To waste, or waste not

Waste Not Winnipeg encouraging citizens to lead more sustainable lives

When Megan Redmond, 24, realized how wasteful some Winnipeggers had become she was inspired to make a change.

Not only did she want to make changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle herself, she wanted to create an approachable website to shed light on the ways you can make a difference as well.

Waste Not Winnipeg is a new website that launched on Feb. 11. The goal of the website (wastenotwpg.com) is to show young adults that living a more sustainable lifestyle is achievable and it starts with simple, everyday choices.

In her second year of creative communications at Red River College, Redmond and a classmate produced a short film about two young men who lived a very sustainable lifestyle - almost entirely off-the-grid - for a documentary class.

“It really made me think about how we have become so comfortable throwing things away that it has become the accepted norm and we don’t really think twice about it,” Redmond says. “Once I acknowledged that, I realized there is a lot we can do on an individual level to create change.”

Making better consumer choices requires a lot of effort and commitment, but when you break it down it is achievable. Waste Not Winnipeg is an avenue to help give you ideas by providing inspiring stories from creative and sustainable thinkers.

The online community Redmond has created features people, places and events, making it accessible for everyone to take part in a more sustainable lifestyle, and on a larger scale create a positive impact on our community.

Individuals featured on the website include Sheena Crookes and Danielle Nykoluk who share their stories of wasting less. Crookes makes jewelry from discarded skateboards and Nykoluk educates people about sustainable diets, incorporating ancient food practices and buying local produce.

Waste Not Winnipeg held its first event, Stuff Swap, on Sun., March 15. The event was comparable to a huge, free garage sale.

Redmond aims to build a sense of sharing within the community and with that goal in mind, and spring-cleaning coming up, she created the Stuff Swap. It was an opportunity for people to drop off items they no longer needed and maybe pick up something “new.”

Chrissy Brown was asked to showcase her musical talents as entertainment for the Stuff Swap.

“I've always been one to waste less and recycle as much as possible. At one of my old jobs we didn't have a recycling bin, so I used to take home all the recyclables to my own bin every week,” she says. “I'm really excited to play at an event like the Stuff Swap because this issue means something to me.”

For Redmond, helping others make the switch to a lifestyle of less waste is a rewarding feeling.

“It makes me happy knowing that I can have a positive impact on the environment and the community,” she says. “I want to inspire young adults and show them that any small changes they make are better than no changes at all.”

Check out Waste Not Winnipeg on Facebook.

Published in Volume 69, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 18, 2015)

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