Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going Green: 5 Easy Tips

It’s not always easy being green. Sure, we can recycle, buy local and use public transit – but, we’d all like to do more. Here are five easy things (you may not have thought of) that you could do to make a big green impact.  

1. Carry A Cup
FACT: One million paper coffee cups and 200,000 water bottles are sent to landfill from Toronto alone each day. We all love to enjoy a little beverage during our busy days – have it be a steaming cup of java from the local coffee shop or a cold, refreshing bottle of water while you’re on the go.  Put a reusable cup or bottle in your purse or car. Almost every java stop will gladly fill your reusable cup for you. This small, green gesture can really add up! 

2. Savvy Green Cleaning
There are hundreds of magic cleaning products that claim to solve all your household problems in a squirt or swipe. But, what happens to these chemicals once they go down the drain? 

Choosing to buy ‘green’ (environmentally friendly) chemicals to clean your house is a great way to reduce the amount of disruptive chemicals our lakes and rivers are exposed too. Plus, it’s healthier for your family. But, be wary of ‘greenwashing’ – products making unregulated claims and vague promises like ‘natural’ or ‘green’.  How do you find the truly green clean?  Look for the EcoLogo symbol. The EcoLogo certification is one of the most recognized stamps of ‘green’-approval. It certifies that a product and its company follow stringent environmental standards – and, you can smile with pride as the EcoLogo was developed by the Government of Canada.

3.  Make a List
FACT: The average person wastes more than 20 pounds of edible store-bought meat each year. Make a list and check it twice.  When you head out to your local health food store, take a list with you. Plan out your meals for the next few days and purchase what you need.  By planning ahead, you can reduce your food wastage. Making a list is an easy way to go green…but, don’t fret – if you don’t follow our list use the freezer to avoid having spoiled meat.

4. Buy Bigger
Ever stopped to think about the amount of packaging used to transport your vitamins and other healthy goods home? Ever thought about buying big instead? Buying larger sizes may reduce the amount of packaging you throw out – for example, consider buying the bigger size of your favorite multivitamin. As for soaps, consider refilling the containers at your local health food store. These are great ‘green’ ways to reduce the amount of packaging tossed to the curb on garbage day.

5. Beautifully Green
FACT: The average adult uses about nine personal care products per day. Do you know what’s in them? Carcinogens, reproductive toxins and other nasty chemicals can be found in many cosmetics. And, you put those on your skin! Yuck. Buying mineral-based cosmetics, soaps made with natural ingredients and skin creams without parabens are some beautiful ways to go green. 

Reminder: Earth Day is April 22

My Confession: 
I'm a big user of "clean" cosmetics. And, those mineral eye shadows are lovely, or in the words of my preschooler "so shimmery and shinny".  Worried about your skin? Wondering, "How do I stop wrinkles?" One of the easiest things to do is stop putting harmful chemicals on your skin. 

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