• General

    Week 52: Keep It Going

    Congratulations! You’ve made it through a full year of waking up, learning, and deciding to live a more eco-friendly life. The steps you’ve taken will help reduce your carbon footprint and lower the chances of runaway climate change. So what’s next? That’s a great question. There is always more that can be done, more to be learned, more changes you can make in your everyday lives. A first step might be to review all the weeks to see if there’s something that you could revisit; maybe something that didn’t stick so well the first time around. You can revisit all 52 ideas on this website. And I’ll have more information…

  • Education

    Week 51: Do something, anything.

    I’ve been struggling with how to wrap up this year of tips for living a more eco-friendly existence. I’m still learning so much about environmentalism everyday, about how to not aim for perfection, about how to be patient and understanding of others who live in a different perspective. So this week, rather than telling you what your next step should be, I’m leaving it in your hands. But please, do something – anything you want. There are so many different approaches to environmentalism and there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution for everyone out there. To borrow an amazing quote from a very inspirational woman, “We don’t need a handful…

  • Economy,  Shopping

    Week 50: Buy Nothing New

    If you had asked me to take this challenge a few years ago, I would have told you it was impossible. These days, however, it’s pretty much par for the course with my family. I think part of that is because our general consumption is down, but also because I know a number of resources for buying used, trading, or making do with what we have. The goal is this: buy nothing new. Obviously this doesn’t include food, medication, or toiletrice. It does mean clothes, toys, sports equipment, accessories, tools, yarn (yes, yarn), or anything you can really think of. You can buy used (think Value Village or Kijiji), trade…

  • Economy,  Energy

    Week 49: Invest in Solar Panels

    If you live in Ontario, there have a been a lot of changes in the solar industry in the last little while. The microFIT program which paid participants for the energy they were generating is now closed but there are still a number of amazing options for installing solar on the roof of your home or business.  Net Metering: Net metering (also known as net energy metering) is a solar system that lets you store your energy on the grid. When the sun is out and your solar panels are producing excess power that energy is sent to the grid. At night when your panels are no longer producing energy, can pull…

  • DIY,  Economy,  Energy

    Week 48: Retrofit Your Home

    It’s worth taking some time to explore the different ways that you can save energy and money by making changes around your home. Some changes can be quite large and costly, but others can be small and easy to do. A lot of the smaller changes can add up over time! Sealing Air Leaks: One of the biggest changes you can make if you live in an older home is to find air leaks and close them up. Air leaks can steal your heat in the winter and make heating your home a real challenge. Make sure that doors and windows seal properly and be sure to test your insulation before…

  • General

    Week 47: DIY Continued!

    Well, after the deodorant, toothpaste, and beauty care products, you might be asking what’s next? You might be taking a deeper look at some of the items that you use regularly and asking “Can I make that?”. The answer is probably yes! Start by taking a closer look at the clothes you wear, the cleaning products you use, the food that you eat… and wondering how hard those things might be to make on your own. A huge part of my zero waste inspiration came from a love of fabric arts. I knew that fast fashion was pretty horrible for the environment and that making my own clothes was totally…

  • DIY,  Education

    Week 46: Plant Trees

    This week won’t be for everyone but it’s something everyone should consider if you have the space. Trees do some pretty amazing things and planting them on your property around your home can have some seriously awesome consequences. Trees are beautiful: everytime I catch my 2 year old gazing out the window, I ask him what he’s looking at. He always says trees. And it’s true, I also often find myself staring at the branches and leaves and the beauty they provide. Aside from random adoration, the beauty factor also increases your property value.  Trees provide shade: In the summer, trees can help cool your house and give you a…

  • Economy,  Education,  Energy

    Week 45: Live Tiny (or Smaller!)

    You’d have to live under a rock if you haven’t heard of the tiny home movement. But tiny homes might not be for everyone. Even if you have a family with kids, you might consider moving to a smaller home to lower your carbon footprint and I think you’d find some other amazing side effects from being in a smaller space! My family downsized to a smaller home about 5 years ago. The main floor is about 900 square feet and really just one big room. Here are the changes that we’ve enjoyed: Lower heating and cooling costs: It’s easier to change the temperature in a smaller space! In the winter…

  • Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    Week 44: Go Trashless

    Zero waste is a term for a lifestyle that aims to produce – you guessed it – zero waste. It’s a wonderful idea but actually a really horrible name for an amazing movement because it’s actually impossible in our current culture to produce no waste. But in our attempts to get to zero, we can find a low waste lifestyle that produces much less garbage than average. Which, you know…. Is pretty important these days. Here’s some horrible trash facts: The average American throws away more than 7 pounds of garbage a day. That’s around 102 tons in a lifetime. In the US, Americans toss 60 million water bottles daily, which…

  • Education

    Week 43: Live Intentionally

    Ahhh, the daily grind. We all have our own “grind” – the routine and habits that become daily occurrences, where you don’t have to think so much about the actions for them to happen. Often these daily occurrences become such habit that we don’t actively think about them while they are happening. It might be the cereal you eat for breakfast, your commute to work, the Tim’s coffee drive-thru, going out for lunch at work, time on your smartphone… you get the picture. Every day, we go through so many actions and sometimes we forget that we actually have control over these actions – we can make choices about how…