A Quesnel resident is hoping is others will take up the challenge this year to live waste-free.

Heather Burke is the admin of Waste-Free living-North Cariboo on Facebook.

She says she had launched the page last year after being unable to find anything locally.

“I thought well okay I’ll just start one for my own personal use,” Burke says. “Maybe I’d have a couple of friends join but it’s grown in such a fast time, and I think we’re at 478 members now. It’s incredible. It’s exciting actually.”

Burke who says she has always cared about the environment and has been an avid recycler, decided to embrace waste-free living when she learned that not everything tossed in the recycle bin ends up being recycled.

She adds that having personally eliminated certain things that were mostly plastics gave her relief from her symptoms of an allergic reaction.

“I’m not perfect that’s for sure, and that’s actually the biggest message in my group is to not try to be perfect because what I have found just from with myself and as well as talking with other people is that everybody is kind of scared to start because they think well you know if you’re not going to do it perfectly or that one or two times you forget your reusable bag, you beat yourself up. You’re like oh maybe I can’t commit to it and I find that that’s just not true,” Burke says.

“With my group, the reason I started it is was because I wanted to help people understand start where you can with whatever area that you are able to start taking action on. Make your small steps and the more you do it and the more you learn, you find that you’ll start taking on more. But if you try to take a big bite right off the get-go, a lot of people will get overwhelmed or they’ll quit, and so my biggest message is I want everybody to try the best they can but not be perfect, but to be persistent.”

With members from Quesnel, Williams Lake, Prince George, and as even as far as Terrace, Burke says she hopes the Facebook group will continue to grow and to have a booth this summer at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market to discuss waste-free living face to face with people.