Published by: LifeWorks,
Earth Day is an annual global initiative that takes place on April 22 and aims to highlight environmental issues such as pollution, climate change, waste and deforestation.
Canada is the world’s 10th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases affect the earth as they trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. Increasing gas levels contribute to global warming which if left unchecked can contribute to significant negative changes to our planet. 1
We can all do our part to lower these emissions by making small changes every day.
Unplug home electronics when they’re not in use. “Stand by mode” can account for up to 10% of all electricity used in a Canadian home.2
Use a slow cooker. One-pot appliances draw minimal electricity and have the added advantage of requiring very little meal preparation.
Switch all your lights to energy-efficient bulbs. Look for the Energy Star symbol. An internationally recognized symbol indicates that a product is a certified energy-efficient.3
Shut off the lights when you leave a room.
Avoid gasoline-powered equipment for yard work. Use a rake rather than a leaf blower. Try a battery-powered or electric lawnmower. Either option will generate far less pollution and consume less energy than gas.
Wash clothes in cold water. You’ll save up to $63 per year in electric bills,4 and if you use laundry detergent specially formulated for cold water, your clothes will be just as clean, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.
Collect rainwater. Hook a rain barrel up to gutter downspouts to capture water for your garden or lawn. Remember to keep any outdoor water containers covered so that mosquitoes can’t breed in them.
Reuse what you can. Bring your own reusable cup for hot and cold beverages, switch to a glass or metal water bottle instead of plastic and bring your own reusable shopping bag to the store.
Buy reusable items. Rechargeable batteries, travel mugs, and washable picnic plates are just some alternatives to disposable goods.
Pay bills and bank online. If you haven’t done so already, set up online accounts with your bank, utilities, and other companies you do business with regularly. You can also arrange automatic payments for regular expenses. By using less paper, you’ll save trees and reduce waste.
Compost your food waste and yard clippings. Instead of throwing away yard clippings and kitchen waste, such as coffee grounds and vegetable peels, turn them into fertilizer. Build a compost bin or purchase one. Composting is possible even if you don’t have a yard.
Choose products made from recycled — and recyclable — material.Look for laundry detergent boxes, plastic bags, aluminum products, carpeting, clothing, decking, purses, and even shoes made from recycled material.