Achieving our regional targets of reducing waste, water and energy use are only possible if everybody does their part, but if we each make small adjustments to our behaviour, together we can make a big difference.

Give your 2021 resolutions a green makeover in 10 simple steps!

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Capital Regional DistrictGreen Living

Just Posted

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read