SWRC Blog: Overcoming Place Bias
We’ve always struggled with how to be a provincial organization. With our office in Saskatoon, we interact mostly with Saskatoon people and the city’s programs personally affect us. We have run programs outside of Saskatoon – our recycling ambassadors travel the whole province, we have Fall workshops in smaller cities and every second conference is held in Regina. We’ve partnered on projects in many communities, host a database that includes waste reducing options for every community in the province and encourage the development of programs that benefit everyone in the province … but still.
To reach our vision of a waste-free Saskatchewan, we need more. We need people in every community looking for opportunities to reduce waste, we need composting/organic waste diversion programs everywhere, we need a strong culture of repair with experts training others on how to fix things so we don’t lose those skills. We need reuse, rather than recycling, to be the default mode for how most things are done. We need a strong community across the province that supports more circular ways of doing things so that we can achieve zero waste and all the benefits that come with it.
So, what’s the best way to connect with people (especially outside Saskatoon) who want the same things we do? We definitely want people working in the waste reduction field to join us, but we also need individuals with an understanding of their own communities and how things work. Would a Repair Café event be popular? Who would organize it? Are there fixer volunteers that would help out? What’s the best way to get the word out about an event like this (both for volunteers and people bringing things to be fixed)? These are questions best answered by someone in the community who gets how it works. We have a lovely little project called Warm Hearts in which people bring their jackets that need fixing to a volunteer who repairs them. The fixed jackets are then donated to those who need them. Similar questions apply.
A starting point is self-identification. If you are interested in the things we do, you can sign up to help or to get information on a particular topic. The next step is referrals. If you know someone in your community who is interested, forward the sign up link to them. Let’s get this network growing.