Whether your resolution for 2021 is to eat better, get more exercise, declutter, learn something new or save money, you have simple ways to accomplish these goals while also reducing your environmental impact.
How? Big changes come from little actions: if we each make small adjustments to our behaviour, together we can make a big difference. And achieving our regional targets of reducing waste, water and energy use are only possible if everybody does their part.
Here are 10 simple ways to meet your goals and reduce your environmental impact in 2021:
- Rediscover the value of food: The average Canadian household wastes 140kg of food annually – that adds up to roughly $1,100 per year! Save money and reduce food waste by making a meal plan, shopping your fridge and pantry first to avoid buying doubles, and buying only what you know you’ll use. Bonus tip: meal planning also helps reduce those impulse purchases!
- Go paperless: Forgo the printed copy of your recycling schedule this year without missing collection day by signing up for recycling reminders or downloading the free RecycleCRD app.
- Reduce, reuse and then recycle: Have an item you no longer want? Rather than throwing it out, see if you can give it away or donate it. If it’s broken, see if it can be repaired. If not, learn if it can be recycled. From textiles to electronics our region has many recycling options.
- Return to depot: Help keep your house clutter-free by recycling plastic bags, styrofoam blocks and other flexible plastic packaging, such as chip bags and crinkly wrappers, for free at any Recycle BC depot.
- Ditch single-use items: Reduce the amount of waste you create by swapping single-use items for their reusable counterparts — carry a reusable mug and/or water bottle, bring reusable bags for grocery shopping, pack a lunch in reusable containers, etc.
- Switch to LED bulbs: Improve your home’s energy efficiency by making the switch to LED bulbs. Not only do LEDs use roughly 75-per-cent-less energy than a regular incandescent bulb, they also last much longer. Once you’ve made the switch, don’t forget to recycle the old bulbs!
- Strive for five-minute showers: Alongside toilets and leaks, showers are the biggest area of indoor residential water use. Reducing your shower time helps conserve our region’s water supply and will save you money.
- Clean green: Many household cleaners are hard on the environment and once down the drain can end up in the ocean or in groundwater. This year, why not learn to make your own cleaning products? Find recipes for inexpensive, environmentally safe alternatives in the Clean Green Cookbook.
- Plant native species: If gardening is on your 2021 to-do list, gardening with native plants means less watering and maintenance while supporting local biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
- Choose active transportation: On-road transportation is our region’s greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing to walk or wheel to your destination benefits your physical and mental health, as well as the environment.
Making a difference together is just that easy — pick a resolution or two and let’s get started!