Circular Innovation Council, one of Canada’s leading environmental non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing the circular economy, has launched Circular Economy Month, Canada’s first-ever public awareness month dedicated to educating and engaging Canadians on transitioning to a circular economy.
Extending Waste Reduction Week in Canada—the nation’s most successful waste reduction public awareness campaign engaging Canadians each year since 2001—beyond the third week of October, Circular Economy Month offers insights into a way of life that prioritizes reducing the environmental impacts of what we produce, consume, and throw away.
With 87 per cent of Canadians unclear on what the circular economy actually is, the campaign’s primary goal is education, leveraging a new video highlighting what is involved, how companies, consumers and public institutions can take action, and realize the broad benefits of a circular economy. Each week in October will be dedicated to a unique theme, with partners, events and local campaigns across the nation for Canadians to dive deeper into all the ways they can contribute towards a more sustainable circular economic model.
“We realized our economy needs to move beyond recycling and the current linear model of make-take-waste if we’re going to make a difference fighting climate change, protect our biodiversity, and reduce waste,” says Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director of Circular Innovation Council. “We’re looking forward to encouraging a larger conversation with Circular Economy Month, giving Canadians a better understanding of what a circular economy looks like, how it aligns with our values and addresses the environmental and social challenges of today, and most importantly how they can help accelerate its adoption.”
Each week in October will center around a different pillar of the circular economy in order to educate and encourage understanding and action across Canada:
- Week 1: Introducing the Circular Economy
- Week 2: Environmental Benefits
- Week 3: Waste Reduction Week in Canada (focusing on the resource protection and recovery components of circular economy)
- Week 4: Social and Economic Benefits
In collaboration with its partners, including campaign Founding Partners TELUS, The Beer Store, and Kal Tire— as well as various other delivery partners in each of the 13 provinces and territories across the country—Circular Economy Month celebrates the individual and collective actions, commitments, and achievements towards a sustainable future. Businesses and government officials from coast to coast are officially proclaiming October as Circular Economy Month, promoting the awareness campaign to constituents across Canada.
Organizations and individuals have also planned local events ranging from cleanup days, clothing swaps and zero-waste challenges, to recycling collections and circular documentary screenings, with more being added each day. Circular Innovation Council’s own Share/Reuse/Repair Hub, recently launched with the Regional Municipality of York offers a community-based resource for those in York Region/GTA looking to begin circular living.
More Canadians are committing to reducing their environmental footprint, with a recent survey indicating that 88 per cent actively care about extending the life cycle of their products. Most foster sustainable habits by using reusable bags and separating recycling from normal waste, all with the intention of taking small steps towards a more circular lifestyle, Canadians can help preserve finite resources that are vital to the nation’s resource-based economy, redesigning and extending product usefulness, reduce waste, decrease carbon emissions and protect the earth’s rich biodiversity.
“Environmental sustainability is one of the pillars of TELUS’ commitment to a greater social purpose – to take action to protect our planet. We’re committed to responsible device recycling and ensuring that pre-loved devices are put back into the market to be used multiple times. We do this by reselling devices through our Bring-It-BackTM program or repairing devices at our Mobile Klinik stores, just to name a few,” says Jim Senko, Executive Vice President and President, Mobility Solutions at TELUS, a founding partner of Circular Economy Month.
To date, TELUS and our customers have responsibly recycled over 3.5 million devices and counting. So far this year, the company has upcycled more than 80,000 used handsets into certified pre-owned devices, with potential savings of over 2,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions when compared to selling new devices.
“The Beer Store is excited to partner with Circular Innovation Council on growing the Waste Reduction Week campaign into Circular Economy Month. We’ve been a long-time supporter of this important annual campaign that raises awareness and celebrates champions of waste reduction, and increasingly, transitioning to circular economies in communities across Canada,” says Ted Moroz, president of The Beer Store.
Since their first beverage sale in 1927, The Beer Store has embodied key principles of the circular economy by ensuring waste is never created in the first place through collection and re-integration of containers, and keeping products and materials in use longer through a platform that shares an asset amongst many users.
For more information, visit circulareconomymonth.ca