Kyoto Targets Are Attainable

Canada has recently pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, stating that it would be too costly for the country to meet the targets that were put in place. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has argued that the Kyoto Protocol, which excludes the world’s two largest producers of greenhouse gases – China and the United States - would hurt Canada’s competitiveness on the global market. So is that it? What can we, as citizens, do to fight climate change?

Though the country has pulled out of the green initiative, people can still help sustain our environment by making greener choices in their lifestyles and homes. It’s as simple as switching to cold water while washing clothes or reusing shopping bags instead of getting a bunch of plastic bags on your next trip to the supermarket.

Living greener includes the three ideas behind waste reduction. Like the universal symbol for recycling denotes, waste reduction includes reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce

Reducing our consumption and waste production is the most effective way of keeping our environment clean. This can include reducing our garbage by doing things like composting or buying less bottled water. We can keep

Using less energy is good for our environment and our wallets! One of the easiest ways to save energy is switching to cold water when washing our clothes. There’s a common misconception that hot water is the best way to clean clothes, but in fact, that’s not entirely true. Cold water can get most clothing as clean as hot water will. By reducing our use of hot water, we can save a lot of money on our energy bills.

You can also use less harmful chemicals to clean your home. It’s easier on the environment and much easier on our health as well! There are a lot of eco-friendly products out on the market, or you could substitute chemicals for natural cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda.

Reuse

We’re starting to see reusable bags everywhere, from grocery stores to retail clothing store. They’re a fantastic alternative to plastic bags. Did you know it takes 4x as much energy to create plastic bags?

Bottled water is actually really bad for our environment. It takes 26 bottles of water to make a one-litre bottle. You can greatly reduce your consumption of bottle water by getting a reusable bottle like the aluminum or BPA-free pitchers and bottles.

Composting is also a way to reduce the amount of organic waste that goes to our landfills. It’s a great source of nutrients for household plants and your backyard garden. You can spend a fortune on plant food and soil so that you have beautiful plants all year long or you can create your own for free!

Recycle

Recycling is actually third in the waste reduction hierarchy (represented by the recycling symbol). Reducing and reusing is often encouraged before moving to recycling, but when you have to consume, it’s better to purchase recyclable packages.

Recycling programs are available in many regions of the world. If you’re not already participating in a recycling program, check with your municipality to see how you can.

Every Day Should Be Earth Day

Just because Canada isn’t a part of an international initiative to combat climate change doesn’t mean we can’t continue to help create a better community and living environment for ourselves.

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