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January 05, 2022

What is a circular economy?

As sustainable practices are at the forefront of our minds, you may have heard the term, “circular economy” mentioned within conversations. But what is a circular economy?

circular economy is the practice of advancing the supply chain of a good from a start-finish or linear model, to a circular model; meaning, the end-product no longer simply is completed, producing waste, but can be utilized for creating a new good. A circular economy model can be an impactful transition for reducing local and global waste. 

Businesses can help minimize their waste by applying a circular economy approach within their services and product development. To highlight a few of many leading companies within Alberta, BluPlanet would like to share a message directly from Kumpfy Shoes and Living Soil Solutions

Local Action Towards a Circular Economy

The importance of repairing – a message Kumpfy Shoes  

At Kumpfy Shoes & Repair, we get a kick out of fixing your favourite pairs of shoes and boots! 

We proudly operate as Canmore's only cobbler, after what started as a hobby repairing rock climbing shoes in the shed behind our house. Soon enough we had folks asking about other repair services, and we officially opened our shop in April 2016. We now offer full shoe repair services on climbing shoes, hiking boots, Birkenstocks, dress shoes, cowboy boots, and even ski boots. We can also repair your bags, wallets, gaiters, gloves, straps, and zippers! 

Our motto is Resole, Repair, Reuse - and we love that so many of our customers are committed to this waste reduction journey with us. It's very rewarding to not only be able to salvage your perfectly broken-in footwear for you - but to also keep unnecessary waste out of the landfills. Since opening the shop (and including Karel's time in the shed) we have repaired over 10,000 pairs of shoes and boots!

It's a huge privilege to be able to recreate and live where we do, on the border of National Parks in our beautiful Rocky Mountains. Remember, 'leave no trace' can apply to your outdoor gear as well. For more information on Kumpfy Shoes, their services, and their new business location, please click here.

A circular FOOD economy message from, Living Soil Solutions

Highfield Regenerative Farm is taking a decentralized approach to food waste. Keeping local food waste in the community and turning it directly back into local food. As a project of the Compost Council of Canada in partnership with the City of Calgary, Highfield Farm is building a community urban farm hub where agri-business, urban agriculture and knowledge sharing can flourish. Currently, Highfield Farm has 1/4 acre of gardens where we grow food in a regenerative manner by the power of volunteers. This food is shared amongst our community and surplus is donated to food access organizations in Calgary. 

Regenerative agriculture recognizes healthy soils as the missing link in our local food systems, the nutrition and health of our communities, and as a powerful solution to climate change. Food waste is transformed into biologically rich compost which then feeds our soil. While we do intensive, small-batch composting on farm for our own purposes, and to educate our members on the process, we recognize that home composting can be intimidating and, to be done well, time-consuming. We also know that one of the best ways to reduce your household's food waste is to grow your own. So, if you have the space and capacity to consider eating locally or growing your own food, we would like to share some easy tips for feeding your soil in your home garden, or things to chat with your local producers about to get a sense of their farming practices to ensure soil health is a priority: 

1. See the WHOLE system - your garden isn't just flowers and bees. It is an entire community of pollinators, pests, plants, protozoa, fungi, nematodes...even the water, wind, and YOU should be considered. For a healthier, happier garden, start at the soil food web and move out to gain a full picture of your garden system. 

2. Grow what you eat- the best way to reduce your household food waste is to grow what you want to eat. If you hate kale, don't plant it (or do and share it with your community! The Calgary Community Fridge is always open and accepting donations...).  

3. Protect your soil - your soil is full of life. Bacteria, fungi, nematodes.. the list goes on! These creatures need a cozy place to live, and for them, it means consistent temperatures. This is why we cover our soil- to insulate the soil and protect it's inhabitants from the elements.  

4. Feed your soil - just like a cozy place to live, your soil food web needs to eat. Planting a diverse range of plants, leaving the roots and plant matter in/on the soil at the end of the season, and incorporating COMPOST or compost teas are all great ways to make sure this network is getting everything it needs to thrive.  

5. Listen to your plants - your garden is always talking; you just have to listen!  The weeds are demonstrating an imbalance in the soil, the bug infestation is telling you about a sick plant, a low yield is showing a lack in needs being met. Observation is an important part of maintaining a healthy system. 

Sadly, food waste in our current system is overwhelming, but there is a lot of power in this food waste if it can be properly harnessed and turned into biologically rich compost to become nutritious food once again. We hope these soil health related tips will help you in your gardens, in your bellies and in your trash cans! Like our Grower Member Living Soil Solutions always says.. "it all starts in the soil!".  

For more information on Living Soil Solutions, please visit their website by clicking here!   

How to implement a waste reduction program in your business? 

By connecting with Green Calgary, you will be provided with the opportunity to have your business thoroughly assessed by a team. After completing a waste audit with Green Calgary, they will help ensure your product aligns with the City of Calgary waste programs; or will suggest alternative products to improve your businesses waste diversion. 

Need more assistance? 

BluPlanet Recycling is always welcoming new clients for mixed recycling, organics, and/or garbage services. To review a service proposal for your multi-family, commercial, or institutional location, please complete the questionnaire by clicking the link below.

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