Have you met Waste Reduction Week in Canada’s mascot Atlas? You know, the guy that carries the world on his shoulders. For thousands of years, Atlas has been happy to shoulder the burdens of the earth, but the amount of waste we produce makes his job even harder.

We’re providing 5 tips to help Chilliwack residents (and staff!) do their part to help ease Atlas’ load. It’s easy - Spread the word!

1. Green Your Halloween
Adults often spend more on costumes for themselves than they do for their kids. This year, instead of hitting the nearest Halloween superstore, get creative with what’s on hand. A homemade costume will cut down on waste and avoid harmful toxins like PVC, found in some store-bought costumes.

2. Eat Locally & Seasonally
Eating locally grown food reduces the carbon costs of packaging and shipping to the consumer. Stick to what’s in season to ensure the ingredients are travelling shorter distances (they’ll often taste much fresher too!)

3. Be Take-out Savvy
To be really ‘green’, you should cook at home with local, preferably organic ingredients. But when that’s not possible, cut the extra waste when you order takeout.  Next time you order, decline the paper napkins, the condiment packets, and the plastic utensils. When ordering your favourite hot beverage – bring your own mug! Most places now even offer a discount for being ecofriendly in this manner.

4. Say No to Bottled Water (and that includes the water cooler!) 
Manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of plastic water bottles consumes vast quantities of oil. What’s more, the manufacturing of plastic bottles actually uses twice as much water as the bottles actually contain. Also, many bottles still end up in our landfill even though they can be recycled at bottle depots or through our curbside recycling program. Let’s reduce excess waste by saying no to bottled water!

5. Change Your Bulbs
We’re talking about lightbulbs! Compact fluorescent lightbulbs use 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, and they're recyclable as well! All residential fluorescents (including the CFL bulbs) can be dropped off at our local Canadian Tire or London Drugs for recycling. Don’t put them in the garbage or the curbside recycling please!