As heirs to this beautiful planet, it is our responsibility, even in the smallest of ways, to be eco-friendly. However, sometimes life gets in our way and we go for what is easier rather than what is best for the Earth and our local environment.
Many times, this can lead to guilt when we finally slow down and really get a chance to think about all the small ways in which we can help. After all, a little change here or there is not really as inconvenient as we make it in the back of our minds and we can all sleep better knowing that we did our parts.
There are more than a few ways to change our lifestyles for the good of the planet. Here are three significant things we can do:
Save on Electricity
There is a plethora of ways in which you can save on electricity daily. This means conserving power as well as saving financially. First of all, did you know that using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher between 7 pm and noon can save you money? It’s true! Energy companies in Calgary and all over Canada have peak and off-peak hours, and you will spend less if you use your appliances at different times than the average person. This comes in handy in the winter when heating costs can cause your electric bill to soar in this area.
Another way to save on electricity is to find renewable energy sources. The best example of this would be to have solar panels installed on your rooftop. This allows the sun to provide your home with electric power.
If you live in a rural area, you can even have a wind turbine installed. This means the wind will power your home. Wind power is not thought of as a power source traditionally for the home, but it works as well, if not better than solar panels, and it is less expensive to install.
Strategize your Food Consumption
There are many ways to go about this in your everyday life. You can plan ahead by making a thorough list of everything that you need for the upcoming week for when you go grocery shopping. This way you are less likely to overbuy and food will be less likely to spoil before it can be eaten.
However, sometimes food over-ripens no matter how much we plan ahead. That is when you come up with creative ways to eat them anyway. Do you have brown bananas? Make banana bread! Ripening apples still make great pies, and soft tomatoes still produce perfect sauce.
Do you want to save money and help the environment simultaneously? Try planting a small garden and growing your own herbs and vegetables. You just may have a green thumb and you didn’t know it!
Avoid Filling Landfills
Recycling, of course, is the ultimate, time-tested method of keeping non-biodegradable products out of landfills and keeping other materials from poisoning the planet and putting animals and plants at risk. However, there are many other ways to keep from filling landfills.
Always bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store or mall when you go shopping. Some retailers will even donate to a charity when you use your bag instead of theirs. It can also help you avoid bag charges in states where they apply.
Invest in a reusable coffee cup instead of using paper or Styrofoam. Many baristas welcome a reusable travel cup or mug and will charge you for the cup size that corresponds best with the beverage volume that you are getting. Also, if your mug doesn’t come with one, try to buy yourself a reusable straw. More of a water fan? Use a water filter both at home and in the office so you will never have to buy a bottle and throw it away.
Try to avoid paper and plastic products altogether. Every time you do this, you are making a difference, though it may not feel like it. Small things like bringing reusable utensils to work everyday or purchasing a good set of hand towels in lieu of napkins and paper towels can help tremendously if every person takes part.
In conclusion, Calgary is a large city, and if every person did their part to save our planet and conserve energy, it would be an even better place than it already is today. Consider following a couple of these tips each week and you will be surprised at how easy it is to form Earth-saving habits.