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Think Green in 2021

The start of a new year is always a good time to look back on your goals and accomplishments, while planning the new challenges you’d like to overcome for the future. This year, consider kicking your old environmental ideologies to the curb and start incorporating small eco-friendly goals that are easily obtainable for your lifestyle. This may seem difficult for a family that is always on the move but if you begin with minor changes, such as using reusable grocery bags, composting, and packing lunches instead of eating out, your small changes will become a regular part of your daily life. Check out these 21 tips/reminders for making your environmental footprint smaller for 2021!

  1. Switch to LED light bulbs (LEDs typically use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescent and can last at least 35 times longer)
  2. Compost your produce instead of sending unnecessary garbage to a landfill
  3. Swap cling wrap for beeswax wrap (Megs Beeswax Wrap is a great local option)
  4. Carpool when possible (with family members until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted)
  5. Add an irrigation system to your lawn and garden
  6. Water plants before dark to reduce water usage
  7. Shop second hand (local thrift stores and Kijiji/Facebook Marketplace are a great outlet for this)
  8. Buy from Farmer’s Markets when in season
  9. Stock up on groceries and plan meals in advance to reduce trips to the store
  10. Dispose of Hazardous waste properly (County residents can dispose of hazardous waste year-round at the Household Hazardous & Electronic Waste Depot located at 75 Wallbridge Crescent in Belleville. Hazardous waste includes: Paint, glues, cements, oils and fuels, metal and glass cleaners, fertilizers, chlorine and bleach, batteries, butane lighters, propane tanks, medical supplies, fluorescent tubes.)
  11. Use reusable water bottles and coffee cups
  12. Ensure windows are weatherproofed (Energy can easily be lost with the gaps and spaces between doors and windows. This has a major environmental cost in 70% of greenhouse gases that can be attributed to the energy usage of buildings. Grab some caulking and weather stripping to help prevent energy loss of your home or business.)
  13. Wear reusable masks instead of disposable masks
  14. Plug large electronics into a Smart Power Strip (Smart power strips shut off the power to your electronics when you’re not using them, saving you the hassle of having to remember to unplug your devices each time. This is a smart way of using less energy at home, while also saving money.)
  15. Grow your own herbs (this can be done outdoors in the summer and indoors during the winter!)
  16. Purchase reusable toiletries (reusable shavers, toothbrushes, cotton swabs, etc.)
  17. Put up native birdseed bird feeders to increase habits for migration, nesting, and feeding. Try going one step further and building the birdfeeder by yourself or with your family!
  18. Install a solitary beehive
  19. Use Eco-Cleaning products to the clean the house (A lot of mainstream cleaning products contain various ingredients that are harmful to the environment. In fact, a lot of chemicals used to clean our clothes, dishes, and house end up causing damage to our planet and its biodiversity.)
  20. Use a refill station for cleaning products (Savon du Bois and Keep are both local stores who offer this fantastic service.)
  21. Follow the protocols from proper recycling (infographic listed below!)
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