Minimal Waste Challenge January Reflection
By Tiana Mae Piva
I am extremely passionate about environmental sustainability. Since we only get one Earth, my mission is to ensure it stays just as beautiful for generations to come. Because of this, when planning new initiatives with Rotaract, the environment is often at the forefront of my mind.
I was very excited when I had the opportunity to lead a Minimal Waste Challenge to educate our team and encourage sustainable choices.
Here are some stats that motivated the Minimal Waste initiative:
Question: Guess how many disposable coffee cups are used EVERY DAY in Toronto?
Answer: 1 Million!
This number is startling alone, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Since the 1950s, approximately 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide and only 9% of that has been recycled. In Ontario, about 11.5 million tonnes were generated in 2014 alone. That’s nearly a tonne of waste per person every year!
It’s clear that something has to change and that change starts with us!
January 14th, 2019 marked the launch of the Rotaract Club of Toronto’s first Minimal Waste Challenge. With the goal of making 2019 a year of less waste and more sustainability, club members rung in the new year with the Minimal Waste kickoff meeting.
In addition to launching the Minimal Waste Challenge, we also were proud to host Sophi Robertson: The Zero Waste Event Manager at the Toronto Tool Library, sustainability speaker and Zero-Waste influencer (follow her @yourecofriend on Instagram). In the meeting, Sophi inspired members by sharing the story of her Zero Waste journey since 2016, along with simple tips to minimize waste and live more sustainably. The biggest takeaway from Sophi’s talk was how much impact each of us has on the environment and how simple changes can really make a difference.
Since that meeting, Rotaractors have been inspired to make a change. Countless members have approached me boasting how the Minimal Waste kickoff changed their perspective on waste and has encouraged them to make meaningful changes in their habits! It’s incredible to see just how much one person’s passion can cause a ripple effect of change.
Minimal waste is a movement where everyone can make simple changes that have large impacts. No matter how small the action is, it's a step in the right direction. It's not about perfection - it's about making better choices.
If you’re reading this and would like to join the Minimal Waste movement, be sure to join the community at our FB event and checkout the Minimal Waste Challenge Signup & Goals form for some inspiration on how you can make a difference!