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Trash talk: A plastic waste challenge

in Environment by
From L to R: Jamie Morris, Sylvia Keesmaat, Councillor Tracy Richardson, Ginny Colling, and Deb Pearson.

Last year, more than 917 tonnes of plastic was collected from our 38,000 households in Kawartha Lakes. That’s the calculation of Kerry Snoddy, whose forbidding job title is City of Kawartha Lakes waste management regulatory compliance officer.

It’s so easy for each of us to produce heaping, full bins of plastic waste. Reducing plastics to the absolute minimum? Much more difficult.

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Unwrapped: New store aims for zero waste and sustainable living

in Community by
Jenny Connell, owner of Unwrapped. The store is located at 101 Kent St., Lindsay.

For her rustic and reused-themed wedding Jenny Connell took a friend’s mother up on an offer of mismatched dishes and cutlery that otherwise sits in boxes 363 days of the year — brought out only for the annual Amnesty International and Machik dinners.

Afterwards Jenny and her husband, Sam, rolled up their sleeves, cleaned off the dishes, and before heading off on their honeymoon, returned them (along with a donation to Amnesty International).

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Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant

in Community/Environment by
Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant
Inside the 50,000 sq. ft building, the sight was shocking. Photos: Jamie Morris.

The former Northern Plastic Lumber plant in Lindsay was sold in 2014 to a U.S. company but its corporate legacy lives on – in the form of what may be up to 40,000 tonnes of abandoned plastic waste still to be disposed of.

Almost six years ago the plant was bought by a U.S. firm and all the equipment was moved to Pennsylvania. All the plastic raw material was left behind for disposal by the new owners.

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Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

in Environment/Opinion by
Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

It was a peaceful climate justice protest organized by a high school student inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. A man approached us to say he fully supported what we were doing; and in the next breath said he hoped we didn’t think the carbon tax was going to make a difference. A fellow protester asked him what approach we should take: “Reduce, reuse and recycle. Just like we’ve always done.” Our visitor then jumped into his car and drove away.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Enhance your life, don’t deprive yourself

in Community/Health by
Don't forget to eat your veggies in 2019 and beyond. (While not expressly a part of Canada's Food Guide, yes, even humans can eat clover...)

Type “gym membership,” “fitness,”  “diet,” or “smoking cessation” into Google Trends (a very cool online tool) and you’ll see that searches for all of them spike in early January. No coincidence: with a new year many of us resolve to turn over a new leaf, develop good habits and curb bad ones. By the end of January searches for those terms drop off and, unfortunately, by then many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned.

We asked experts in a number of fields for their thoughts. What’s a single piece of advice they’d offer? What’s a resolution that might be manageable and is definitely worth doing? What could help ensure we stick with it?

Here are their suggestions. The areas covered include healthy eating, fitness, substance use and abuse, and the environment.

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Imagining a plastic-free life

in Community/Environment/Health/Opinion by
We don’t focus too much on where plastic comes from. It is all made from oil.

Imagine that you are standing on the water tower in Fenelon Falls, looking as far as the eye can see. To the north lies Coboconk, to the east Bobcaygeon. To the south is Lindsay and to the west Beaverton. Except that you can’t see any of these places. Instead all you see is bare earth, roads and trucks driving deeper and deeper into excavated dirt. In fact, as far south as Pontypool there is no vegetation, just dirt piled higher and higher as the trucks go deeper.

This is what I saw when I went to the oil sands four years ago. An entire ecosystem destroyed, with the result that even those who live far outside of the tar sands can’t find animals to hunt anymore, berries to eat anymore, water that doesn’t give them cancer.

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