10 things you can do right now to help the environment
DH Vancouver StaffApr 22, 2015 8:44 am
There is no doubt that climate change is affecting our everyday lives. From the cars we buy to the neighbourhoods we choose to live in, and even to the dish soap we use, many of our decisions are based on how we can help the environment.
If you’re not on board the clean energy express train, you may be surprised to learn the number of impacts climate change has already had on our planet.
Violent storms and extreme weather patterns, like flooding or droughts, have been wreaking havoc across the world. Dwindling water resources, such as California’s record drought and even our lack of snow on the coastal mountains, means it will be harder and more expensive to find the water we need. Pollution and changing weather patterns have desecrated our ice packs, threatened numerous ecosystems and impacted human health – but there is an opportunity to turn this around.
If you’re looking for a way to help, here are a few easy changes you can make at home, courtesy of Earth Day Canada.
1. Smart shopping
Buy what you need, not what you want
Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed
Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores
2. Simple savers
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs
Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
Weatherstrip windows and doors
3. Transportation alternatives
Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
Consider car-sharing programs or renting
4. Food choices
Choose local and organic foods that are in season, and support local food producers
Eat less meat
5. Washing and drying
Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry
6. Heating and cooling
For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
For winter heating, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats
7. Close to home
Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible
8. Bathroom basic
Take short showers instead of baths
Close water taps while brushing your teeth
9. Careful cleaning
Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water
10. Don’t discard
Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
Carry a water bottle or reusable thermos instead of purchasing disposable coffee cups or bottled water
Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries and electronics should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers
What do you do to help the environment? Have any other tips?
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DH Vancouver Staff
Daily Hive is the evolution of Vancity Buzz, established in Vancouver in 2008. In 2016, the publication rebranded and opened newsrooms in Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. Send story tips to [email protected]