EnviroTips: Planet-friendly ways to live comfortably
Do something every day – something big or something small – to protect our planet.
A good start is simply to remember that every choice you make, everything you do or don’t do, affects the planet. Think about the lifetime environmental impact – from production to packaging to use to disposal – of everything you use or buy.
Here are some things people have done to protect the environment. Do you have an idea that’s not on the list?
Save energy – Turn it down or turn it off!
- Open your windows at night, and close them (and the curtains) during the day.
- Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. It will save energy and extend the life of your hard drive.
- Turn off the lights and your monitor when you leave the office. Have the office early bird and the last to leave turn the printer on and off.
- Keep your house – and office, if you can – a couple of degrees warmer in summer, cooler in winter. You’ll be amazed how quickly you get used to it.
- Use the stairs if you’re only going up or down a few floors.
Save energy – Make good choices!
- Resist the temptation to open your oven door to check on your food.
- Save money and energy with energy-efficient appliances. And keep your appliance filters clean!
- Reduce air conditioning costs by planting trees to shade your house.
- Tired of replacing those hard-to-reach light bulbs? Compact fluorescent bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescents, and use up to 75% less energy!
- Learn to use your programmable thermostat.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Insulate, caulk and weather-strip!
- Do you know what drier lint is? Bits of your clothing! Hang-drying will use less energy and your clothes will last longer!
- Treat your car to a drive-through car wash. You’ll save more water than you might expect.
- Don’t run the water while you scrub vegetables or brush your teeth!
- Get a good low-flow shower head.
- Repair or replace leaky taps and hoses.
- Collect rainwater for your lawn and garden.
- Use a broom rather than a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways.
- How do you get to work, school or the movies? Take public transit or carpool or walk or cycle to save money and reduce emissions. Join the commuter challenge.
- Use potpourri rather than aerosols.
- Use a push lawn mower – burn calories and protect the atmosphere. (Did you know that a gasoline-powered lawn mower pollutes three or four times as much per hour as your car?)
- Have regular tune-ups and check your tire pressure
- Paper, cardboard, yard waste and construction debris generate smoke loaded with carcinogens and other toxins. Don’t burn!
- Don’t blow your leaves – rake them.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Clothing swaps, garage sales and municipal recycling programs give household goods a second chance at life.
- Feed the land, not the landfill. If your community doesn’t have a composting program, build or buy your own backyard composter
- Turn old clothes into cleaning cloths and rags, and buy fewer paper towels.
- Discarded plastic bags pollute and are a threat to wildlife. Always carry a canvas, cotton, linen or hemp bag.
- Find recyclers or retailers who will accept your retired electronics.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers, instead of foil or cling wrap. Bring a reusable bottle or mug to the office.
- Give to an environmental charity.
- Help improve or clean up a municipal, provincial or national park.
- Create YouTube videos showing ways to protect the environment.
- Work with schools to sponsor nature walks and talks, and pick up litter as you go along.
- Involve politicians and the media in your events.
- Learn about species at risk in your area. Find a way to help.
Be good to the environment
- Do you hate the smell of mothballs? Try cedar chips!
- Using commercial cleaners and paper towels on your windows? Why not try 125 ml of vinegar, 4 L of water and a squeegee?
- Avoid traditional household cleaning products in favour of baking soda, vinegar and water. They’re cheaper, healthier and better for the environment.
- Use wild flowers, water and a bird feeder to create a wildlife sanctuary in your back yard.
- Plant trees as part of an organized activity or in your back yard. Every time you plant a tree, register it at The Greenwave.
- Don’t disturb spawning fish, aquatic plants and invertebrates with powerboats and personal watercraft.
- Have a trash-free barbeque. Tell your guests to bring their own dinnerware. Hike or picnic in the woods or a meadow or on a mountain.
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