Since I started working at Ontario Nature about a year ago, I’ve been inspired to live a greener lifestyle. Here are five super easy changes I’ve made that ultimately benefit my small part of the planet:
Energy: I unplug everything (phone charger, TV, fan, lamp) when I leave the house. This is a simple way to conserve energy that takes minimal effort. It’s a win-win as it also shrinks your energy bills!
Products: I love buying toiletries that smell fruity and fresh, but now I buy ones that are plant-based, biodegradable and, where possible, in a recyclable container. Often what deters people, including me, from these products is their cost. But there are some eco-friendly brands that will not break the bank and more and more stores are carrying them.
Food: Buying food at farmer’s markets is well worth the time and effort. I live in the suburbs, where finding local, organic food can challenging, but Richmond Hill has stepped up its eco-game with a farmer’s markets at Hillcrest Mall (Wednesdays and Sundays) and the Toronto Waldorf School (Saturday mornings). Better yet, growing your own food is also fun and it adds to the overall food experience! While it sounds intimidating, trust me, keeping a tomato plant alive doesn’t take a green thumb.
Water: We only water the flowers and vegetable plants at my house. I admit my grass is pretty yellow and a little fried, but we’ve saved a lot of water letting nature take care of our grass. We also installed a low flow tap in our kitchen sink, which gets the most use.
Reuse: I always did this, but now I do it more often. For example, I reuse old yogurt and sour cream containers to pack lunches and snacks. Of course consuming less is still the gold standard.
These are some ways I have tried to lead a greener lifestyle. I’m always looking for new ideas, so please let me know some of your favourites.
Kavita was Ontario Nature's Community Engagement Coordinator.