Did you know that October 17th-23rd is Waste Reduction Week in Canada? I didn’t until yesterday when I happened to be walking through the Students’ Union Building on campus and came across a display. Municipalities can declare the week in their town or city, schools and businesses can register to participate, and of course we as individuals can do our part. Looks like Edmonton proclaimed the week last year.
There isn’t much on their website about the event or it’s history, so I don’t really know that much about it. You can however check the website for events and activities. They’ve also got some activities you can do yourself, like the Home Waste Audit and the Ecological Footprint Survey.
With almost perfect timing, an article in today’s Edmonton Journal gave an idea of where Canada ranks in the world on waste and energy use:
Canada’s environmental performance ranks almost dead last among major industrialized countries, according to a sweeping new study. The report, prepared by Simon Fraser University and published Tuesday by the David Suzuki Foundation, puts Canada 28th among 30 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Researchers looked at 29 environmental indicators to make their determinations, placing Canada 26th or lower in 12 categories. It ranked Canada dead last in the production of nuclear waste, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds. It was 29th in per-capita water consumption, sulphur oxide emissions and energy use.
Basically, we’re not doing that well in terms of reducing waste! The United States finished last, and Turkey finished first, with Switzerland and Denmark in second and third. Some other interesting things to note from the article:
- Canada did not finish first in any environmental performance category and got failing grades in 24 of 29 indicators.
- Its best ranking was second in the volume of timber harvested per square kilometre and fifth in the ratio of timber harvest to forest growth.
- Canada has not improved its environmental performance relative to other OECD countries since 1992, when it was also 28th.
On that note, Happy Waste Reduction Week!
Read: Waste Reduction Week