For the rest of 2020, Hastings Highlands council is challenging the area to only eat waste-free lunches.

Chair of the Waste Management Ad-Hoc Committee Dorothy Gerrow explains the idea was inspired by Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt. The Haliburton County Township did a waste-free challenge for one week last fall, but Gerrow took it a step further when pitching the idea: have waste-free lunches for the entire year. She says the rest of the committee was on-board with the idea and want to promote less debris going into the landfills. “We’re that businesses, schools, anybody decide to take the challenge and make the effort to have a waste-free lunch in 2020,” Gerrow says.

Packing waste-free lunches means favouring reusable food and drink containers and utensils. “No packaging of any kind,” Gerrow says. “Have it so you can take it home, wash it, and reuse it the next day.”

“I think a lot of students are probably heavily involved with this anyway,” Gerrow says, nothing how Swedish activist Gretta Thunberg has led the charge as the younger generation has made a strong effort to promote environmental awareness. Gerrow also points to local Brynn Kilpatrick who has played a big role in organizing the climate protests that are done in Bancroft every Friday at 11:30 AM in front of the town’s municipal office. “The children really are being underestimated,” Gerrow adds.

“Sometimes it’s a little harder to educate the adults because we’re living in a busy world,” Gerrow goes on to say. She says that whether we’re young or old, we need to slow down and be more aware of what we’re putting in the landfill.

“That’s why it’s important as adults we do anything that promotes keeps waste out of the landfills and anything that keeps our environment sustainable,” Gerrow says.