5 Ways to Be Green in 2012

Are you looking for ways to make your 2012 “Green”? Here are some easy things that you can do to help the environment. Why not make one of them a New Year resolution?

Water bottle waste

Water bottle waste

1. Veto the water bottle – that’s right folks, they may be convenient, but they have a huge impact on our environment!

  • Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
  • 80% of the plastic bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills
  • There are harmful chemicals in plastic, such as bisphenol A (or BPA) that can leech into your water
  • Twice as much water is used to produce the bottles than the actual amount of water in the bottle

So be healthy and environmentally friendly! Buy a reusable BPA free bottle and fill it from the tap. Sources: greenupgrader.comotterbottle.ca 

Use a reusable bag and stop paying for plastic

Use a reusable bag and stop paying for plastic

2. Reusable Grocery Bags – stop paying for those plastic bags at grocery stores and invest in a reusable bag. Keep a small one bundled up in your purse or a few in your car, and you’ll never pay for a plastic bag again.

  • Canadians use 9-15 billion plastic shopping bags per year. Having a hard time picturing that? If you tied 9 billion together, you could circle the earth 55 times.
  • Plastic bags are in the top 12 items of debris most often found in coastal clean ups. When plastic bags are in the water, they can pose a threat to turtles, whales and dolphins who confuse them with jellyfish. They eat them, and can choke on them.

Source: greenerfootprints.com 

Get rid of those files - convert to paperless!

Get rid of those files – convert to paperless!

3. Convert to paperless – Paperless is the way to go. You can get your bills and bank statements online. This saves the waste, and it can save you a buck or two.

  • Some places charge you an extra $2.00 – $5.00 per month for using paper billing still.
  • You can also subscribe to your favorite magazine or newspaper online instead of getting it delivered
  • In the US, each person uses 340 kilograms of paper every year
  • World consumption of paper has increased by 400 percent in the last 40 years

Source: ecology.com 

Start a garden to grow your own

Start a garden to grow your own

4. Grow Your Own (Or buy local) – If you have a green thumb, try to grow some of your own veggies. You’ll feel rewarded when you finally get to eat them!

If you’re not a garden guru, try visiting your local farm market for fresh fruits, veggies and meats. You’ll generally find better quality than at the grocery store, plus you reduce the waste created by packaging, shipping and storing facilities.

Dry your clothes outside to make them wrinkle-free!

Dry your clothes outside to make them wrinkle-free!

5. Save Money by Saving Around the Home – There are many long-term ideas for saving money by saving around the home. You can do significant things or you can save on a smaller scale. The choice is yours.

  • On a large scale, you can upgrade the efficiency of your home. You can upgrade your furnace, windows, or your insulation. This will make it so your home uses less energy to heat, and ensure that less energy is wasted through gaps and cracks. If you do look into some of these ideas, be sure to check out the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grants available through National Resources Canada. Find out more at http://nrcan.gc.ca
  • On a smaller scale, you can use less by taking shorter showers, use a clothes line, use a timer on your thermostat and unplugging electronics when not in use
  • The average shower uses 20 gallons of water, where as an average bath uses 30-50 gallons of water
  • Trying your clothes by sunlight helps kill germs because the sun acts as a natural germ killer as it warms up. It also improves your clothes appearance by reducing wrinkling when the wind blows’

Sources: livestrong.comconsumerenergycentre.org

So make the decision this year to live green and help the environment! Do you have any other eco-friendly ideas for a new years resolution? We’d love to hear them!

Happy New Year!