This week someone tweeted a totally awesome article about how the largest contributor to climate change was the manufacture of goods. The article had a wicked pie chart which showed that buying less stuff would reduce our global climate footprint more than any other measure (e.g. if we all bought energy efficient appliances).
It was such a great article. But I forgot to favourite it and now it is lost in the Twitter abyss. Unless anyone smarter than me favourited it and could send it to me? :)
In any case, what I really want to talk about are some very cool initiatives here in the Ottawa area that are helping people buy less stuff. They are both part of a great 'keep stuff out of the trash by resuing it' model. It's a model that works and that could and should be used more in Ottawa (both these initiatives are in communities just outside Ottawa - would be great to have something in the city centre).
First there is the re-use centre in MacDonald's Corners (800 10th Con Dalhousie) which collects perfectly functioning stuff in a 'store-like' centre that anyone can visit and take stuff away for free! It's similar to the Freecyle/Full Circles concept except this is a store that you can browse around and doesn't require having access to the interweb. It's open 3 days a week (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).
Second there is the Wakefield Dish Lending Library. This library opened only last weekend and is currently collecting gently used, uncracked, unchipped, non-aluminum (and of course, non-plastic) dishes, cutlery and glassware. These items will then be made available to community residents to borrow for events so as to avoid using disposable items. It looks like the library is being run by the Wakefield Fair Trade Committee so I think they are the folks to contact for more info.
What I also like about both of these initiatives is that they seem to foster a sense of community. They are run by volunteers, and provide a service to a community, but they also provide a space for community to grow, and gather.
I have this card on my cork board that lists ways to 'build community'. Some of them are:
-leave your house
-know your neighbours
-use your library
-share what you have
Check. Check. Check.