With so many options available to help people live more gently on the planet, there is hope this Earth Day, say All Things Being Eco co-owners Donna Gumprich and daughter Cabree Van Beest.

5 ways to make everyday Earth Day!

This Earth Day, Donna Gumprich wants you to recycle less.

The days of the “3 Rs” are long gone, explains the owner of Chilliwack’s All Things Being Eco. Today there are 5 Rs, and recycling? That’s way down at No. 4!

Of the 4 trillion single-use plastic bags used annually worldwide, only 1% is recycled, and even then, whatever new plastic thing the bag becomes, can’t then be recycled again.

Taking that single-use bag out of the equation first is a far more eco-friendly solution.

“We’ve got so many alternatives,” Gumprich says. “People just need to be aware that there are choices; there is hope.”

1. REFUSE: Reducing waste begins with refusing those things we don’t need in the first place. “Don’t bring waste into your home – say no to junkmail or that cheap plastic toy at the restaurant,” Gumprich advises. If you’re going to a restaurant, bring your own containers for leftovers.

2. REDUCE: Embrace streamlined living, and reduce the amount you purchase. Statistics suggest people only wear about 20 per cent of what’s in their closet, and of clothing that’s donated, about 80 per cent ends up in the landfill, Gumprich notes. Instead, buy classic, quality pieces that you love and will last, and rather than “things,” invest in experiences.

3. REUSE: Once you’ve committed to buying more mindfully, find new homes for things cluttering up your life. When it’s time to buy something new-to-you, consider second-hand shops. Choose reusable, washable cloth sandwich bags instead of throw-away plastic baggies, and opt for re-fillable containers to buy in bulk – with the added benefit of cutting down packaging waste! “There are 32,000 households in Chilliwack; if each one just reused one bottle four times a year, that’s 128,000 fewer bottles,” Gumprich says.

4. RECYCLE: All the way down at No. 4, “we only recycle what we haven’t refused, reduced or reused.”

5. ROT: All those other “Rs” are true for compostables too – don’t buy more food than you’ll likely eat and find ways to use or preserve fresh foods. Think too about what you can compost beyond what’s in the fridge, like dryer lint and floor sweepings.

“I like to suggest people think about what can they do differently and try to incorporate a little bit of Earth Day everyday,” Gumprich says.

Start small, don’t think you need to change everything at once, and stop by with any questions you might have, she says, pointing to a favourite quote from blogger and zero-waste chef Anne Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”


Founded in Chilliwack in 2008, All Things Being Eco works to make the world a better place, one organic, ethically produced and locally sourced product at a time. Visit at 105-7388 Vedder Rd., online at allthingsbeingeco.ca and follow them on Instagram!

READ MORE: 5 women to watch: saluting an eco-friendly entrepreneurial spirit


Consider that if each of Chilliwack’s 32,000 households reused just one bottle four times a year, that would amount to 128,000 fewer bottles in the system.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

WorkBC Chilliwack officially opens doors to its new location

The local centre opened in April and since then hundreds of clients transitioned to employment

OPINION: A brief look at the present and past of Chilliwack federal elections

For those who are new to town, or just haven’t been paying attention

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

Chilliwack school board to vote on whether to paint rainbow crosswalk at district office

Scheduled vote at Sept. 17 meeting comes two weeks after city hall said ‘no’ to the idea

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Mars and Jupiter at the Chilliwack SPCA

These two very social guinea pigs are up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read