Monday is Earth Day: a time to remember the environment and the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.
Leslie Garrett, author of The Virtuous Consumer, says there’s no reason why we can’t be green 365 days of the year.
Garrett says by focusing on home, travel and the grocery store, you can drastically reduce your family’s carbon footprint.
According to her figures, the average Canadian family produces about 22,000 tonnes of carbon pollution every year by heating their home.
Her advice is to start by turning down the air conditioning or the heat by two degrees.
She also suggests changing light bulbs and washing your clothes in cold water.
Garrett tells 660News Canadians need to learn how to turn some of their appliances off when they’re not being used.
“The electronics that we have in our houses now that have that blinking eye, that green or red little light that flashes,” she says. “They are all drawing power even when they’re turned off; in fact 75 per cent of the power those electronics use is when they’re off.”
Garrett says by unplugging them when not in use, or plugging them into a power bar, it will cut down on electricity consumption.
She says one of the most common mistakes people make is not realizing the environmental impact of some of their purchases, especially at the grocery store. Garrett says some of the items inside have traveled 2,000 kilometres to go from farm to fork.
She fears many don’t even realize the costs involved with fuel and extra packaging.
Garrett says Canadians need to consider buying their summer veggies at the farmers market or shopping local; even growing your own tomatoes and herbs can make a huge difference.
By limiting trips in the car to the check-out line to once a week, it will also save you money on your monthly budget.
Ultimately, she says reduction has to be key.
“We do have to reduce consumption, we’re a shopping culture and it really needs to come down to two questions,” Garrett explains. “Do I need this or do I love this?”
Another idea, she says plan an ‘errand day’ in hopes of streamlining car trips to take care of your chores.