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.
Shop1km produces print micro marketing campaigns targeting households within 1km of local retail stores. Their coupon booklets get distributed by mail to all households to encourage consumers to shop in their neighbourhood.
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.
Toronto’s climate action plan identifies how the city will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health, grow our economy, and improve social equity through a set of long-term, low-carbon goals, and strategies.
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).
Zero Waste Toronto group on Facebook
The Zero Waste Toronto group on Facebook has over 12 000 members and is a forum to ask and discuss questions people have on their journey to a zero or low waste life.
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.
Fridays for Future
A global climate strike movement that started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate inspiring millions of people to take action on the climate crisis.
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
A national conservation program that provides Canadians the opportunity to take action in their communities by participating in cleanups wherever water meets land, one bit of trash at a time.
Green Neighbours’ Network of Toronto (GNN)
A network of independent community groups working together with the common goal to make Toronto a city of greener, more vibrant neighbourhoods and a leader in the worldwide urban movement against climate change.
An independent campaigning organization, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to advocate for the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Owen Sound Waste Watchers
A local group of concerned Owen Sound citizens, Owen Sound Waste Watchers is committed to helping everyone make a difference by adjusting how we consume and dispose of products in day-to-day life.
A Toronto volunteer group that advocates for a ban of plastic bags and other types of single use plastic in Toronto such as non-grocery store bags, water bottles, food packaging, plastic cups and lids, coffee cups, cigarette filters, etc.
Toronto Tool Library
Part of a continent-wide tool sharing movement, the Toronto Tool Library is a
non-profit organization, consisting of a small staff and much larger community of volunteers and supporters sharing tools, resources and skills.
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.
Zero Waste in DC
Zero waste living website by Stephanie J. Miller in Washington D.C. who is also the author of the book “Zero Waste Living. The 80/20 Way. The Busy Person’s Guide to a Lighter Footprint”.
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.
Fashion Takes Action
A non-profit organization established to advance sustainability in the fashion industry through education, awareness, research and collaboration with academics, NGOs and industry.
Fridays for Future Toronto
The local chapter of the Fridays for Future global climate strike movement. A youth-led, grassroots organization with the primary mission of mobilizing to demand climate justice through the organization of school strikes, rallies, and marches.
A group of residents of the former Ward 13 (now part of Ward 4) working towards increasing public awareness about climate and other environmental concerns, encouraging public discourse on sustainability, advocating for policy and behaviour change, and building resilience in our community.
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.
PHP 4 Climate Action (Parkdale High Park for Climate Action)
A collaboration of community based, non-profit organizations in Parkdale-High Park which seeks to advance meaningful action on both a local and national level, to address the climate crisis.
A community reuse day held on the last Sunday of April and September in Toronto where residents are welcome to leave unwanted, reusable items on their property next to the sidewalk for neighbours to take for free.
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.