It often feels as if waste management is a grey area for people. There’s almost a sort of controversy around what can be recycled and what can’t, about what’s truly best for the environment and if all the small things we’re doing are even making a difference. Will the elimination of single use plastics really solve this global plastic pandemic?
While simple and potentially obvious, the only way to truly solve the issue is to slowly abandon the use of plastics in general. However, the accessibility and availability of single use plastics makes this effort extremely difficult. After all, going out of your way not to accumulate new plastics is easier said than done.
Just think about all the times you go to the grocery store. The sheer volume of single use plastics in grocery stores makes reusable bags completely irrelevant. (Ironic, because that’s what’s always sold to us.) Now think about how much of your food is pre-wrapped or bagged in plastic. Berries come in containers, cereals and grains often come in plastics and meat and seafood have a Styrofoam base with a plastic wrap. And that’s not even the last few inches when it comes to talking about the tip of the iceberg within the plastic industry. Single use plastics aren’t just straws and grocery bags. They’ve become a part of our everyday life in every way.
So what do we do? The unfortunate answer is there’s no easy way to do this. It’s all about being able to shift your lifestyle. For example:
We understand that some of these new habits call for dramatic lifestyle changes and we can’t, nor want to tell people how to live their lives. But applying even one of these changes can truly make a substantial difference if we all play our part.
So next time you’re throwing something out think about what it is and how it can be reused. Is it something that can be recycled or is it something that can avoid the landfill by being re-circulated into society?
Ask yourself: Can this be donated? Can I sell this? How can I have this item avoid the landfill and go to another home?
And most importantly try to be conscious of the products you’re buying and the foods you’re consuming.
For some of you reading this, it mat not be news ,but for those of you who don’t know how Ethical Waste Services became the company that it is today we’d like to share our story.
The Story of Ethical Waste Services Ltd starts with the tale of one man – Paul MacDonald. Paul is the creator, owner, and operations manager of Ethical Waste Services. His story began when he was a youth feeling like an outcast among his peers. Without the proper guidance Paul eventually turned to drugs and alcohol abuse to numb his pain.
Then his first child was born and Paul began to learn to care for himself by caring for his daughter. He started to understand that he could make a difference for the youth that sit in the same boat he once did. So, he set out to be a teacher. He thought he could provide kids with the guidance and mentorship they deserve while also teaching them a thing or two. In 2014 Paul graduated with a math & PE degree from SFU. Then the massive teacher strike hit and Paul realized that becoming a teacher would be seemingly difficult.
With his drive to make a difference in the lives of youth, the strike didn’t stop him. Instead, Paul would put all of his time and focus into his drywall removal and asbestos abatement company – Ethical Waste Services Ltd. He decided he would donate 50% of his yearly profits to youth outreach services and on top of that he’d help youth through his business by hiring them, being their mentor and giving them the chances they deserve.
Ethical Waste Services Ltd. grew from a one man operation for drywall removal services to a 12 employee business offering contractors “one stop shop” services such as drywall removal, construction debris removal, demolitions and asbestos abatement.
You can have a listen from Paul himself right here. He’s been sharing his journey at speaking events for years in the hopes of inspiring his peers and the youth in our community.
This year was full of surprises, challenges, highs, lows and everything in between. We are proud to say that we continue to fulfill our company’s mission of creating an opportunity and support for marginalized youth through a socially impactful business model. We are completing another successful year! We kept our hopes & expectations high and we worked hard. With only a few days left in 2019, things are slowly wrapping up and the holidays are fast approaching.
We’d like to reflect on how Ethical Waste Services positively impacted the lives of others and how we contributed to our community.
We started the year with a bang when we were awarded the title of an Environmental Steward at the Business Excellence Awards hosted by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.
The same month, Paul was invited to tell his life story on stage in front of a crowd of Voice Story, talking about overcoming shame and becoming the real him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=H6YmgeynuEc&feature=youtu.be
In March we connected again and worked closely with the Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees group helping renovate yet another home for one of the refugee families in need. We didn’t hesitate to help when it meant that another family will be provided with a safe home and an opportunity to have a better life.
As part of our daily routine we get calls from our customers to get rid of their commercial junk. We try our best to donate the items that are in good condition and can be reused. This year we have continued to work with Habitat for Humanity. We drop off any gently used household items that can be sold for a fair price or used in another home. We manage to avoid few loads from the landfill, trying to save the planet one load at a time.
In April we made our yearly committed donation of 50% of our profits ($22,000) to Access Youth Outreach Services to support their programs to help youth in our community. Paul continues to volunteer on the ACCESS Bus to keep connecting with the ACCESS staff and the youth in our community.
We started the summer as a title sponsor for the Backpack Buddies Coquitlam Crunch event. Spreading awareness in our community helped this non-profit to reach more schools and students in the Tri-Cities area and provide food packages to children in need. We also volunteered with Backpack Buddies at the Coquitlam Centre in August. Backpack Buddies invited the community to pack 500 backpacks to ease the burden of weekend hunger for kids in our community. It was yet another successful event.
August ended on a sad note with a close family member’s sudden death. Andrea had to take a last minute trip back home to say goodbye to her dad. Life has its ups and downs…and it throws at us some unexpected events. In the end it’s the family and friends that surround us and that help us get through the hard time. Cherish every minute!
The truly spectacular Under the Seas Gala fundraiser for Access Youth Outreach Services happened in September. It was an evening filled with heartfelt stories and so much support for at risk youth. Paul was awarded a “Hero Award” for his passion, dedication and support of ACCESS. A week later we were off to the Backpack Buddies’ Food 4 Thought annual fundraiser.
These incredible organizations are making a huge difference in the lives of youth and young children. We, at Ethical Waste Services, are committed to support them both on their missions.
The fall also marked our 3rd donation to Douglas College Foundation. Our Ethical Waste Services Bursary has been lifting a financial burden for some students at Douglas College and giving them an opportunity and chance to complete their studies. We continue to believe that we can make a difference in someone’s life by giving them a chance. Paul was also invited to give an inspirational talk at a Douglas College event where he shared stories about his own studies at Douglas College and how it helped him to get where he is now.
November and December have been fast and tough but we are determined to finish strong.
Our daughter Nicole enrolled in a program with Build a Biz Kids and became an entrepreneur herself. She created her own business and learned about all the ins and outs of running a real business. It is so fulfilling to see her grow her entrepreneurial mindset. One of the very first decisions she made as an entrepreneur was to donate 50% of her profits. By selling her ice-cream cone cupcakes, she was able to donate $40 to Backpack Buddies allowing 4 children to get food for the weekend. We could not be prouder.
We are ending the year with another sad note. Paul’s dad passing on December 16th will be forever engraved in our memory. Paul got to spend the last few days with his dad which we are all very grateful for. We lost both Grandpa’s in a very short time this year. We will miss them dearly.
Nevertheless, we are optimistic that 2020 will be an incredible year of learning, helping, growing and living intensely.
Ethical Waste Services’s vision is to live in a world where businesses value people over profit; Creating a global society full of compassion, empathy and quality for everyone.
Giving back is our mandate. Our company and our family live by it.
We can all make a difference.
Thank you for supporting us and we look forward to working with you next year!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
All the Best in the New Year 2020!
The Ethical Waste Services team
– Professionals use plastic to contain asbestos to small areas.
– Plastic sheeting keeps dust with asbestos particles spreading through the rest of the rooms.
– Helps remove contaminated dust from the work area to prevent it from spreading.
– Creates negative pressure so that dust will not escape the work area.
– Workers wear specialized protective gear to protect themselves from exposure.
– Helps prevent dust to attach into clothes and spreading to other areas.
Ethical Waste Services professionally trained staff will carefully deal with any asbestos removal in a safe and effective way.
Year over year we trick ourselves at setting unattainable resolutions that we think we can achieve but realistically are not going to happen. Why do we chose this first day of the year to set new resolutions? It is actually the darkest time of the year in the norther hemisphere, weather is cold and wet, business is usually slow after the spending craze during the holidays. And yet, we still want to commit to new ideas that are probably not close to our hearts.
What if we changed the word from resolution to intention?
It sounds more positive to aim for a plan that we have carefully crafted that will help us get to the next level. Whatever the focus of this intention, it will be held by a creative power that we have visualized.
Our intention this year is to live by our Mission and Vision statements
To create opportunity and support for marginalized youth through a socially impactful business model.
To live in a world where businesses value people over profit. Creating a global society full of compassion, empathy and equality for everyone.
It’s very important to remind ourselves why we do what we do. It helps us remember the motivation that originally triggered setting up our business. It allows us to see the light past the challenges that come our way.
We are excited about 2018, it will be a year of personal and business growth. We are aiming high and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community, our customers, our mentors and of course our amazingly dedicated staff !
What are your intentions this year?
This weekend Andrea and Paul MacDonald were busy doing what they love to do, being part of the community and attending fundraising events!
Two major events happened this weekend and were very successful, full of fun entertainment and very well attended!
The first event was the City of Coquitlam Volunteer Recognition event where all the people that give back to the community were celebrated and recognized.
Another event well attended was the Coquitlam Firefighters Charitable Society Gala. This event was held at the Hard Rock Casino and it’s theme was a masquerade ball .
Very creative outfits, colourful dresses, fine entertainment with dueling pianos, great food and of course many chances to hit the floor and dance the night away.
During the gala there were several live and silent auction items up for grabs.
Paul of course outbid everybody in the tool package auction item!
These events in the Tri-Cities show that we live in a very caring community , and this is why Paul and Andrea actively participate and give back!
© 2023 Ethical Waste Services