Green Tips

  • Learn about Canadian R-2000 homes. These certified homes offer amazing efficiency, using 30%-40% less energy than a regular home. They cost more up front, but R-2000 homes save plenty of money and boost resale value in the long run.
  • Understand the products and materials you use in business. Are harmful chemicals or questionable labour standards or disposal practices used in the products you routinely use? What are the alternatives?
  • Vermicomposting = composting with earthworms. Organic food waste makes up about 34% of all landfill waste. Learn about vermicomposting in your area to see how you can get started. Worm castings make fantastic fertilizer for plants.
  • Make your own soap! Chemical residues that go down our drains from industrially made soaps affect the environment. Natural soap isn’t hard to make and can be a great family activity, lessening the impact on the environment.
  • Practice, in this order, the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. First, reduce your consumption and waste production. Second, reuse things before buying new. Finally, recycle glass, metal, paper and plastics.. and compost food and yard waste.
  • Reduce your use of Styrofoam cups and take out containers. When you go to your favorite take-out joint, bring reusable containers to put your food in. Some studies show styrofoam will take thousands of years to break down.
  • Eat what you buy and buy what you need. Twenty-seven percent of all food produced in North America is wasted. Don’t be shy to doggy-bag that half of the plate you didn’t eat.
  • Choose rigid versus soft plastic containers. Bring yogurt containers to the bulk-foods store to fill with nuts, grains, flour, etc. They last longer than plastic bags and can be recycled in more communities than plastic bags.
  • Turn down your stove element once a pot starts to boil. Lightly boiling water is the same temperature as water at a roaring boil, and requires only a small amount of energy to keep boiling.
  • Use cloth tea towels rather than paper towels. Take some time to embroider your towels, embellish them with scrap fringe and fabrics to make them really special. Your family will cherish them for years.
  • Switch to digital music. If you haven’t already stopped buying CDs and DVD’s now’s the time to make the switch to buying digital music and movies online. It saves on plastics, packaging and transport costs, materials and GHG emissions!
  • In the home or office keep packing materials. Hang on to packing materials like bubble wrap, styrofoam “peanuts”, etc. that can be reused. They may also prove useful the next time you’re moving or even doing arts and crafts.
  • Reusing the water. When cleaning out the fish tank, give the nutrient rich water to your indoor or outdoor plants. Grey water down the drain is wasted.
  • Steam-cleaning the microwave. Instead of using chemical cleaners, place a mug of water in the microwave and boil on high for 2-3 minutes. The steam will soften the baked on food and make it easy to wipe up – with a reusable cloth of course!
  • Invest in party glasses. If you like hosting gatherings and often find yourself buying plastic glasses, try buying inexpensive, washable wine glasses to keep for the next round of festivities.
  • Practice green financial planning. When it comes to investing your hard-earned cash, look into alternatives such as ethical funds or green energy investments.
  • Doggy-bag it! Restaurant portions can be excessively large. Instead of overeating out of guilt, since you don’t want to waste it, doggy bag the leftovers to eat the next day. You’ll enjoy a great meal twice.
  • Make green renovations. Some government and municipalities offer incentives for green renovations. If your home is due for some work, see what grants are out there to help your budget – and the planet.
  • Book-worms should try e-books. New Technology now allows you to carry a book size digital reader with you, containing dozens of books, thus reducing all the paper, packaging and transport of traditional book publishing.

About heathereyestone

I'm a stay at home mom of 4 kids, the youngest being twins. I try to live my life as green as I can, and love the outdoors.
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