There are tons of things we can do in our homes to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the state of our planet.
Here are some small, easy to implement ideas:
1. Reduce consumption
Good organization allows you to know what you currently have on hand. This will help you avoid unnecessary purchases of duplicate products.
It's really easy to recycle things nowadays. If you live in an area with curbside pick up then the task gets even easier!
Sometimes we have items that we want to get rid of but we just aren't sure about whether or not they are recyclable. The Recycling Council of British Columbia has a great resource called Recyclepedia. Wondering where to recycle certain materials? Select the item from the menu and find out where you can drop it off. They also have a mobile app!
3. Donate unused items
Donate unused items to a local charity. Please keep items that are in good condition out of the landfill.
Donate unused women's clothing to your local women's charity or organize a clothing swap with friends. Did you know the average person wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time?
Household items can be donated to Habitat for Humanity where generated funds are used to fund local home building projects for local families.
There are lots of great causes to support. Find one that speaks to you!
4. Donate books
Donate your unwanted books to a good cause. The Rotary Club of Courtenay is hosting their spring Book Sale April 25-28, 2017.
5. Stop wasting food
Considering the high cost of food these days it's hard to believe that so much of it is being thrown out. In 2016 CBC News reported that $31 billion worth of food ended up in Canadian landfills or compost piles! That's stupefying! Many items can be frozen for consumption at a later date which would save you money and save the items from the landfill. Win-win!
6. Reduce fuel consumption
Save valuable time and cut down on your fuel bill by planning out your trips into town.
7. Compost and grow
Start a compost pile and use it to grow some vegetables. You can start composting vegetable scraps, coffee grounds... and then use the compost to fertilize your vegetable garden. It's not as difficult as you might think. Please be sure to keep your compost covered and contained as you don't want to attract any critters, Tempelton from Charlotte's Web to be specific.
8. Reuseable water bottles
Use a stainless steel water bottle if you can. Bottled water does have it's place but we shouldn't make a habit of purchasing it routinely. According to a recent Toronto Sun article, “as few as 50 per cent of the water bottles Torontonians consume everyday are actually being recycled. That means as many as 65 million empty plastic water bottles per year end up as garbage in a landfill waste site.” In some communities the percentage of water bottles that end up in landfills can be as high as 80 per cent. Save our planet and save your money!
9. Rethink your cleaning supplies
There are so many great alternatives to using the standard cleaning supplies that we know are an environmental disaster. Microfiber cloths are a great alternative to some of the disposable products out there.
Vinegar has become a very popular multi use cleaning solution.
Baking Soda also has a variety of uses.
If we do a little research we can come up with some great alternatives to rid our homes of the nasty chemicals that are found in many cleaning products today.
10. Change your light bulbs
LED lighting is now becoming mainstream. BC Hydro routinely offers rebates to make the switch to energy efficient products more affordable. While the cost of replacing bulbs may seem high, you will save on your energy consumption and the bulb will last much longer than a regular incandescent bulb, consequently saving you money.
Each and every one of us can do something to help the environment.
Together we can make a difference...
Do you have some eco-friendly tips that you'd like to share? Please post them in the comments section below!