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Options at Home on Earth Day

As we celebrate Earth Day there are plenty of ways we can contribute at home and in our daily lives to reduce waste and lower our carbon footprint.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has developed several environmental strategies.

CVRD Senior Environmental Technologist Ilse Sarady says one of the things they’re working on is to ensure everyone has full access to curbside kitchen waste collection.

She says “some residents are already doing a really great job of backyard composting and reducing food waste, but there is a need to also provide residents with curbside collection of organics” because composting is not an option for everyone.

Sarady says about 30-percent of the garbage that goes to the landfill is food waste that could be composted and the CVRD is looking for ways to eliminate that and cut down on the volume of waste that is trucked out of the valley for disposal at a landfill in Washington State.

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In addition to the exhaust emissions generated by truck, barge, and rail transport, it’s also costly to ship large volumes of garbage over such a long distance.

Sarady says as the CVRD develops ways to better manage waste locally, there are opportunities for local entrepreneurs to participate.

CVRD Senior Environmental Analyst Keith Lawrence says the regional district has identified numerous ways for people to use water and energy more efficiently and reduce their carbon footprint.

He says the approach the CVRD has taken “is to develop strategies that outline a series of actions that organizations can participate in, businesses, homeowners, as well as some of our community steward partners.”

He says they provide information on how to heat and cool homes more efficiently, use less water, or reduce the carbon footprint of a home with energy retrofits, which often come with government rebates.

If you own an electric car, he notes the region now has 40 charging ports available for electric vehicles.

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There is also information on water use restrictions, which is a tool the CVRD uses to ensure water continues to be available during times of drought. For more information, people can check out

Lawrence says the CVRD is also working on an active transportation plan for the region.

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