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
electronics. 
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
Recycle
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
Recycling
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
mask
, 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 www.realcanadiansuperstore.ca
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. 



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City Living: Going Green

This
summer had some sizzling heat waves that left us in need of a swim or
at least an old-school run through the sprinkler. With these record-setting temperatures, one major concern comes to mind: climate change. We are putting a strain on our natural
resources and while this is a sad reality, there are ways we can all ease
the stress that we’re causing our beautiful planet.  



We’ve compiled a list of easy, very do-able,
green ideas that can go a long way to inspire your inner David Suzuki.



1. Wash in cold water whenever possible.

Ninety per cent of the energy used in
washing clothes goes towards heating the water. 
It turns out that using cold water actually saves
the equivalent amount of energy as driving nine miles in a car.  



2. Avoid bottled water. 
It’s
not good value, it’s no healthier than tap water and, more importantly, it
causes a lot of waste. Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year and more than 80 per cent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away.







3. Stop idling.
Idling produces more emissions per minute than
driving, 
which generates needless greenhouse gas emissions.  And it’s expensive – idling wastes more than $100 a year
per vehicle.



4. Unplug chargers and small appliances when
they’re not being used. 

In the average home, nearly 75 per cent of
all electricity used to power electronics is consumed by products that are switched
off.





5. De- junk in your mailbox.
Junk mail destroys 100 million trees a year.  For more information, visit http://www.reddotcampaign.ca/ and put a stop to junk mail overflowing your mailbox.


6. Consider some homemade beauty products and home
remedies. 

Avoid all those nasty chemicals on your skin and unnecessary packaging, by using common household ingredients to make your own beauty recipes for a sea salt body scrub, a revitalizing face mask and an end-of-day
foot spa. 

7. Host a clothing swap party.

Invite your pals over to swap clothes and accessories for a new spin on your old wardrobe. Bonus: Not only is it less expensive than hitting the mall, but a it’s great chance to trade with your friend for that awesome shirt you’ve been eyeing.


So
there you have it- some awesome and easy ways to be a better friend to our
planet.  With these tips you can join the
likes of celebrities going green like Cameron Diaz or Leonardo DiCaprio, or adopt Rachel McAdams’s attitude that “green is sexy.”  It is, isn’t it?

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