10 Simple Ways to Go Green in 2013

Sometimes it is the small steps that lead to big changes. Going green can be simple, save you money and buy you quality time with friends and family. I’m often asked what one can do to make a difference. Here’s my simple, easy top ten list for 2013. 
10. Why so many loads? The last time I checked, doing laundry and loading the dishwasher were very low on a person’s ‘list of preferred activities’. Try doing full loads of laundry and maybe even doing the dishes the old-fashioned way a couple of times a week. 
9. Use active transportation for one trip a week. Perhaps your commute is too far to walk or cycle, but maybe you can pedal your way to the grocery store once a week or park your car in a central spot and walk to a couple of stores.
8. Junkmail isn’t just an online thing. Stop the junkmail at your home by opting for paperless whenever you can. 
7. Who doesn’t love a homecooked meal? Don’t be afraid to make big meals with local ingredients whenever possible. Freeze the leftovers. This way you have lunch for the rest of the week! You’re reducing waste and saving time and money. 
6. Drink Tap Water. Most bottling companies use tap water anyway. While you’re at it, find a good reusable bottle so that you’ve essentially one-upped their marketing strategy. 
5. Green-up your home. Fight the grey of winter by buying a vibrant indoor plant or freshen the air with a couple of window-sill herbs. 
4. Make a habit out of repurposing things. Who needs paper towels? Tear a couple of old towels or t-shirts into rags for all purpose cleaning. Old jars? New containers for spices and preserves. 
3. Go local. Don’t you spend enough time in line over the holidays? Make it a habit to hit the farmer’s market. Better yet, talk to the people at those markets and find out what restaurants and shops offer their products. Support your local economy and environment with local sustainable food choices. 
2. Don’t burn money!  Save your hard earned dollars by turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use. The average Canadian home wastes about 450 kWh of electricity per year from “phantom load” when appliances are turned off but still using electricity. Use a power bar to really shut them down, and flip the switch as you leave a room.
1. Pat yourself on the back for all that you do to making our world a better place! Don’t sweat it if you’re not perfect – none of us are. By making small changes in your life you are joining a global movement working towards a healthier environment.
Thank you for all that you do. Have a great and safe New Years Eve!