Happy Easter! Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy long weekend.
This Good Friday (April 22) is also Earth Day, reminding us that we need to take actions to help save our planet and to perhaps save a bit of money along the way.
More than 6 million Canadians will join 1 billion people in over 170 countries to bring environmental awareness through local events and presentations. Earth Day was first launched in 1970 as an environmental awareness event in the United States.
Canada has been participating in Earth Day for over 20 years and has grown it into Earth Week and even Earth Month to accommodate all the events and projects taking place. Events range from small community initiatives to large public events, like Victoria’s Earth Walk (April 16, 2011), Edmonton’s Earth Day Festival at Hawrelak Park, and Oakville, Ontario’s Waterways Clean-up (April 16, 2011). Do you know what you’re community is doing for Earth Day or Week?
As a part of Earth Day, I’d like to remind you of some things that you can do to green your household.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. This uses about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.
- Use low-flow shower heads or aerators on faucets. According to Statistics Canada, a family of three could save between 80-$100 a year on energy costs
- Weatherstrip your windows and doors. Air leaks in your home can account for 30 to 40% of the home's overall heat and cooling loss.
- Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry. If you wash 80%, or four out of five loads, on cold/cold, you could cut two-thirds of a kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions per month.
- Take short showers instead of baths. In the end how much water you save or whether you save water at all depends on the length of your showers. Baths usually require about 20 gallons (80 litres), the same as a ten-minute shower.
- Close water taps while brushing your teeth. According to WaterSense, the average bathroom sink faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute.
- Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products. Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water.
- Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash. Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers.