3Rs Workout for Waste Reduction Week

Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF) 3Rs Workout title photo


Did you know that it’s Canada’s 21st Waste Reduction Week this Monday October 17th-Sunday October 23rd? Waste Reduction Week is one of 4 program themes for Canada’s inaugural Circular Economy Month this October 2022.

In celebration of Waste Reduction Week, I’m introducing a new Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF) activation video focused on the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. While I demonstrate a standing version of this 5:30-minute movement practice, please feel free to modify the movements for a seated version if that suits your abilities and/or preference. For example, you can simply sit and clap along to the beat if that’s what you want from your workout.

Although the dialogue in this video refers to the local context in Toronto where I live, the general message is that we need to divert waste from landfills as much as we can by properly separating recyclables and organics from garbage. I invite you to do your own research to understand how the 3Rs program is working in your own community and where there is room for improvement. At the same time, let’s celebrate the successes of Toronto’s Community Reduce & Reuse Programs!

Below is the 3Rs Workout video. Following a brief Land Acknowledgement and my comments about the need for the Canadian fitness industry to declare a climate emergency, the 5:30-minute 3Rs Workout begins with a brief warmup before we transition to the Waste Diversion Shuffle and Green Bin Bucket Lifts. We conclude with a brief cooldown, a stretch, and a mindful opportunity to make an intention to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Below the video is a transcript of the dialogue in the video as well as links to resources.

Thank you so much for joining me for the 3Rs Workout! You can find other movement practices on the Activations page of my website.

I invite you to contact me with any questions or feedback. You can email me at climatejusticefitness@gmail.com. Follow me on Instagram @annanieminenecjf

Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF) 3Rs Workout Video
video by Anna Nieminen (c) copyright 2022
Music: The Jitters by Metre
Licensed under a Creative Commons NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Transcript of Video



Welcome to Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF).

My name is Anna.

I’m grateful to be speaking to you from Toronto, which is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit and, here in Scarborough, the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.

I am canfitpro certified in Fitness Instructor Specialist (FIS), Stress Resiliency and other certifications.

I’ve been reading canfitpro magazine for years, and I can tell you that many fitness professionals (Fit Pros) take themselves very seriously when it comes to the role of fitness in promoting health.

The Canadian fitness industry is advancing in diversity & inclusion, and in fostering positive relationships with movement and our bodies.

But where I don’t see movement in the fitness industry is in recognizing that we are in a climate crisis. We Fit Pros need to “Look Up!”; in fact, we need to “Look all around us!” Because, ultimately, we can’t have healthy people without a healthy planet, including healthy cities. I say #FitnessDeclares a climate emergency! #NoFitnessOnASickPlanet

Today, I’m going to offer you a fun 3Rs Workout! We’ll start with the Waste Diversion Shuffle followed by Green Bin Bucket Lifts.

Waste Diversion Shuffle

For the Waste Diversion Shuffle, I’ve set up 2 goal posts. I have garbage on one side and not garbage on the other side. The goal of this exercise is to learn about what goes in the garbage and what goes in the Blue Bin and the Green Bin.

I’m going to turn on some music. We’ll begin with a warmup. Listen to your own body and make any modifications you need to for yourself. Let’s get started!

Let’s begin our warm up with single steps to one side and then the other, then double steps.

Did you know that in Toronto over 70% of what apartment buildings put in the garbage could have been diverted from landfill?

Only 27% of garbage collected from buildings is actually garbage!

The rest could have been diverted from landfill through the Blue Bin recycling program, the Green Bin organics program, or other programs.

We need to do better!

Let’s continue our workout with a slow shuffle for a little more cardio. We want to hinge from our hips, send our butts back, engage our cores and keep our backs flat. We want to keep our knees behind our toes. We can rest our hands on our thighs or hold them up palms facing each other.

We need to do better with waste diversion because about 7% of GHG emissions in Toronto come from waste, primarily landfills. That contributes to our locally declared climate emergency!

Let’s switch to step taps (add blocks and circular arms).

So here are some basic rules for the Waste Diversion Shuffle:

  • Black plastics should never go in recycling! They go in the garbage. So do single use coffee cups.
  • You should recycle rinsed plastic containers, glass containers, metal cans, as well as unsoiled cardboard, newspapers, and magazines.

So now that you know the basics, let’s power up our Waste Diversion Shuffle! You can continue with a slow shuffle or speed it up. Or go back to double steps. Whatever works for you!

When we recycle we can feel good that our recyclables will be made into new plastic, glass and metal containers, new boxes, new paper bags, and even bicycle parts!


Let’s transition to walking on the spot before we begin our next exercise.

Green Bin Bucket Lifts

So, kettlebell workouts have become quite poplar; they can look pretty intense, and admittedly I’ve never tried one. Let’s do some ‘heavy lifting’ where it really counts with some Green Bin Bucket Lifts!

If you live in a multi-residential building like I do, you may be familiar with this bucket for collecting your organic waste. You can just pretend that you have one handy. Mine is empty for this demo.

Let’s briefly review good form for our lifts. We want to hinge from our hips, send our butts back, engage our cores and keep our backs flat. We want to keep our knees behind our toes. When we lift, we power up through our legs all the way from our feet while extending from our hips and maintaining good form.

Let’s continue with basic Green Bin Bucket Lifts.

Food waste should not be going in the garbage and ending up in landfill!

Almost 50% of the waste we produce in our homes could go into the Green Bin.

Let’s continue with squats. Keep our knees behind our toes, elbows close to our bodies. Make this work for your body.

Remember 7% of GHG emissions come from waste, primarily landfills. That stinks! Literally! Together we can do better!

Let’s power up our Green Bin Bucket Lifts with some swings! Remember to maintain good form.

Let’s reduce our organic waste, including food waste and our use of paper towels and napkins, and divert the rest into the Green Bin Program where it can be made into compost to be used in our gardens and parks.

Excellent! I hope you had fun with that!

Cooling down, stretching, making an intention

Let’s cool down with some walking on the spot.

Now, big breath in, let’s take a full body reach overhead, stretching our eco-consciousness.

To finish, let’s bring our hands together at heart centre, shoulders relaxed. Bring your fingertips together and form a ball with your palms. Let’s symbolize holding The Earth in our hands. I invite you to make an intention to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE. Because every day is Earth Day! And breathe…

Thank you so much for joining me for the 3Rs Workout!

I invite you to contact me with any questions or feedback.

I hope to see you again next time.


Circular Economy Month and Waste Reduction Week in Canada


Recycling, Organics & Garbage in Toronto


Waste Management Guide 2021: Apartment Buildings and Condominiums. (Calendar) City of Toronto. Live Green Toronto.

Waste Diversion and Reduction Poster Series. City of Toronto. Live Green Toronto.


Become a 3Rs Ambassador Volunteer Poster. City of Toronto. Live Green Toronto.


Figure 1. Toronto’s GHG emissions (2019). TransformTO Net Zero Strategy: A climate action pathway to 2030 and beyond. City of Toronto. Live Green Toronto. November 2021.


The Jitters by Metre

Attribution: NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International


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