Darn these throwaway times

During Waste Reduction Week, the City of Kamloops is encouraging residents to reduce textile waste, as well as waste resulting from electronics, plastics and food.

Gone are the days of darning socks.

Today’s low-quality and low-cost clothing, known as fast fashion, has resulted in the average person throwing away 37 kilograms of textiles each year.

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During Waste Reduction Week, the City of Kamloops is encouraging residents to reduce textile waste, as well as waste resulting from electronics, plastics and food.

On Tuesday (Oct. 20), the city’s solid waste services analyst, Marcia Dick, made a presentation to city council. Dick said North Americans contribute more than 10-million tonnes of clothing to landfills each year.

Some ideas to reduce textile waste include buying less, purchasing higher-quality items and extending the life of clothing with basic repairs and stain removal. In addition, Dick encouraged residents to learn how electronics are repaired, refuse single-use items and bring reusable items, like bags, when grocery shopping.

The need for sharing and reusing was also emphasized. Dick explained the concept of “stuff libraries,” which have popped up in other communities, including Vancouver.

Run by community groups and sometimes provided land by a municipality, a so-called stuff library provides a group of people items used infrequently, such as a leaf blower or other items that could be shared by multiple users. In Vancouver, organizers have operated out of C-cans. Locally, Dick touted Kamloops Makerspace for providing equipment to local entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, a nifty online resource can help extend the life of products. Dick said ifixit.com provides guides to fixing just about anything. It even provides guides to darning clothing.

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