Friends of the Reduces Community
This is a list of groups and organizations that work in various ways on solving our plastic pollution crisis. They focus on interrelated causes, including single-use plastic waste, food waste, textile waste, transitioning to zero waste, plastic pollution, and climate change. Some are city programs that support local initiatives, and most of them are Toronto-based. Our hope is that you find this list useful in your work or that it inspires you to get involved with some of them. This list will continue to grow and does not claim to be complete.
A Greener Future/ Love Your Lake
Volunteer organization based in Oshawa which works hand-in-hand with local communities to promote environmental preservation through organized litter cleanups along the shores of Lake Ontario, educational programs, and events. Their new documentary “Shoreline: The Paddle against Plastic” uncovers plastic pollution in Lake Ontario and is set to come out April 1, 2021.
David Suzuki Foundation
The David Suzuki Foundation works to conserve and protect the natural environment and help create a sustainable Canada. They do this by using evidence-based research and science, education and policy analysis and by collaborating with non-profit and community organizations, all levels of government, businesses and individuals.
An Ontario-wide certification framework which provides independent reporting and recognition for environmental education in schools and outdoor education centres as well as environmental education training workshops and webinars, annual conferences, educational resources, and national campaigns.
Free Geek Toronto
Free Geek Toronto is a technology reuse social enterprise and accepts unwanted electronics to refurbish. They provide low cost computers, offer green solutions to unwanted and end-of-life technology, and work with partners to increase digital inclusion in our city. Free Geek works to increase access to technology that reflect people’s ability to pay, a collective commitment to digital inclusion, and the planet’s well-being.
Georgian Bay Forever
Georgian Bay Forever is a charity dedicated to scientific research and public education on Georgian Bay's aquatic ecosystem in order to protect, enhance, and restore the aquatic ecosystem of Georgian Bay. One area Georgian Bay Forever works on is microplastics. Microfibres from synthetic textiles are some of the most common microplastics in the Great Lakes.
Green Budget Coalition
The mission of the Green Budget Coalition is to present an analysis of the most pressing issues regarding environmental sustainability in Canada and to make a consolidated annual set of recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities. One of them is “Helping Restaurants Reduce Reliance on Single-Use Plastics."
A charitable organization in Parkdale, Toronto which promotes healthy, inclusive neighbourhoods through education and empowerment to protect and improve the environment. Greenest City focusses on growing and sharing good food and connecting people with their community and the environment.
TerraCycle aims to eliminate waste by recycling the "non-recyclable" and by offering reusable packaging to businesses. You can get a TerraCycle box for almost anything: for cigarette butts from a shoreline cleanup or for toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes in a dentistry. Loop is part of TerraCycle, and in 2021 Loop Canada partnered with Loblaws to offer groceries in reusable containers.
Zero Waste Chef
A website and blog run by Zero Waste Chef (ZWC) Anne-Marie Bonneau about zero waste cooking and living. Detailed DIY recipes (with index) for home cooked food, fermented foods (sourdough, ginger drink and more), and 50 Ways to Kick Plastic guide including how to make produce bags (Reusa-Bags).
Beyond Plastics is a US-wide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that works to end single-use plastic pollution by pairing the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build an effective anti-plastics movement.
Community Reduce & Reuse Programs
As part of the long term waste management strategy aimed at building a culture of waste reduction, the City of Toronto has implemented five Community Reduce & Reuse Programs: urban harvest, sewing repair hubs, bicycle repair hubs, community composting and sharing & reuse spaces.
Don’t Mess with the Don
A citizen group that works to address unrelenting dumping of garbage and debris into Toronto ravines along the Don River Valley by collaborating with stakeholders at all levels and organizing frequent cleanups. At a large scale spring cleanup in 2019 over 1000 volunteers filled 1600 garbage bags with trash on a single day.
U of T Trash Team
A science-based community outreach group at UofT to increase waste literacy locally and reduce plastic pollution globally. Volunteers are made up of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, early-career researchers, and members from outside the UofT community. Their Home Waste Audit helps participants reduce waste and increase waste literacy.
Canopy works with the forest industry’s biggest customers and their suppliers to develop business solutions that protect the last frontier forests. Canopy's campaigns focus on conserving the world’s Endangered forests and advancing Indigenous rights by harnessing the power of brand partners to transform unsustainable supply chains.
Creative Reuse Toronto
Creative Reuse Toronto is an Arts & Environment Learning & Resource Centre that invests in the future of our planet and sustainable community in Toronto through: skill sharing, workshops, art and craft making, events, education/training and creative reuse of unwanted materials.
A community-based City of Toronto program where proactive community members, volunteers and experts can channel their ideas into action. The goal is to provide the funding means and engagement events in order to raise awareness of local efforts and change the way people impact their communities.
The Toronto EcoSchools department is part of the Sustainability Office at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). It is a school greening program and a certification framework which provides independent reporting and recognition for environmental education in schools and outdoor education centres as well as environmental education training workshops and webinars, annual conferences, educational resources, and national campaigns.
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA)
The Toronto Environmental Alliance campaigns locally to find solutions to Toronto's urban environmental problems. As a not-for-profit organization, TEA advocates on behalf of all Torontonians for a green, healthy and equitable city at City Hall covering a wide range of interconnected areas such as public transit, climate change, Greenbelt, toxins and waste reduction.
Toronto Urban Growers
Toronto Urban Growers (TUG) is a diverse and inclusive network of individuals and organizations committed to scaling up urban agriculture in the city. TUG is a member based network of urban farmers, gardeners, businesses, organizations, institutions and networks that aims to increase availability of healthy, organic and sustainable food grown, processed and sold in Toronto.
UPSTREAM is building a movement to make throw-away go away by helping policymakers, businesses, community leaders and individuals ideate and accelerate the transition from single-use to reuse. It was founded in 2003 as a public-interest, non-profit organization by a group of zero waste activists in the US and Canada.
Zero Waste Hub Toronto
A Toronto grassroots not for profit organization and active social media hub (Twitter, Facebook) with a vision for a waste free Toronto that works with local green groups to promote waste reduction, offer waste reduction and reuse opportunities, DIY skill building, and educational opportunities.