If you’re looking for resolutions to adopt for the new year…you’re already 10 days late! But that’s okay because the following ideas for reducing your carbon footprint are great to try anytime. Here are some resolutions for your home (in a later post I’ll provide resolutions for the road):
Out with the old — fast food and supermarkets – and in with the new – organic and local produce.The production of organic food causes much less environmental damage than conventional agriculture. It’s pesticide-free, and with demand growing every year it’s becoming easier to find in communities almost everywhere. Buying locally grown food is even better; it helps reduce aviation pollution, which is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Compost your organic kitchen waste
You can compost fruits, vegetables, tea bags and coffee grounds, as well as leaf and yard waste. Compost makes valuable fertilizer and reduces the amount of waste in landfills. By composting, a family of three can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than one-eighth of a tonne each year.
Take up gardening
A green thumb leads to a healthy planet, and it’s a great way to relieve stress. Growing your own fruit, vegetables and plants in the garden can beautify your property and is great exercise. If you don’t have a backyard, seek out community gardens in your area, and make gardening a social activity!
Hit the off switch
Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the planet – and your bank account. Energy saving measures at home can cut bills for a typical family by hundreds of dollars a year. Simply turning your room thermostat down by one degree could cut up to 10% off your heating bill. Programmable thermostats are now readily available to make this even easier. Other measures include insulating your home, using energy efficient light bulbs, switching to renewable energy, turning off lights and unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.
Stay true to an old standby: recycle
Everything old can be new again. Recycle and reuse.The average person throws out their body weight in garbage every 3 months. Get familiar with your community’s recycling program. They may have added new products to the list of recyclables. Half of electrical goods left at dumps work, or require only very basic repairs, so think before discarding them.
Connect with nature
It’s a fact; the more emotionally and physically attached we are to the natural world, the more likely we’ll act to conserve the planet’s nature. So find time to connect with nature, and remind yourself of nature’s wonders. There are many ways to do this; here are seven:
- Visit a national park that you’ve never been to before.
- Relive a piece of Canadian history at a national historic site or park.
- Participate in a local environmental cleanup or restoration project.
- Make your voice heard on at least one environmental issue this year.
- Share a picnic lunch with your family at a provincial park.
- Camp for One Weekend under the stars.
- Teach a child to swim, or climb a tree.