21 January 2010

10 Ways to Get Green

Thinking of going green? Here are 10 things you can do to help be more environmentally-conscious and reduce your carbon footprint.

Visit a Local Park
British Columbia is home to many beautiful parks. Whether you like to walk, run, hike, bike or sit back and relax, there is a park for you. The Delta Nature Reserve is the only area of Burns Bog open to the public and has a beautiful 2.9km trail of boardwalk and gravel road intertwining through indigenous bog and forest flora.

If you would like to visit the Delta Nature Reserve click here for directions. The Burns Bog Conservation Society hosts public tours every second Saturday during late Spring and Summer months and on International Bog Days: Saturday, July 24 & Sunday, July 25.

Discover walking and hiking trails throughout North America at http://www.trailpeak.com/ . To learn more about all of the Metro Vancouver parks or to book a tour with a Metro Vancouver Park Interpreter visit http://www.metrovancouver.org/.

Ever thought about composting? Composting is a great way to reduce up to 30% of household waste! Check out our article form last month The Dirt on Indoor Composting.

Get Involved in an Environmental Clean-up or Restoration Project
There are several clean-up and restoration projects happening throughout the year. Two that I recommend are the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (http://www.vanaqua.org/cleanup/home.php) and invasive plant pulls with the Invasive Plant Council of BC (http://www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca/).

Go Online
Save paper by stopping delivery of bank statements, newspaper, and other mail to your home.

Buy Local Produce
Support local farms and reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing local produce. To learn more about the benefits of eating local food visit http://www.getlocalbc.org/en/.

Don’t know where to buy? Visit farmer’s markets during the summer months. Ladybug Organics is a local organic grocer with an excellent selection of fresh organic produce (http://www.ladybugorganics.com/). When you purchase produce from supermarkets look for “Grown in BC” on signs and labels. .

Get Your Voice Heard for at Least One Environmental Issue
Write to your MP on an environmental issue that you care about, or get involved in a friendly environmental demonstration. See the Upcoming Events section for more information about the Pilgrimage to Burns Bog.

Install LED or Compact Florescent Bulbs in Your Home.
Do you still have energy-sucking incandescent builds throughout your home? Replace your old bulbs with LED or compact florescent bulbs. They may cost more at first but you will save money and energy in the long run. To learn more about the benefits of using environmentally friendly light bulbs visit http://ecoregen.org/tag/eco-friendly-light-bulb/.

Reduce Carbon Emissions by Changing Your Driving Habits.
Take transit or carpool whenever possible. For short trips try walking or riding your bike.

Buy Used Clothing
Each step in the clothing manufacturing process has potential for a negative environmental impact. Help reduce demand by purchasing used clothing. Both the planet and your wallet will thank you.

Don’t Forget Your Re-fillable Water Bottle and Re-usable Shopping Bag
Why pay for bottled water when tap water is both free and safe to drink? The environmental impact of producing plastic water bottles, shipping the water, and disposing of the bottles is huge. Save money and the environment by using a re-fillable water bottle. Don’t like the taste of tap water? Get a water purification filter and fill your re-usable water bottle with it.Plastic shopping bags are crowding our landfills. Purchase a reusable shopping bag. They generally cost anywhere between $1-$5, and are often given out for free. Some grocery stores will even offer you a discount for not using their plastic bags.

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