10 Great Ways to Go Green

1. ELIMINATE PLASTICS EVERYWHERE

50,000,000 plastic water bottles still get thrown into landfills in North America every day, leaching chemicals and creating unnecessary garbage. Oil is a precious non-renewable resource. Recycle any plastic water bottles.

Choose reusable stainless steel water bottles and cotton bags instead.

2. SWITCH IT UP

Today’s CFL light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent and last 10% longer.

But even better, today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.

Good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more — meaning they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs

Unlike incandescent bulbs — which release 90 percent of their energy as heat — LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.

LEDs contain no mercury. Using LED’s eliminates tons of carbon emissions

Don’t forget to just switch it off if you’re not using it. www.torontohydro.com

3. GO GREEN WHEN YOU CLEAN

A mixture of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water plus a squirt of detergent makes a great all-purpose eco-friendly cleaner. There are many eco-brands now available in health food and grocery stores. We need clean air and clean water.

4. THINK GLOBAL, BUY LOCAL

Help support a healthy local economy and cut down on carbon emissions created by importing goods and services. Support some of the many year round farmers’ markets. It’s all here already. Go to: www.greenenterprise.net for local listings.

5. EARTH TO EARTH

Take the time to compost food waste. Nourish your garden and reduce your waste at home by having a backyard composter.

Composters are available at: www.toronto.ca/compost/organic.htm

6. MEATLESS MONDAY

Try to go meatless one day a week. Livestock production causes more disruption to the environment than motor vehicles. Meat based diets use 7 times as much land as plant based diets. Choose low impact, local, seasonal and organic when possible, and reduce food waste.

7. EXERCISE YOUR OPTIONS

Use alternate methods to get around at least one day a week. Walk, bike, rollerblade, bus. Just one city bus can eliminate the emissions of hundreds of cars every day. Organize a carpool to get to work. Save money, reduce emissions, don’t waste valuable natural resources. Less cars on the road means less commuting time and less idling time.

8. CHECK YOUR TEMP.

By adjusting your thermostat a little higher in summer and a little lower in winter, you will save big on your utility bill and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Keep doors closed to conserve heat or air conditioning. www.torontohydro.com

9. WATER WATCH

If you lower the thermostat a few degrees on your water heater, you’ll have further savings in your pocket and in the environment. Try not to run water when it’s not needed, take a shorter shower, shower with a friend. The city offers rebates for replacing outdated toilets, washers and dryers. Go to: www.rev.gov.on.ca On a nice day, hang your laundry out to dry.

10. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

Support the 3Rs in your workplace and other aspects of your lives. Planning is the key.

Check out updates to our Resources Guide at the Greenzone.