Do Me A Solid: Happy Earth Day

We are lean, mean green living machines – Happy Earth Day
everyone! But much like Valentine’s Day, International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day, shouldn’t every day be
Earth Day? After all, we only have one planet so we need
to show it a lot more love, a lot more often to preserve it for our future generations. We
were drilled with
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
when we were kids in middle school and now that we’re “adults”, our lot in life
largely depends on the responsibility to be an informed and active citizen in society.

Now, we don’t know about you but when we think of Earth Day, we promptly think about this handsome fella:

David Suzuki is
considered a pioneer in green living and people often look to his expertise as
the model by which we should all aspire. The David Suzuki Foundation is a encyclopaedia for environmental issues and while there are hundreds of tips for going
greener, we compiled a few baby steps that are well-suited for just about anyone. 

TIP: Recycle your old
We live in a society where we need to have the best/newest/most high-tech product and that material want produces a lot of unnecessary garbage. Think
is a free environmental service that rewards members with money and
environmental incentives in exchange for your unwanted gadgets. There are plenty
more organizations that accept old, gently used electronics, including Shift
ReBoot and our very own City of Toronto. Pick one. That old phone isn’t coming back in style any time (ever). 

TIP: Reduce
unnecessary waste
by becoming a DIY Beauty Queen. Since most ingredients in
our cupboards and fridge are good enough to put in our body, don’t you think
they’re good enough to put on it? For a super-soothing facial
, mix two tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon until it’s a thick paste. Apply to face. Nutmeg and honey are natural
anti-inflammatories that reduce swelling and redness, and cinnamon is a drying
agent that can combat breakouts. Voilà! No extra containers and more beauty. 
TIP: Boycott plastic. Bottled water doesn’t actually prove to be any cleaner or better for you than Toronto’s finest AND it clogs up our already-polluted landfills. First off, there is “stuff” in the plastic that may be more harmful for your body than anything found in Toronto tap water. Bisphanol A (BPA), a compound that mimics estrogen and has been a controversial chemical for quite some time, most recently for its presence in various plastics, including water bottles. Secondly, it takes up to three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled. Thirdly, tons of greenhouse gases are generated both transporting the bottles and keeping them cold. Honestly, there’s a pile of other reasons to take a hard look at the choice to drink bottled water. We are unbelievably fortunate to live in a city (and a province and a country) with safe drinking water. So, invest in a BPA-free, stainless steel reusable water bottle to keep on your desk or throw in your purse to encourage the consumption of those pesky 8 glasses a day while saving the planet, your body and your wallet. Win-win-win-win. 

To win even more, consider replacing all of your plastic bowls and servingware (once they’re no longer usable, that is!) with something more sustainable and biodegradable – like bamboo-based products. They now come in modern designs and really nice colours, and are pretty affordable. We like the PC Home line – easy to get anywhere and won’t ruin our budget.

 PC Home bamboo products available in select Loblaw banner stores including Real Canadian Superstores
TIP: When available, choose
eco-friendly cleaning products
. Brands like Seventh Generation (also endorsed by our earthy master
above) have biodegradable formulas, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, and don’t
contain dyes or synthetic fragrances. Look for products that are packaged in
recyclable containers, and made from 100 per cent recycled fibres. 

And of course, a little peer pressure always helps. Here are
some familiar faces who (apart from just being annoyingly beautiful) devote their time and efforts to keeping our planet pretty while encouraging others to do the same.

Canadian actress and environmental activist Rachel McAdams lives in a house powered by Bullfrog Renewal energy and bikes everywhere she can.

(Hot) Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio  has received praise from various environmental groups for his activism, and chooses to fly on commercial flights rather than chartered jets. #StarsLikeUs

British designer, Stella McCartney mixes her earthly love with high fashion. In addition to her studio and website being powered by wind energy, McCartney offers her online shoppers the option to have their purchases shipped carbon neutral. Brilliant. 
There you have it: a brainy scientist, scary stats, easy alternatives that are good for you, the planet AND your wallet, and famous people, all resulting in some pretty compelling motivators to become more eco-conscious. No excuses now – start making some changes. 


Rave: Cool Earth Day ideas

With Earth Day coming up this Sunday, we wondered what we could be doing to make our lives and our city greener. Whether it’s making a donation to help beautify the city, planting trees or learning ways to make eco-conscious changes in our everyday life, we’ve rounded up some Earth Day events and initiatives taking place in Toronto this Sunday, April 22.  

Spend the day at Evergreen Brickworks – @EvergreenCanada
If you’re looking for a whole day of eco-friendly fun and education, the Evergreen Brickworks is hosting a wide range of activities, including a vegan food fair at the farmer’s market, a tree tour in the quarry led by LEAF, public tree planting on site, live music and a talk by Adria Vasil, author of the new book Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy and Looking Good.
A perfectly picturesque place to learn how to make your life greener.
Raise money for the city’s beautification at Piola – @PiolaToronto

Residents of Parkdale and lovers of pizza alike should head over to Queen West’s newest and most delicious Italian restaurant. In celebration of Earth Day, $2 of every pizza sold will be donated to the Parkdale Beautification Project. What better way to support a great cause and eat some of the city’s best pizza?

When else can you eat pizza for a good cause?

Plant a tree at Downsview Park – @downsviewpark 
If you’re like us, you’ve always been impressed and intrigued by those outdoorsy types who take off for the west coast and plant trees all summer. Well here’s your chance to get a (small) taste of what it’s  like. From 12 to 2 p.m. on Earth Day, Downsview Park will be hosting public tree planting with the goal of planting over 2,000 trees. One tree per person/family while trees last and shovels and tools provided. What a perfect way to try something new and make Toronto greener?
Help create this green oasis in the city.
Download the The Quench Mobile App – @thewaterbros
This Earth Day we suggest you try out one of the most innovative, environmentally-conscious ideas we’ve seen in a while. Quench is a free app brought to you by The Water Brothers TV Series that instantly connects you to the nearest water fountain or official water bottle Refill Location in the Greater Toronto Area. You are able to search by destination or your current location, rate a water fountain and/or refill locations as well as add your own water fountain or refill location. Participating locations include The Drake Hotel, The Beaconsfield, Subway, Pizza Pizza and Leslieville Cheese Market, to name only a few of the 4,905 locations around the GTA.
One of the easiest ways to live green.
Recycle your old computer with Computation’s FREE Earth Day Computer Recycling – @Computation_Ca
Ever wonder where computers go when they die? The best way to dispose of a computer that has reached its expiry date is to recycle it. In honour of Earth Day, from April 16 to 22, Computation is inviting the general public to drop off their unwanted computers and equipment for free at 280 Jane St. from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. As well as this being environmentally-friendly (and privacy ensured) a tree will be planted on your behalf for every major item recycled via a one dollar donation to Trees Canada (a charitable organization which has planted 77 million trees nationally over 19 years).
A computer graveyeard.
While Earth Day is the perfect time to start implementing a greener lifestyle, the idea is to raise awareness in the hopes that people continue living more eco-consciously. With such simple suggestions, what excuses do we have have left not to try and live green?