Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


15 Easy Green Actions to Take in 2015

Easy, doable steps towards being more eco-friendly

15 Simple Green Actions to Take in 2015

With another New Year upon us, it's that time again— the time we set goals with the best intentions for the year to come. Some of those goals may be tough (but keep at it, you can do it!) and some can be simple— like making the decision to be more green. But when you decide to be more green, where do you start?

Here are 15 easy things you can start doing today to make the future better for the earth, you, and your children. If you want to go beyond these 15 suggestions, here are 25 more!

1. Turn Off Your Computer at the End of the Day

Many of us leave our computers on or in hibernate mode rather than shutting down at the end of the day. But doing so creates a drain on energy and shortens the life of your laptop's battery. So before you log off, read everything in those 25 opened browser tabs, close them down, and shut your computer off for the night.

2. Don't Heat or Cool an Empty Home

To save energy, when away for long periods during the day or while you are on vacation, don't heat or cool your home as you would if you were there. Turn the thermostat down or up so the heat or air conditioning does not kick in as often. When you return home, set it back to a comfortable level.

This Thermostat Learns Your Needs and Adjusts The Temperature Accordingly

3. Make Regular Trips to Your Farmer's Markets

By supporting your local farmers, you contribute to your local economy, you reduce carbon emissions, and you help to secure easy access to what farmer's have to offer. Farmer's markets are usually a spring/summer/fall thing, but many cities have indoor farmer's markets that run during the winter. Do a Google search for active farmer's markets in your area.

10 Great Reasons To Buy Local Food

4. Cancel your Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions

With everything being online these days, get rid of the paper version of your favourites and go for a digital subscription instead.

5. Keep Your Car Properly Maintained

Keeping your car maintained is a great way to cut back on vehicle emissions and save you money. Set a schedule and stick to it and you will enjoy the benefit of less repairs in the future.

6. Buy Local

As a former small retail business owner, I can't tell you enough how important it is to support local small businesses. The economy will thank you, the environment will thank you because you have to drive less, and the small business owners will be forever grateful.

7. Get Rid of Plastic for Good

Do a purge of all the plastic containers in your kitchen and replace them with longer-lasting, and safer glass or stainless steel containers.

8. Choose Safer and Healthier Detergents

Using the wrong type of detergent is harmful to our lakes, rivers, oceans and our health. Do some research and find out what the most eco-friendly (and healthy for you) laundry detergents and dish detergents are.  

Is Your Laundry Soap Toxic?

9. Buy a Reusable Coffee Mug

If grabbing a morning coffee at your favourite coffee shop is part of your routine, then avoid the one-use paper cups and buy a nice reusable mug or tumbler for your morning coffee. Some places even offer a discount if you bring your own.

10. Take Shorter Showers

I know...I know. We all love our long, hot showers, especially in the winter, but those few extra minutes use extra energy to heat the water and there is also the extra water is being used unnecessarily. Cut back on your showers by a few minutes to save.

11. Stop Using or Start Choosing Better Paper Products

This is a difficult habit to break, I've been there. If you are finding that cutting back on paper product use is a hard thing to do, take baby steps and opt for products that are more eco-friendly. If you are ready to ditch the paper products for good, buy a few sets of cloth napkins that can be reused.

12. Get Outdoors with Your Family More Often

Step away from the screens and get outside to explore nature with your kids. By encouraging outdoor play and exploration of nature in our neighborhoods we can show our kids how we are connected to the environment and how our actions affect it.

13. Recycle, Reuse or Upcycle Old Clothes and Gear

Clean up household clutter by taking the time to go through all of your kids' old clothes and gear and get rid of them in an eco-friendly manner.

14. Collect Rain Water for Gardening

If you are a gardener, purchase a rain barrel and collect rain water to reuse for watering your garden.

15. Read Green Blogs and Websites

This the best ways to keep up to date on the latest in the green world and to learn new ways to be more green. Of course, this blog is a great place to get green info, but if you are looking to add to your list, try Green Living, Mother Nature Network, Green Moms Collective, Tree Hugger, The David Suzuki name a few!

Which tip will you start with? Do you have any more to add?