Founded in 2001, Transition to Less Waste, also known as TTLW, is a nonprofit with a special focus on waste reduction, eco pilot projects, and the promotion of environmental sustainability within our community and beyond.
About Transition to Less Waste
As our organization has evolved, we have looked to the international Transition Initiative movement for inspiration. Transition organizations around the world are joined in the common goals of reducing reliance on finite resources, and increasing the resilience of their communities. As an organization, we are dedicated to encouraging the reduction of the eco-footprints of our own households, our communities and beyond.
As a grassroots group, we seek to empower the citizens of our communities through education, cooperation and by encouraging individual participation. Our overall goal is to contribute meaningfully to the conservation, protection and enhancement of Ontario’s environment, community resiliency and individual well-being. We also seek to conserve and protect finite resources, for the benefit of current and future generations. A healthier environment means a safer place for our friends, families, and neighbours to live, work and play.
Much of our work thus far has been focused on community education. Our main means of educating the community are through our participation in community events, our website, social media, educational materials, displays, demonstrations, speaking engagements, workshops, and by modeling green choices.
As an organization, TTLW envisions a future where Oxford residents are empowered to incorporate Transition concepts into their daily lives. We believe this will lead to a reduced reliance on non-renewable energy sources, an increase in local food sustainability, a decrease in waste production, more efficient housing choices, and the conservation and protection of local water resources.
Our Festival Waste Reduction Pilot Project
In recent years the majority of our donations and volunteer efforts have been devoted to decreasing the eco-footprint of our local festivals through a Festival Waste Reduction Program, including our main pilot project carried out during Ingersoll’s Canterbury Folk Festival. Having fun and promoting arts and culture in our community doesn’t have to be at the expense of the environment. Use of reusable dishware and our solar powered dishwashing station have allowed us to offer vendors and guests a convenient and sustainable alternative to disposable plates and food containers.
By 2016, TTLW’s volunteer team had greatly reduced the amount of single-use materials generated by making additional reusable dishware available and washing it on-site. Vendor cooperation provided for further waste reduction by minimizing use of food packaging that was not readily divertible. Careful sorting of recyclable and compostable items generated by the Festival rounded out our waste reduction program, giving us a 91% diversion rate that year. We are pleased to report that each year following, including the final year of the Canterbury Folk Festival, we were able to achieve an over 99% reduction in waste-to-disposal, along with greatly reducing the amount of overall materials generated at the Festival! This tremendous success would not have been possible without a lot of hard work by our team of amazing volunteers, and the generous support of our sponsors, including the Ingersoll Community Foundation.
Modelling Food Security Solutions
TTLW’s team is passionate about food and food security! Our team of diverse volunteers and board members share a common love for gardening, cooking, and of course, eating the delicious fresh produce we grow ourselves! Over the past several years we have shared that passion through our downtown Ingersoll Community Demonstration Garden, a small but visible project that demonstrates how to produce fresh food in a manner typical of the Victory Gardens many of our families previously grew during war times. These days, organic gardens are part of the Climate Victory movement that helps to promote environmentally sustainable food production and soil stewardship and support pollinator health, along with helping to alleviate food insecurity. With each growing season, we seek to show passers-by how easy, fun and delicious gardening can be!
Earlier pilot projects involved:
- The building of home wind turbines
- The conversion of conventional gas-powered vehicles to electric
- The installation of home solar
- Upcycling and thrifting events
- The management of a 1-year Job Creation Partnership Project for 10 participants, in conjunction with the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities
In all that we do, TTLW strives to be a positive community-building organization, which contributes meaningfully to the lives of local residents. Transition to Less Waste believes that each person in a community has something to offer, and that through engagement in positive activities, all of our community members can feel productive and involved. A child planting a few garden seeds, a person making the choice to recycle and compost, or a family making more sustainable housing choices; these are examples of ways we can each do our part to make Oxford County a healthier and happier place to live.
To that end, TTLW is actively engaged in research projects involving increasing the amount of trees in Ingersoll, improvement of our local air quality, protection of our community water resources, increasing biodiversity, and the protection of endangered species.
To join the Transition movement, it’s as simple as planting a tree or garden, adding more insulation to your home, or getting involved in community projects that protect the environment!