Green Tips

  • Upgrade to newer appliances. Older appliances use a lot of energy – like a 10-year-old fridge that uses 40% more energy than a new model. Some cities offer buy back programs for old fridges, too, so as to recover the ozone-depleting GHGs.
  • Take your vacation closer to home. You’ll probably save money and avoid the stresses of airline travel. Many of us live in places that tourists from elsewhere visit, so take a holiday in your own region and find out what it has to offer.
  • Go WWOOF-ing. Willing Workers on Organic Farms, or WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms, has been around since the 1970’s. It’s a great way to travel, work and learn about organic farms in a hands-on way.
  • Try video-conferencing instead of flying. Companies are using video-conferencing to cut back on business trips. It helps reduce costs – in time, money and the environmental impacts – while employees avoid the stress of traveling and time away from home.
  • If you must fly, fly during the daytime. Studies shown that flights taken at night have a greater impact on the climate.
  • Throw-away society. Each Canadian throws away approximately half a kilogram of packaging daily. In fact, half of our cities’ solid waste by volume  and one-third by weight is made up of packaging.
  • Travelling by air? Pack light, because lighter planes mean less fuel is burned.
  • Getting married? Plan a low-carbon wedding, make it carbon neutral, if possible. Learn more by Googling “low-carbon wedding”!
  • Check out your local recycling centre. Whether or not you have curbside recycling, you should see whether your local recycling depot takes additional materials, like old solvents and paints, reusable building supplies, or E-waste.
  • Did you know? The problem with meat: the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock are responsible for 18% annual GHG emissions, while only 14% of GHG come from the world’s transportation sector.
  • Try to eat only when you are hungry. We sometimes eat three meals a day just out of habit. Try making one of those meals smaller. Cutting back is good for the body and for the environment.
  • Reusable containers instead of “doggy bags”. Now that you’re over the stigma of doggy bagging, try bringing reusable containers to work or school, for whenever you decide to go for lunch. That way you can avoid styrofoam take out containers.
  • Wash out bottles, cans and jars before recycling them. Leaving food remnants in your recyclables runs the risk of contaminating the rest of the recycling, which may force the whole lot to be thrown out.
  • Recycle the lids of the pizza box. Pizza boxes with grease stains are contaminated and therefore unrecyclable. Often the lid will be grease free, so it can be cut off and recycled.
  • Drop off batteries and printer cartridges. Check with your municipality for battery and printer cartridge drop off dates and locations. Many communities now have a few days a year when they collect such items for special recycling, even fundraising.
  • Go through your own garbage. This may sound gross, but it can give you a sense of how you could dispose of your waste better. Sometimes, up to 80% of typical household garbage can be recycled or composted. Remember to wear gloves.
  • The value of a plastic bottle. Recycling just one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for six hours.
  • Saving trees by recycling. It takes only 54 kg of recycled newspaper to save one tree. In 2006, the city of Guelph, Ontario, recycled over 6,800 tons of newspaper enough to save over 130,000 trees.

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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