Living a healthier, greener life can be easier than you think. And if we all make small adjustments, the benefit to our environment can be huge.
As the calendar ticks over to a new year, for many of us, it’s resolution time – a chance to take stock and clear the decks or face new challenges. Yay, us!
But sometimes we make grand resolutions that know we’ll have a tough time keeping. Think of all those fitness club visits that quickly taper off as the year marches on. A more sustainable approach in deciding on how to improve your quality of life is to make smaller, more manageable decisions.
Read on for some easy green living tweaks that you can start today:
#5 Ditch the Room Fresheners
Room fresheners don’t really “freshen” the air — they simply mask one odour with another. They also release a myriad of toxic chemicals that can make you quite sick with long-term exposure. Try these simple alternatives to keep your home smelling fresh: empty your garbage bins often, make sure your air circulation is adequate and invest in a good air purifier with both a charcoal and HEPA filter. If you like your rooms scented, consider using natural essential oils like peppermint, citrus or cloves.
#4 Give Your Clothes the Big Chill
Just a few small changes to your laundry routine can have a positive impact on the environment – and your electricity bill. Did you know that you don’t need to constantly wash your clothes in hot water? Heating the water uses about 90% of the energy required to run a load. So save money and reduce energy use. Click here for more earth-friendly laundry tips.
#3 Grant Your Car a Day Off
Letting your car sit in the driveway for just one day a week can reduce your expenses, as well as the size of your carbon footprint. Take public transit or look into car-pooling for travelling to work — some businesses have programs encouraging employees to share rides. And who knows? You may even get to know your co-workers better.
#2 Let a Computer Set Your Thermostat
If you’d like to save some money, stay cozy and help the environment, then a programmable thermostat may be for you – especially if you tend to forget to lower the heat when you’re not at home or before bedtime. Some programmable thermostats are able to connect to WIFI, allowing you to set your ideal home temperature over your computer, tablet or smart phone. The most basic systems can be self-installed and will pay for themselves quickly in energy cost savings.
#1 Kick the Plastic Habit
It seems like the easy alternative when you’re on the go, but bottled water is all-around bad news for both the environment and your body. A whopping one million bottles of water are sold globally each and every minute. In Ontario, only about 14% of those plastic bottles get recycled – that means about a billion bottles are sent to landfills each year. That’s bad enough, but consider that recent studies have shown 93% of bottled water contains plastic residues. Not cool. So, why not get yourself a re-usable bottle, an inexpensive water filtration system and, for extra fun, one of those nifty home carbonation systems?
Have a great — and green — New Year!
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