Froggy came across these “30 tips for eco-friendly living” - simple, positive steps for anyone to take towards living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Whatever your level of commitment, we hope you will find them inspirational!
(The following is an article by Alana Mitchell appearing online at Homemakers.com 04/10/2010).
“Increasingly, Canadians are taking the environment into their own hands rather than waiting for the government to make changes. We know that the main issue is global climate change and all the uncertainty it's bringing to our communities. Slowing the pace of climate change means focusing on how we use energy and create waste.
Creating an eco-friendly lifestyle is increasingly easier as individuals take the lead and environmentally friendly ideas works its way into mainstream thinking. Whether it's small steps or big lifestyle changes, Canadians are rising to the environmental challenge and inspiring others to live greener.
Green living: 10 small steps to leave a lighter footprint
1. Replace burned-out lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (or LED bulbs).
2. Don't idle your car.
3. Keep your car in good running condition. That means getting regular oil changes so you'll produce fewer emissions and making sure tires are properly inflated so you'll use less fuel.
4. Buy products that come in less packaging. Check that the packaging is recyclable.
5. Plug your TV and DVD player into a power bar and then switch off the power bar when you switch off the TV. These and other devices draw power even when off.
6. Disconnect your home's downspout from the municipal drains. When the rain flows straight into your yard or into cisterns, you have to water less and the earth regulates all that water before it floods your municipality's streams, rivers or lakes.
7. At least once a week, walk to do your errands instead of driving.
8. Use rotting leaves in your garden instead of peat moss. It's better to leave the peat in bogs, where it's helping the environment.
9. Recycle every last can, glass bottle, newspaper and whatever else your municipality allows.
10. In winter set your thermostat a few degrees lower while you sleep than during the day. In summer set your air conditioning a few degrees higher than you set your daytime
Greener living: 10 tips for those who want to take it to the next level
1. Replace your refrigerator with a new one if it isn't an Energy Star model. It's the costliest appliance in your house energywise, and a new one will pay for itself in energy savings.
2. Take reusable cloth bags to the grocery store so you don't have to use plastic bags.
3. Bike or walk to work once a month.
4. Install old-fashioned window awnings. They keep your house a lot cooler than drapes or blinds on the inside of windows. White reflects heat best.
5. Install a programmable thermostat so you can rack up energy savings automatically.
6. If you don't use your fireplace, have it insulated and blocked off so heat from the house doesn't get sucked up the chimney.
7. Buy your electricity from a supplier that sells renewable energy such as wind or solar.
8. Shop at farmer's markets to support the use of local farmland and avoid foods that have been shipped long distances.
9. Don't eat seafood unless you know that it was caught sustainably.
10. Give your yard a “makeunder.” That means seeding native plants, which need little water or fertilizer and no pesticides. It's less work in the long run and provides living space for insects and birds.
Greenest living: 10 changes when you're ready for a real eco-commitment
1. Try using ceiling fans instead of air conditioning. To keep cool, use a dehumidifier, close drapes during the day and open windows at night.
2. Start a “free store” in your community stocked with hand-me-down clothing and sports gear. The principle is to give as often as you take.
3. For an entire month, only buy food grown in your own province. Try this during the summer.
4. Ask your office manager about making some green changes at work, such as shutting off computers and lights when they're not being used; keeping office temperatures comfortable but not extreme (you shouldn't have to wear a sweater in summer); and setting up a green purchasing system for office supplies such as printer and copier paper that takes into account the energy costs of manufacturing and transporting goods. Check frogfile.ca for green office supplies.
5. Take a train to your next out-of-town meeting instead of driving or flying.
6. Invest in a new furnace if your old one is less than 80 to 90 per cent efficient.
7. Have a certified EnerGuide technician do an energy audit of your home. It's a program devised by the federal government to let homeowners know how they can save money on energy costs and cut down on emissions.
8. If it's time to replace your car, make fuel efficiency a key criterion. The most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market are small, lightweight cars and gasoline-electric hybrids. If your old car is running well, keep it tuned up; it may be easier on the earth's resources than manufacturing a new car.
9. Check that your attic is well ventilated and well insulated – key to keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
10. Lobby your municipality to support a green roof program. Growing plants on roofs cools down buildings and absorbs carbon dioxide. Across neighbourhoods, this can make a real difference.
A final note from Froggy:
Don’t forget to keep your home – and our earth – clean with eco-friendly cleaning products that are kind to the environment. Our own FroggyLaundry Powder is certified biodegradable, non toxic – hypoallergenic too! – and requires only 1 Tablespoons worth to clean an entire load of laundry. Safe for small lakes and streams - and septic systems, too! And with no fillers or scents, bleaches or artificial ingredients, this powder is gentle for even the most sensitive skins. And yes! The entire 75 loads worth of powder fits into a coffee bag! Good for the environment – great for the pocketbook!