Archive for November, 2014


Fresh Start is all about taking an everyday service to the next level: environmentally, ethically, and customer service wise. We come to you, we sort, we recycle, and we use the most environmental methods possible in each aspect of our work – because we believe that a series of small changes can chance the world.

Always on the look out for new and interesting ways to make a change, I came across a video on Boyan Slat. Now 19 years old, he is cleaning up the oceans and you wont believe the journey or the results! Check out this video – get inspired.

For a little more in-depth, check out

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In the Fight Against Climate Change, Little is Pulling Ahead of Large!

According to Mirriam-Webster, Summit can be defined as:

a : the highest level of officials; especially : the diplomatic level of heads of government

b : a conference of highest-level officials (as heads of government) <an economic summit>

 But lets be honest, when it comes to taking real action on climate change, Summit can be described as:

a: to use (something valuable) in a way that is not necessary or effective

b: to use (something or someone) in a way that does not produce a valuable result or effect

 What am I getting at you may ask? Turns out that the recent U.N. Climate Summit showed that cities are doing more than countries to combat climate change. Not that it is surprising, but while world leaders aim, move and miss their climate change targets, cities are actually doing the work and making the change. In other words, real change is probably going to come from a collection of actions by the little guys and NOT by the big guys

Internationally, cities are making measurable headway, for example, according to Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D), her city has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 32 percent since 2007. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced last week that the city will commit to reducing its emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

As usual, there is more to the story, so if you have a few minutes, check out the article below and then maybe follow up and see what your city is or isn’t doing to make a real change.

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Another One Bites the Dust – but Could it Rise from the Ashes?

Obviously I would recycle it because – why wouldn’t you? As for replacing it with new, or “new to me”, that would depend on time and opportunity. And, while I love the idea of taking something to a small appliance repair shop and really committing to a 25 year relationship with my toaster, I think it’s happening less and less, and probably due to time and opportunity.

Well fear not fellow planet protectors, upon the horizon lies a brave new world. I was cruising David Suzuki’s site and stumbled upon this cool new movement – Repair Cafés!

To sum it up, a repair café is basically neighbours helping neighbours and keeping things out of the landfill. The more I read, the more I love it and the better it sounds.

We all know that kitchen appliances are cheaper to replace than to repair. Wai Chu of Toronto’s Repair Café explains that repair cafés enlist volunteer fixers to help fix broken household items and teach basic repair skills. They help shift us from a throw-away to fix-it society! The best part – they have a ton of tools for people to use to host or open their OWN repair café in their own city! For more information check out

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Pop Quiz!

Winter is on the way; everything is slowing down, including our brains. So in an effort to get those synapses popping, take a stab at the problematic eco-puzzle below.

Post your answer on our Facebook page and all correct answers will be entered to win a $5 Starbucks Card!

If the quiz doesn’t get you moving, the caffeine will!

A recycling truck collects materials from a location and needs to take the materials collected to 2 different places, a wood recycling yard that grades materials on the tipping floor, and a metal yard.

They drop 145 kilos at the wood recycling yard and 460 pounds at the metal recycling yard. The wood yard grades the material into 5% wood, 5% cardboard, and 90% garbage.

Your customer needs to know the breakdown of materials collected.


  1. What is the percentage of each commodity (metal, cardboard, garbage, and wood) and the corresponding kilos written as metric tonnes.

And for the bonus points:

The wood yard grades material in Grade 1, 2, and 3. Grade 3 is 80% to 100% garbage, G2 is 79% to 40% recycling, and Grade 1 is 80% – 100% recycling. They don’t know about the metal you dropped off at the 2nd location but you do. If you had dropped everything in one place, what would your grade be? (Metal, wood and cardboard are considered “recyclable”).

Yikes, does anyone else remember asking “What do I need to learn this for” when they were in school… I guess now we know!

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The Pretenders

Regardless of my unofficial little poll results, the fact is star power must work right?

Recently, the Internet is a buzz with Leonard DiCaprio’s UN Climate Summit speech. I had to have a look for myself. It’s short, succinct and a very clear call to action for both government and industry. It’s a good speech, although, for those of us who follow these issues (you know, future of the planet and all that jazz), Mr. DiCarpio didn’t have anything really newsworthy to share.

I can only hope that who is doing the saying will end up making what is said more impactful. Mr. DiCaprio did admit that he was speaking as a concerned citizen and a life long pretender. He then very boldly reminded the world and industry leaders that they are not pretenders, and climate change is not a ficticious problem.

Take a look for yourself and let me know if you think that more star power is needed to keep the momentum of climate action moving.

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