due to our disposable, throw-away society," states O’Sullivan.
"As individuals we need to significantly reduce the garbage that we produce. Companies must also get involved," continues O’Sullivan. "They could make a significant impact on reducing waste by not selling products that are over packaged and offering incentives for people to use their own reusable cotton shopping bags."
To help people reduce their trash, the Humane Society of Canada offers the following suggestions.
- COMPOST! You can significantly reduce your trash, and get valuable soil, by composting fruit and vegetable waste. Leaves and grass clippings can also be composted.
- Don’t buy products that are over packaged. Write to companies that do use too much packaging and ask them to package their products in a more environmentally friendly manner.
- Use reusable cotton shopping bags. Ask store managers to consider offering incentives to those who use their own shopping bags.
- When possible, buy in bulk.
- Use travel mugs when buying coffee and tea when traveling.
- Buy quality products that will last.
- Eliminate or reduce your use of disposable items.
- Cut up items that can harm animals, like plastic 6-pack rings, before putting them in the garbage.
- Educate others about how they can reduce the garbage they create.
CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280
[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
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