Kermit the Frog once said: “It’s not easy being green”. But that was a long time ago. In today’s eco-conscious world, families are discovering that it is easy to be green and are making many more efforts to become environmentally responsible. In our family, we aren’t ‘tree-hugging hippies’ but I can honestly say that we are very eco-aware (my kids too!). We recycle everything, we compost, we turn off all lights, unplug/turn-off electronics when not in use, we watch our water consumption, we buy organic and don’t use pesticides. But there is still so much more we can all do… Did you know you could make your own cleaners? Pick up inexpensive spray bottles at the dollar store and concoct your own cleaning solutions. Baking soda and vinegar make excellent natural solvents. Check out these recipes on the David Suzuki website: www.davidsuzuki.org. Support ‘Green’ companies who recycle and have minimal packaging in product & packaging. Two months ago we ordered books from Chapters and they came packaged in that awful ‘bubble wrap’ . Sure it’s fun for kids for about 5 minutes but then it winds up in the garbage. This past week, more books came but this time, they were wrapped in a reclable green biodegradable airspeed inflatable packaging (www.pregis.com/Sustainability). It’s these types of changes we need to see. ‘Green’ your home. Visit the Hydro website for many things you can do to make your home more energy efficient while saving money. www.hydroone.com/MyHome Get rid of the plastic! Buy BPA-free usable bottles. You may be recycling but the majority of bottles still end up in land-fills. Don’t use plastic shopping bags, or wrap or baggies. There are so many great alternatives out there! Get rid of disposables. Plastic cutlery, paper plates and cups are a no-no! It may mean more dishes but it’s better for the environment. And don’t wash your dishes by hand – run full loads of your dishwasher – it’s more efficient. Support this initiative by the city of Toronto – Environment Days. Do your part in creating a cleaner, greener and more liveable Toronto. You can bring your unused and unwanted household items or electronics at many locations in the city from now until the fall and you will help to recycle it, donate it for reuse or dispose of it safely. www.toronto.ca/environment_days For me it’s simple. I think of my children and their children, and our beautiful planet … that’s what motivates me. Everyone counts so if every family jumps in, we’re definitely heading towards a better world! PS – If you don’t know the size of your carbon footprint, here’s where you can calculate it. www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator. You’ll be surprised by the results!
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