Here we are one month into 2011; have you kept your New Year’s resolutions?
Here’s an easy way to keep a resolution to yourself and to the planet with my
five (5) easy ways to be greener and I’m not talking about giving up your car. They’re what I consider the basics for green living and you’ll even save money.
- Reduce your waste – I’m not talking about recycling, I’m talking about reducing the need for a product to be disposed of in the first place, i.e. not consumed. For example, choose bar soap, over liquid soap (eliminate the plastic bottle), choose filtered water from home (transported in stainless steel containers) instead of bottled water or choose unpackaged fruits and veggies at the grocery store. Simple gestures like these add up and equal a lot less waste in our landfills.
- Upgrade to environmentally-friendly cleaning products – Finish up the current ones you have but replace them one-by-one with green cleaning products. These days, there are tons of brands available that are high-performing, grease-cutting, non-toxic and biodegradable so there’s no excuse not to use them. If you wouldn’t pour your conventional cleaning soaps into a lake when camping, why is it ok in the city? It ends up in our lakes and oceans anyways and slowly degrades aquatic life. Upgrade your dishwashing liquid, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, all purpose spray (citrasolv is great) and use vinegar for windows and hardwood floors.
- Start composting – Composting is the best thing I have done in a long time. I have reduced my waste by 70%. Lots of alternatives exist from buying a composter for the backyard to municipal pick-ups. Call your city to see what your options are.
- Bring your lunch to work – So much of the daily waste we throw away is directly related to our food. Instead of throwing out plastic or Styrofoam containers from your lunch, plan your weekly meals out Sunday night and bring the leftovers to work in “glass” Tupperware. Important to use glass as it doesn’t leach pthalates (hormones disruptor’s found in plastics). And for those days when you didn’t prepare anything the night before, keep a Tupperware container in your drawer at work to take to your nearest café/restaurant so at least there’s no waste. No joke, I actually do this!
- Participate in Meatless Mondays – Reducing your meat consumption 1 day a week is a great way to lower your eco-footprint. Consider this, you will save more water by not eating a pound of beef, than by not showering for 6 months! Regular meat eaters who cut out meat one day a week reduce their carbon footprint by 28.5% and according to Nancy Callan, a board member of Earthsave, “More greenhouse gasses can be prevented by going meatless one day a week than by eating locally seven days a week.” Pledge to reduce your meat consumption by participating in Meatless Monday USA or Meatless Monday Canada and see how good (and less bloated) you will feel!