Recycling is not the answer—we need to do things differently.

Lindsay Walker, Office of Sustainability Manager

While discussing ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’, most of us instinctively visualize industrial waste and toxic emissions by factories.

And while these are major contributors to the crisis, we often overlook the little things that accumulate to create major problems.

Overcharging electrical devices and excess use of vehicles are a few habits from our daily lives that contribute to the climate change crisis.

An animated image of the earth sitting in a burning room.
Earth thinks: This is not fine.
Text on the flames around it: Wild fires, melting glaciers, heat waves.

Another waste generator that is often overlooked—food containers.

Lindsay Walker, Manager at Humber’s Office of Sustainability, said single-use plastic containers used in cafeterias are quite hazardous.

She said, “Recent data shows 2.8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in our landfills each year. This is equivalent to the weight of 24 CN towers.”

South Park characters saying, "So what can we do?"

So, to help tackle this problem, Humber’s Sustainability department have partnered up with OZZI to launch O2GO reusable containers.

According to the department, these containers have helped avert almost five million throwaway containers from landfills and oceans.

To know more about the initiative, we spoke to Lindsay Walker. So, here’s what you need to know about Humber’s new O2GO reusable containers.

Why focus on food containers?

An icecube melting.
Text: ???

Walker said one of the main items found in the campus’ waste and recycling bins are single-use containers.

These containers are major waste generators and are unrecyclable due to food remains and colours stuck in them.

Eliminating these containers was the clear solution to this problem and helped boost the initiative to implement reusable containers.

She said, “Recycling is not the answer. We need to do things differently.”

What difference do O2GO containers make?

John Mulaney saying, "In the end, what's the difference?"

To understand the difference created by O2GO containers, the department carried out comparisons of waste accumulated by the residence cafeteria before and after implementing the program.

Walker said spot audits conducted in the cafeteria in November 2019, before implementing O2GO, showed waste accumulation of approximately 60 pounds.

And later, after the O2GO initiative took off, a spot audit carried out in November 2021 showed the waste accumulated was 20 pounds.

That’s a 30-pound waste difference!

How can you access it?

Woman saying, "Doing your part."

Ready to do your part in creating a sustainable environment at Humber? Here’s how you can access the O2GO containers.

  • Order your meal and request an O2GO Reusable Container.
  • Pay a one-time deposit of $5 when you purchase your meal.
  • Return your empty reusable container to an O2GO Collection Bin near a cashier and receive an O2GO card in exchange.
  • Exchange your O2GO card for another reusable container at your next meal at no cost.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4!

It’s that simple!

You could grab your O2GO container from:

  • North Campus: Street Café and Residence Cafeteria
  • Lakeshore Campus: A/B Cafeteria

So, grab them today to begin creating the change you want to see!

Wondering what else you can do to tackle climate change? Here are 6 ways you can be more eco-friendly.

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