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

Good things cooking at Barn Burner BBQ event this Sunday in Yarrow

Fifth annual event in Chilliwack raises funds for the Full Cupboard

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Moni at the Chilliwack SPCA

This week’s animal is Moni, an obedient 10-year-old Australian shepherd cross at the Chilliwack SPCA

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read