The City of Airdrie will be educating locals on how they may decrease their waste and save money by rethinking their purchasing patterns as part of the circular economy month.

“This proclamation aligns with Council’s focus area for 2022-2025 of Environmental Protection by encouraging residents to share, repair, reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “It is also a terrific way to get out and support local businesses that you may not have in the past. Visit an Airdrie thrift shop, bring your mug to a coffee shop or get your bike repaired. The options are endless.”

In a circular economy, producers create something from a raw material that is intended to be recovered or incorporate the disposal into the product design, then consumers utilize it and reuse it repeatedly.

“Historically, products have been designed for convenience without considering the waste they produce,” said Samantha Shulman, Education Coordinator for the City of Airdrie. “In a circular economy, products are designed so they can be reused and repurposed as new products.”

A linear economy occurs when producers employ a raw material, such as oil, to create a product, which consumers then consume and discard.

According to the city, residents can try these tips and follow circular economy principles:

  • Buy products without packaging. Bring your own container, mug, cutlery, shopping bag and straw when you shop and refuse packaging you do not need, for example, no straw, napkins, flyers, bags etc. Buy fruits and vegetables without packaging.
  • Repair products versus disposing of them. Repair broken zippers ripped clothing, shoes, bikes, electronics and equipment.
  • Borrow or rent instead of owning. Visit the library instead of buying books, borrow things that you may only need for a brief time or once (e.g., camping gear, specialized electronic or machine, cooking tool) and home décor or seasonal decorations.
  • Buy products meant to last a long time or that can be reused, refurbished or have a potential second life. For instance, buy pickles in glass jars (second life: food storage or crafting), buy a quality roasting pan/pie plate versus single-use, buy high-quality, long-lasting clothing (consider thrifting) versus fast-fashion, and support brands that have lifetime warranty/repair policies, products that are designed to be recovered (e.g., item in the recyclable box vs. non-recyclable packaging)
  • Support companies that offer to take-back products after use.

“We’ll be sharing ideas throughout the month about how to change your buying habits, including some suggestions about local businesses to check out,” says Shulman. “Airdrie is full of young families that are especially busy at this time of year, so I know convenience often wins but with the cost of living rising steadily, many of these tips are worth the time investment for long-term savings.”

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