We often think that it takes big steps to be able to save the planet. However, on an everyday basis, it’s possible to change your habits to include ones that reduce your ecological footprint. Entraide diabetique du Québec offers you 7 simple steps to take now…
Change your transportation habits
If you live in the city and public transit is accessible, leave your car at home and take the bus, train or metro. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this will help you be more active when you travel. Weather permitting, opt for walking or cycling—another great opportunity to get active every day. If public transportation is less accessible, you could carpool with co-workers. This will cut down on the number of cars on the road, while reducing GHGs.
Support local agriculture
Did you know that an imported fruit requires 10 to 20 times more fuel during transport than a locally produced fruit? By choosing local foods, you will once again contribute to reducing GHGs and fuel consumption. When shopping, think about buying seasonal products. In addition to being economical and much fresher, seasonal fruits and vegetables travel less mileage before reaching your grocery basket and are better tasting, too. You can also sign up for baskets offered by family farmers, a wonderful way to ensure that the products you buy have been grown in Quebec, while supporting local farms. If you are lucky enough to have sufficiently large grounds, you could also start gardening. This will enable you to better understand the realities faced by farmers, while minimizing the transportation of your fruits and vegetables.
Decrease your use of chemical cleaning products
Harmful for both the planet and yourself, chemical cleaning products can easily be replaced by food from your kitchen or ecological products purchased in bulk. In fact, your pantry is full of miracle products that can be just as effective as store-bought solutions. Think vinegar, baking soda and lemon to make your own cleaning products. To avoid wasting plastic, go to a store that offers refilling. You can simply bring your laundry or dish soap containers, kitchen cleaner or floor cleaners and choose from the wide selection of products available. In this way, you will support local businesses, while avoiding wasting your empty containers.
Adopt a zero-waste lifestyle
To adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, a number of actions can be taken. In shops, remember to bring your reusable bags to place your purchases inside. Find stores that sell bulk products. You can then have your containers filled with spices, pasta, oil or other ingredients. By choosing this option, you will be able to purchase the desired quantity, which will reduce your food waste and the amount of packaging disposed of in the garbage. Even for bathroom items, instead of traditional shampoo bottles, you can opt for bar-shaped shampoos or have your containers filled. There are also reusable feminine hygiene products (menstrual cup or washable sanitary napkins), as well as reusable cotton make-up removal pads.
Reduce your electricity consumption
At home, there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce your electricity consumption. Buy LED bulbs that last 15 to 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb. A little more expensive to buy, these bulbs could save you up to 90% of your electricity consumption. For your household appliances, opt for ENERGY STAR models, which could reduce your energy costs by 30% to 50%. Also remember to turn off the lights in your home when you leave a room and unplug unused electronic devices. For outdoor lights or your pool filter, get a timer, which will help you avoid consuming electricity unnecessarily at night.
Avoid wasting water
An average Canadian consumes about 335 litres of water per day, the equivalent of three bathtubs full. An impressive figure when you really think of it! To limit your water consumption, take a shower rather than a bath and remember to turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. If you need to renovate your bathroom, choose a low-flow shower head and toilet—very advantageous options to reduce water consumption. In the kitchen, avoid using the dishwasher when it isn’t full and consider washing dishes by hand, as this wastes much less water. And lastly, in summer, think about collecting rainwater to water your lawn and garden, so you won’t have to use the garden hose unnecessarily.
Encourage the circular economy by giving away what you no longer use
If you are a big shopper and your closets are full of unused clothing or other items in good condition, consider grouping them together and donating them to Entraide diabétique du Québec. In this way, you will encourage a circular economy, while avoiding sending things needlessly to landfill sites. In addition, try going to thrift shops and other clothes swapping events to get new clothes. Online sites for selling articles are also a real gold mine for finding low-cost items in good condition and thereby avoiding the production of new items.
While the fight against global warming is on everyone’s lips, it is everyone’s duty to change their habits in order to actively participate in protecting the environment. Take these simple steps to be part of the change!