Emily Green 171.50sc

Emily Green

Emily Green's activity stream

  • endorsed 2014-07-05 12:47:53 -0400
    I don’t have any old electronics to dispose of right now and my boyfriend likes to keep his old electronics and cell phones (I’ve actually kept both of my previous cell phones too). However, my dad has a spot in our basement where he stores old electronics, so whenever I find any old CDs or cables etc, I bring them home and a few times a year my dad brings all the stuff to be recycled.

    Challenge 10 - Send your Electronics to a Better Place

    Send your Electronics to a Better Place e-waste_in_the_truck_smaller.jpg

    Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a growing problem in Canada. It includes computers, cell phones (and their cables and batteries), TVs, printers, stereos and speakers. The heavy metals, flame retardants and rare minerals in e-waste can be extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Some estimate that e-waste only makes up 4% of the waste stream, but it accounts for 70% of the toxic pollution in our landfills.

    The best thing is to keep e-waste out of landfill. Repair your old electronics if you can still use them, or donate or sell them to someone who can use them. But if it’s definitely not fix-able, send your e-waste to be safely recycled by the City.


    • Repair, reuse or recycle your old electronics. Upload a photo in the comments below and tell us about it!

    How to recycle your e-waste

    • If you live in a house, just set out your e-waste on garbage day. Use the green bag delivered with your waste calendar, or put the waste in a box by the curb (best to put out a number of things at once).

    • If you live in an apartment or condo, talk with your building manager about getting an e-waste collection spot for the whole building. When it's full, they just call the City for collection.

    Did you recycle or reuse your old electroncis? Send us a photo and tell us about it below!


  • endorsed 2014-07-05 12:37:18 -0400
    Today I dropped off old air freshener, a 9 volt battery and old hair products at a Community Environment Day.

    This week instead of buying “Draino” I bought baking soda and vinegar to unclog my bathroom drains.

    Challenge 9 - Tackle Toxic Trash

    CEDay_Ward19_Haz_Waste_Paint-cropped-sm.jpgTackle Toxic Trash

    Certain types of waste can't go in the garbage or recycling bin because they contain toxic ingredients that can harm the environment or human health. This type of special waste needs to be sorted and sent to the right place so it can be recycled properly.

    Special waste includes batteries, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and fluorescent tubes, medication, paint, oil, nail polish and cleaning products (anything with a 'hazard' symbol). Read the full list on the City website.


    • Create a space in your home to store this. Choose a safe place away from kids and pets and keep all products in their original containers. Make a sign and let everyone in your household know about it.

    • If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager to create a Special Waste drop off spot. They can call the City to collect it.
    • Upload a photo of your waste collection spot in the comments below.


    Where to recycle your hazardous and special waste:

    • Residents can drop off special waste free at any of the 7 City waste Drop-off depots.

    • If you've got a lot of special waste, the Toxic Taxi can come right to your door to collect special waste for free. You need the equivalent of 10 litres of hazardous waste (about 2 and half paint cans).  Call 311 or fill out an online request.

    • If you live in an apartment, talk to your Property Manager about arranging a collection day for the whole building


    Take the extra step:
    Find ways to reduce the special and hazardous waste in your home. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. Or make non-toxic cleaners that are safer for you and the environment.  See recipes in Section 8 of TEA's Toxics Reduction Tool Kit.


  • endorsed 2014-07-14 18:48:08 -0400
    Just sent an email to Dufferin Mall to suggest bringing green bins into the food court and washrooms. See below:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My name is Emily Bruch and I am a Dufferin Mall customer. I am contacting you today to suggest that you bring Green Bins into the mall to dispose of organic waste, which includes food as well as soiled paper products (napkins, paper towels, etc), diapers and feminine hygiene products. Green Bins would be very useful to have in the Food Court as well as the washrooms. This would be a great “green” initiative which would help to further modernize the mall and also attract more customers, since the environment is a very important issue to many Torontonians and many residents in the Dufferin Mall neighbourhood.

    Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste. If more Toronto buildings offered green bins, we would have a lot less garbage!

    Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

    Please bring green bin collection to our mall, so that we can start reducing waste.

    Please feel free to contact me at (phone number).


    Emily Bruch


    Sent email below to my friend’s apartment building:

    “I regularly visit your building as my friend is a resident. I’ve noticed your green efforts such as your green roof and am contacting you on behalf of the Toronto Environmental Alliance today. We are currently promoting Toronto’s Waste-Free Challenge and are asking apartment buildings to help reduce waste by getting green bins for their residents.

    Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste.

    Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

    Please bring green bin collection to (apartment name), so that we can start reducing waste.


    Emily Bruch

    Toronto Environmental Alliance Volunteer"

    Brought green bin into my church kitchen, and now washrooms as well. Recently emailed manager at work about updating waste facilities at our music school and will keep trying to follow up with her, as she said she is very busy right now. See message I sent: “…Also just wanted to mention something I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been doing a lot of environmental volunteer work this past year, and I was thinking I could help lead Merriam in becoming more Eco friendly, by helping update the recycling facilities and maybe getting green bins. I know Merriam has been working hard on updating the building and I think updating our waste management would help to further modernize the school. The first steps would be as simple as updated signage and more recycling bins. If there’s someone else I should contact about this let me know! Thanks, Emily”

    Challenge 7 - Grow Green Bins

    Food-by-Szczel-cropped-400kb.jpgHelp Grow Green Bins

    One of the biggest types of waste is organic waste - this includes food waste and other things that can be composted, like tissues. However, many Torontonians just don’t have green bins. A large number of people who live in apartments and condos don’t have access to green bins. Many schools, small businesses and community centres across the City also don’t have green bins. That means thousands of tonnes of food waste are going to landfill.

    The good news is that the City offers green bins to every apartment, business, school and building that the City collects waste from. 


    • Help bring green bins to more Toronto buildings. Call or email the building manager of your apartment, school or community centre to let them know that you'd like green bins for the building.

    • If you have green bins at home, think about community centres, businesses and other places you go that don't have green bins, but should. Write to the relevant property manager, or call your Councillor.

    Make a phone call, or use our suggestions below to send a letter to your building manager. 


    Dear (INSERT NAME of relevant property manager for your apartment, school, temple, etc),

    INSERT PERSONAL STATEMENT - e.g. "I live in this building." Or "I attend this school." Or "I use this Community Centre for weekly classes."

    Food waste is the largest single type of waste in our garbage. Toronto studies found that up to 70% of garbage from residents in apartments is food waste.

    Organic waste collection, or green bins, can greatly reduce waste, recycling valuable nutrients back into the soil. With City of Toronto collection, green bin pick up is free, which also means lower waste bills.

    Please bring green bin collection to our  APARTMENT / CONDO / SCHOOL / COMMUNITY building, so that we can start reducing waste.




    Take the extra step:
    Start a backyard composter, or set up a worm composter on your balcony or at your office!



  • commented on 6 - Buy Recycled 2014-05-28 07:50:25 -0400
    100% recycled toilet paper is very common now so very easy to find! Same with recycled printer paper. Look for the Eco logo and Rainforest logo. It’s usually the slightly higher price that prevents people from buying recycled products… But I think it’s worth the extra buck to know that I’m having less of an impact on the Earth. It just seems like the right thing to do. Everyone’s just used to looking for the absolute cheapest price! But sometimes there’s a reason for things being super cheap…and I have a feeling it’s not pretty.

    I’m getting my church to look into recycled paper products and unfortunately it’s the higher price that prevents them from ordering them.

    Some people don’t think cutting down trees is a problem because we can replant. They say trees are a renewable resource… How can I convince people that buying recycled products and reusing materials is important?

  • commented on Standardize what 'compostable' plastic is! 2014-05-28 06:56:58 -0400
    I heard about this! Is there a brand that you recommend that is actually organic material? Do the regular grocery store brands just break down into plastic flakes?

  • endorsed 2014-05-20 10:13:55 -0400
    Bought bread at Trinity Bellwoods farmers market and brought my own milk bag to put it in! #reuse I always use reusable produce bags (found at metro or whole foods) for veggies and fruit and bulk stores to avoid the plastic bags. Found frozen fruit (Stahlbush) that comes in biodegradable packaging! Available at Essence of Life natural food store in Kensington Market and West End Food Coop store. #packaging

    Challenge 8 - Send Packaging Packing

    Mushrooms_bulk_vs_packaged_-_EAlfred.jpgSend Your Packaging Packing

    Too much packaging, wrapping, padding and stuffing comes with most products today. Most of it isn't necessary and is really just a way for companies to advertise. The worst part is that a lot of packaging isn't recyclable in your Blue Box!

    Take a look at the things you buy - is there an alternative with less packaging or recyclable packaging?

    For example, you can buy food in bulk stores to avoid food packaging.


    • Avoid products with excessive packaging, or non-recyclable packaging, or Change what you buy to avoid packaging and tell us about it

    • Snap a photo and share your story


    Take the extra step:
    Sign our petition to ask companies to stop using non-recyclable materials and to stop offloading the cost of disposal to cities. Click here to sign the petition.

    Read TEA's report on how companies can take responsibility for their product and packagin waste, including great examples of Ontario companies that are already doing it!

    Buying food in Bulk


  • signed Packaging Petition 2014-05-13 22:12:23 -0400

    Packaging Petition

    Companies that sell products have a choice about the type and amount of packaging they use on their products.

    Many states and countries are creating rules that make these companies responsible for their products and packaging, even after they leave the store. This gives companies a reason to use less packaging and to ensure that it's recyclable. In Ontario, we've made a start, but companies need to do more.

    251 signatures

    Dear The Packaging Association of Canada (PAC), 

    As the organization that calls itself "the voice of the Canadian packaging industry since 1950," your members are mostly responsible for the products and packaging that end up in municipal waste systems.

    We urge your member companies to take responsibility for the packaging waste they create. That's why I am requesting your member companies to:

    a. stop using non-recyclable materials to make packaging.
    b. pay back municipalities for the full costs of dealing with packaging once it ends up in the waste or recycling stream.



    Add signature

  • endorsed 2014-05-12 13:59:59 -0400
    One grocery bag every 2 weeks.

    Challenge 2 - Measure Your Waste

    Knowing how much waste you produce will help you identify how it can be reduced!

    • Use Tool #1 OR Tool #2 below to calculate the approximate garbage your household creates in a year.
    • Enter your calculated household waste per year in the comment box below to complete the challenge.

  • answered 2014-05-12 13:35:57 -0400
    Q: 4 - What do you hope to get from the Waste Free Challenge?
    A: Challenge myself to continue to reduce waste, find new ways to reduce waste and share my experiences and ideas with others!

    Challenge 1 - Waste Free Survey

    The Waste Free Challenge is 10 simple steps that anyone in Toronto can take.
    Tell us about you, and why you are taking the Challenge!

    Take the survey

  • endorsed via 2014-05-05 14:15:52 -0400
    Recently bought 100% recycled printer paper, and also found 100% recycled aluminum foil at Whole Foods. Always buy 100% recycled toilet paper (I do wish it didn’t come in that plastic packaging though!).

    Challenge 6 - Buy Recycled


    Buy Recycled

    Buying recycled products is another way to reduce waste. Recycled materials don’t use as many raw materials and natural resources. They also use less water and save energy. Recycled products also help keep the green recycling economy thriving.

    Recycled content is used for many products:

    • office or school supplies (paper, pens and printing cartridges)
    • home supplies (paint, storage bins and garbage bags)
    • clothing or reusable bags made with plastic fibres

    Choosing paper made from 100% recycled paper instead of trees uses 50% less water and energy - and it saves trees!


    • If you’re buying new products, choose something that is made of recycled materials. Aim for 100% post-consumer recycled content.
    • Share a photo or tell us about it

    Take the extra step:
    Write to a company that you buy from and ask them to include more recycled content in their products.


  • commented on 5 - How do you Re-Use? 2014-05-28 07:18:03 -0400
    Bringing Tupperware and a reusable bag to take-out restaurants is also something fun to try!

  • endorsed via 2014-05-20 10:19:53 -0400
    I stopped buying tissue boxes and paper towel awhile ago. I’ve now been using handkerchiefs and reusable napkins and cloths. I always use a reusable bag. It’s been a very long time since I’ve said yes to a plastic bag at a store. I actually feel weird now if I ever have to carry a plastic bag, because I’m just not used to it anymore. I now have a compact reusable bag that I keep in my purse so I don’t ever have to worry about forgetting my bag.

    Challenge 5 - Choose to Re-use

    Choose to Re-Use!

    It's the small things that add up. One coffee cup or one bottle of water doesn't seem like much. Now, think about how full a garbage can would be with 250 single use coffee cups, one for every work day in the year?

    Now imagine if just 10% of Torontonians (250,000 people) used throw-away cups and water bottles: it would be a nightmare of unnecessary waste!

    But if you choose reusables, like a refillable water bottle, or a travel mug, you can help eliminate this nightmare. You save money and you help the environment (bottled water costs so much more than tap water, and Toronto's tap water is some of the cleanest in the world).


    • Get a refillable water bottle and reusable travel mug and commit to carrying them with you. Or, if you're having a coffee or tea at a cafe, ask them to put it in a reusable mug instead of a disposable cup.

    • Snap a photo of yourself using your refillable water bottle or mug and share it with us below.

    Take the extra step:
    If you already carry a mug and water bottle, choose a reusable to replace another disposable product in your life - for example using lunch containers instead of disposable bags, or carrying reusable cutlery to use when you get take-out food. Tell us about it and share a photo.


  • endorsed via 2014-05-14 12:01:10 -0400
    I was going to buy a new soap dispenser but decided to try to find an old one at my parents’ house instead, which I did! It’s as good as new :) I admit that I am (well used to be!) a shopper. But with help from the Waste Free Challenge I am now challenging myself to only buy second hand or just not buy at all. If I need to get my shopping fix, I just go to Value Village, which has become my new fave store. I also always donate any old items I don’t need to Value Village or Salvation Army, or H&M accepts clothing in any condition so the materials can still be used for other purposes, even if it’s ripped or stained! Other than gifts for friends/family, I think the only new item I’ve bought in the past month is a compact reusable bag that fits in my purse and has come in very handy for reducing waste! By not buying new things, not only will I have less stuff (I already have a lot of stuff!), but I will also save money and most importantly reduce my impact on the planet.

    Challenge 4 - Think Twice Before You Buy

    Mending-Robert-Donovan-cropped-400kb.jpgThink Twice Before You Buy!

    Did you know that you can help the environment and reduce waste by simply not buying something? By repairing, sharing, swapping or re-using things, you can avoid wasteful packaging and avoid sending more things to landfill - and you’ll probably save money.

    We can buy less, share things, or buy second-hand things to reduce the waste impact of what we own.

    This includes things like borrowing a book from the library, or sharing tools with a neighbour instead of buying your own. You can also buy second hand clothing or donate your old furniture to a charitable store.


    • Instead of buying something new, reconsider it – borrow it from a friend, or rent it instead. Or, if you really need your own, buy it second hand. Share a photo and tell us about it!
    • Instead of throwing out something you don’t use anymore, donate or sell it to someone who could use it. Tell us about it! The City of Toronto website lists local non-profit groups that accept donations of used goods.


    Take the extra step:
    Repair it! Instead of tossing something out, get it repaired, or learn to maintain it yourself so it lasts longer. Mend your clothes, or get them altered by a tailor. Tell us about your repair adventure and snap a photo!


  • endorsed via 2014-05-14 11:41:10 -0400
    Update: happy to discover cookie trays can be recycled! (and hopefully chocolate trays fit into that category too).

    I discovered the Waste Wizard about a year ago and with its help and the help of the Toronto website, I have now become quite the waste sorting pro. Whenever I am unsure where something goes, I use the Waste Wizard. Recently found out pudding cups can be recycled in Toronto. Yay! :) I’ll try to keep sharing it with more people I know in Toronto. It’s a fast and handy way to find out where something goes.

    Challenge 3 - Use Toronto's Trash Tools

    Screenshot of Waste WizardUse Toronto’s Trash Tools

    Did you know that in Toronto, more than half of what residents are putting into their garbage bag shouldn't be there? Much of what is put out as garbage can actually be recycled or composted.

    There is a lot to learn about Toronto’s waste, and how we can reduce it.

    The good news is that the City has a number of user-friendly tools to help you put your waste in the right place!


    • Visit toronto.ca/wastewizard and bookmark the Waste Wizard, a simple online search tool to identify where to put your waste.
    • The free City waste calendar lists waste collection days and each month features a number of tips on how to sort your waste - if you didn’t get one, order one now by calling 311 or send an email to 311@toronto.ca and ask for a Waste Calendar.

    Tip:  See "What Goes Where" on City of Toronto website for links to information on how to sort and set out your waste.


    Take the extra step:
    If you already use the City tools above, share these links with a friend, or a family member.