March 1, 2019 News, Sustainability Tips

Are you thinking of getting rid of items that no longer ‘spark joy’? Are you trying to clear out some clutter as spring approaches?

Decreasing clutter in your home is a great practice and can simplify many aspects of your day-to-day life. However – it’s important to go about it the right way and tidy up responsibly. It can feel great to rid yourself of clutter or “junk”, but don’t get carried away! Decluttering is only effective if you don’t fill up your newly created space with new stuff.

Once you do decide what you would like to get rid of – It may be tempting to throw everything in a big black garbage bag, but there is a much better way to do it. It is a lot easier than you think to properly dispose of your items and put as few items as possible in the trash.

Clearing out the Closet

Check out Metro Vancouver’s latest waste reduction campaign: Think thrice about your clothes

Want to get the greatest value out of your clothing? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Think before you buy!
  • Does this item bring you joy? This is a question to ask BEFORE you purchase an item. Only buy an item of clothing if you know that you will love it (how it fits, how it looks) and will get plenty of use out of it.
  • Try your best not to make impulsive purchases.  Do you really need an item? If you haven’t thought about buying an item before you purchase it, most likely not.
Step 2: Can this item be repaired?

Did your favourite shirt lose a button? Did the zipper on your coat break? Before tossing these items, fix them! Don’t know the first thing about fixing clothes?

  • Ask a parent/grandparent/neighbour
  • Attend a local repair workshop

Local Upcoming Clothing Repair Workshops

Tuesday, March 12 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm): UBC Farm
Saturday, March 23 (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm): Vancouver Public Library –  Central Branch
Sunday, March 31 (10:00 am – 1:00 pm): Vancouver Public Library – Mount Pleasant Branch
Saturday, April 27 (11:00 am – 2:00 pm): Wesbrook Community Centre

For more information visit the UBC Farm website  and the Frameworq website

Step 3: Does this item still have unused potential?

Pass it on: Can one of your family or friends use this item?

This is a great (and often much appreciated!) way to extend the life of an item

Repurpose: Can you use it for something other than it’s originally intended purpose?

Why not cut up old clothes and use them as rags, instead of buying brand new cleaning clothes?

Donate it:

The UBC Free Store

The UBC Free Store accepts all usable items. All working household items, including appliances, clothes etc., can be dropped off at the UBC Free Store to be re-used by the UBC community.

The Green Depot

Almost EVERY clothes item is acceptable to donate! Clothing donations are made in support of the Developmental Disabilities Association. The clothing you donate may be reused as clothing or recycled to make wiping rags, re-spun fabric and other textile-based products.

Clothing and textiles you might not realize can be donated

Clothing with stains (as long as it’s clean!)
Odd socks and single shoes
Clothes with holes, tears, or in need of repair
Scraps of fabric

Clothing Waste Question: How often do you make impulsive purchases?

One way to ensure you only purchase what you need is to have a plan and keep to it. If you really want something, you can plan for it and buy it next time! This not only helps you to stick to a budget, but it also keeps you from buying something you don’t really want or need that ultimately ends up as unnecessary waste.

Keep it Seasonal

Don’t forget to choose local! Make sure to enjoy our region’s winter produce in this last month of cool weather.

Kale Rutabagas Onions
Parsnips Beans Beets
Cabbage Garlic Potatoes
Apples Turnips Mushrooms
Crab Clams Cod
Mussels Oysters Sablefish
Flounder Scallops Shrimp

Seasonal Foods Question: Do you have a favourite food that you can only get in certain seasons? What is it?

Waiting to enjoy a certain fruit or vegetable when it comes in season can allow us to more greatly appreciate our food. It’s also a chance to educate ourselves and our children about local agriculture and seasonal changes.

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