• Food,  Shopping

    Week 10: Eat Local

    Sometimes when we think about being more green, it’s hard to make the mental connection to the food that we eat. However, it’s one of the most important connections that we can think about. The food industry contributes a huge amount of carbon emissions to the world, and by making a few important changes in the way we buy and eat food, we can drastically reduce our personal contribution to that carbon footprint. You may have heard of the idea of the “100 mile diet”. I think it’s pretty cool. The concept is to find all the food you need within a 100 mile radius (give or take). The effects…

  • Mason Jars

    Week 9: Top 10 Ways to Use Mason Jars

    Lunch containers: Stop buying disposable plastic containers for your lunch and start using jars! You might have to squish your sandwich a bit, but other lunch foods fit great in jars. Buying bulk food: We have an awesome weekly routine of packing up jars and bringing them to the local bulk food store for flour, sugar, even peanut butter and jam. Check to see what bulk foods options are available in your city, then pack up your jars and go! Storing leftovers: Again, rather than using cheap plastic containers, storing leftovers from dinner in glass Mason jars will keep your food from drying out. And as a bonus, it’s easy to grab out…

  • Economy,  Shopping

    Week 8: Buy Second Hand

    I believe that one of the single biggest changes that you can make that will have a positive effect on the economic and environmental issues face us today is to buy second hand whenever possible. Buying used goods means that the supply for new goods is reduced and that waste is diverted from landfills. Buying second hand breaks the production cycle that relies so heavily on cheap oil and carbon emissions without requiring you to make any personal sacrifice! In fact, it can be a ton of fun! Almost every city has options for second hand shopping. There are chain stores like Value Village or Goodwill but there are also small, local consignment shops…

  • Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    Week 7: Recycle!

    Okay. I’ll start off with some scary facts: An average plastic bottle can take around 450 years to decompose while a plastic bag or other plastic item can take up to 1000 years. Aluminum cans can take 80-200 years to decompose. Glass, while being wonderful and easy to recycle, will never ever decompose. Here are some more items: Cigarette Butts – 10-12 years; Monofilament Fishing Line – 600 years; Rubber-Boot Sole – 50-80 years; Foamed Plastic Cups – 50 years; Leather shoes – 25-40 years; Milk Cartons – 5 years; Plywood – 1-3 years; Painted board – 13 years; Cotton Glove – 3 months; Cardboard – 2 months; Nylon Fabric…

  • Food

    Week 6: Eat Dinner at Home

    Now that you’ve got lunch under control, it’s time to talk about what’s for dinner. And more importantly, where you’re eating it. Here are some statistics to show the current norm in North America: A survey in 2010 showed that 23% of Canadians ate out once a week and 17.3 % ate out once every 1.5 to 2 weeks. 1 out of 15 Canadians ate out EVERY day!! According to one site, Americans spend more on dining out than groceries for first time ever, with Millennials leading the charge. In another survey, the eating-out national average in the US was 4.5 times per week. L.A. was at the high end at…

  • Mason Jars,  Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    Week 5: Find an Alternative to Plastic Bags.

    I am being completely honest when I tell you that this is one my favourite ways to be green. I don’t know why. It’s the eco-nerd in me. I started out moving towards tupperware containers to store food at home and then fell in love with mason jars and reusing jars from our usual groceries. One of the first times that it really hit home for me was watching people use individual plastic bags for all their different produce. I mean, really? But I realized that I was the minority just putting all my fruits and veggies straight in the shopping cart. What’s even worse to consider is that those…

  • Food

    Week 4: Make Your Lunch.

    Yup – this week is a throwback to grade school. Remember when lunchtime rolled around and you opened up your lunch bag rather than drove to the local fast food restaurant? It seems like everyone I know goes out for lunch every day if they are at work (or school!) and it is such. a. waste. Financial impact: it drains your bank account. Here are two bloggers that broke down the cost of buying your lunch at a restaurant every day versus bringing a lunch from home: Buying Your Lunch Is A Terrible Idea. The End. No More Debates What Will Save You More Money At Work? Bringing Lunch or…

  • Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    Week 3: Stop Littering. Period.

    Littering is one of those things that might not seem like a huge problem from an individual perspective but when you multiply it by a growing population around the globe, it turns into a billion dollar catastrophe. Here are some littering facts that might blow you away: according to one resource, 9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year and $11.5 billion is spent every year to clean up litter. $11.5 BILLION! All because we are too lazy to find a garbage bin or, better yet, stop using disposable items. The same source says that the most commonly littered items are cigarette butts and I’m not at all…

  • Reduce Plastic,  Water,  Zero Waste

    Week 2: Drink Tap Water

    There’s been no shortage of reasons why people should turn on their taps rather than drink bottled water but that doesn’t seem to have changed enough minds out there. I have friends who ONLY drink bottled water because they don’t think tap water is safe. That strikes me as absolutely ridiculous, but I won’t preach to them – I will to you though 😉 Here’s some absolutely astounding bottled water facts from BantheBottle.net Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation. The…

  • Education

    Week 1: Learn About The Problems We Face

    They say that learning is half the battle and that saying rings true when exploring how our actions affect the planet. Environmental struggles like climate change and peak oil can seem huge and disconnected from changes we can make in our day-to-day activities. I like the term “being green” because it’s a light-hearted and positive way to talk about some really, really serious problems that we are facing as a human race. Sometimes it can get downright frustrating when you start looking at the big picture. I’ve found that small scale positive actions are one way to fight the bigger battles. For me, “being green” is about taking ownership of…