Grace Wark smiles as she promotes sustainable living in Calgary. PHOTO: Grace Wark
Click to listen to Calgary Journal reporter Cassie Hearn’s accompanying audio story on how Calgarians can achieve a zero waste household.

The City of Calgary voted to declare a climate emergency on Nov. 16 and that could mean changes for the city and its citizens. 

Living a sustainable lifestyle means cutting down on how much Calgarians consume, says Denise Carbol, an environmental strategist with the city. According to Carbol, Calgary has one of the highest ecological footprints in Canada and also globally.

Green Calgary co-ordinator, Grace Wark, agrees, saying knowing one’s household footprint and working to decrease it, is essential to living a sustainable lifestyle.

 The first step to sustainability is knowing what can go in the recycling and what can go in the compost. PHOTO: Cassie Hearn.

“It means taking a look at the waste that you have, how much of it is going into your green and your blue carts, how much of it is going into your black cart and then starting to set little targets for yourself throughout the year ,” says Wark.

Wark says that creating a zero-waste home happens in small, tangible steps rather than all at once. For instance, switching to refillable shampoo and soaps.

Limiting what goes into the trash is key to providing a greener future. PHOTO: Cassie Hearn

However, sustainability isn’t just citizens’ responsibility. Investing in infrastructure, transportation and community density projects is essential for city planners, says Carbol. 

Despite the work that Calgary has already conducted to provide these green resources, there is still more improvement to be done.

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