Earth Day 2021
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Earth Day 2021

Earth Day, which is observed on April 22nd began in 1970 and went international in 1990.  This year the theme for Earth Day Canada is “Take Care of the Planet”.  With this theme Earth Day Canada hopes to raise awareness about the importance of taking genuine action to take care of our planet every day.  To learn more and find events in your area, you can visit the Earth Day official site here.

Not sure where to start?  We’ve compiled the below list of ways you can practice sustainable living. By incorporating one or all of these tips into your everyday, you are helping our planet!

 

 Everyday Sustainable Living

  • Ditch the Plastic
    • Only 9% of plastic is recycled in Canada with the rest ending up in our landfills and oceans. Grocery bags, produce bags, food storage containers, and water bottles are some of the plastic items that are commonly part of our everyday life. Fabric grocery bags, mesh produce bags, glass food containers and metal bottles are great sustainable replacements.
  • Practice the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
    • Recycle – When purchasing items that cannot be reused, look for products that can be recycled. Consider opting for products made from recycled material. There are many products on the market made entirely from recycled goods such as printer paper, clothing, fitness gear and more!
    • Reuse – learn to repair and repurpose items to lengthen their lifetime. Look online for great upcycling of common items like t-shirts, dressers and jars. Alternatively, donate items so others can reuse them or give them new life
    • Reduce – Before buying something, ask yourself if you really need it and if so, does it need to be brand new? If we reduce what is produced, we produce less waste.
  • Go as Paperless as Possible
    • While most paper can be recycled, over 10 liters of water is used in the initial creation of a single piece of paper. Many services offer billing online or by e-mail with some even offering discounts for going paperless. Not only is paperless billing more sustainable, it often offers better privacy protection and security.
  • Bike, Walk, Vehicle Share or Utilize Public Transit
    • Vehicle related emissions are the largest contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. By utilizing modes of transportation other than our personal vehicle we not only reduce pollution but the consumption of natural resources.Canad
  • Unplug Electronics When Not in Use
    • Most devices, like a computer, continue pulling electricity even when they’re shut off. By unplugging you are saving energy and money!
  • Shop Local
    • By buying local, you support your community and help reduce the demand on resources to transport goods. As in-season locally-produced food travels a lot less, it’s typically tastier and more nutritious by the time you eat it.
  • Compost
    • Food waste is a national problem. Did you know that on average, 79 kilos of food per year is wasted per household in Canada? Only buy what you need, plan your meals out before shopping. If you do have waste, throw it in the compost bin vs in the garbage. Most municipalities across the country are now composting in private and multi-residential households.
  • Green Your Home & Habits
    • Make sure your home is properly insulated, windows are sealed tight, and use a programmable thermostat for efficient heating and cooling. When it is time to replace appliances or major housing mechanics, purchase energy efficient products. Simplest of all, turn off lights in the areas of your home when not in use.
  • Join in On Meatless Mondays
    • Did you know that forgoing a single serving of beef once a week for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving your car for 560 kilometers? Whether it’s one day a week or going vegan, reducing your meat and dairy consumption has great benefits for our planet. The production of livestock is incredibly demanding on our environmental resources (water, energy and land) and worldwide creates more greenhouse gases than all sectors of transportation industry (road, rail, etc.) combined.

Author Info

Deborah Knott