While we are gearing up for Earth Week next week, the best way to celebrate is to shift the things you do every day for the better and greener. Once you get in the habit, it’s second nature. Not sure where to start? Try these 7 habits of highly ecoffective* people:

  1. GIVE A FLICK: turn off lights, computers, TVs, printers when you leave an empty room … anything with a plug and a switch.

    Celeste and Perry
    Celeste and Perry with the Golden Light Switch Award for giving a FLICK
  2. WATER WISE: Water is one of our most precious resources. Think sipping, not gulping with all your water needs:
    • fix leaky taps and use water-saving appliances
    • shower quick
    • turn off the tap when you brush your teethwater-iStock_000016444174Small
  3. LUG-A-MUG: Carry a reusable mug for your coffee, tea or mocha-chai-latte. Reuse is even better than recycling. You’ll even get discounts at many shops.IMG_7869
    • RECYCLE LIKE A PRO: before you pitch it, see if you can recycle it and how. Many places have different recycling rules.
      • UHN has separated recycling at most sites so pitch the paper in 1 and the cans, bottles and containers in the other … and don’t forget the millions of coffee cups. More UHN details here
      • City of Toronto has comingled recycling, one bin for both kinds. More Toronto details here
    • COMPOST THE MOST: Use your green bin for organic waste like food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, paper towels and napkins. Save organic material from landfill and help the next crops grow.IMG_7899
  5. TOXIC TRAINER: Some things NEVER go in garbage or recycling at work or at home:
    • Batteries – Use a battery bin at work; when home – find the nearest Household Hazardous Waste Depot (HHW)
    • Medication – bring leftovers back to any commercial pharmacy or HHW
    • Compact fluorescent (CFL) or any fluorescent bulbs – these may save energy but they contain mercury – bring to HHW
    • Anything marked corrosive (drain cleaner), flammable (gasoline), explosive (aerosol) or poisonous (cleaning fluid, pesticides)  – bring to HHW

      CFLs have Mercury! Put in Household Hazardous Waste
      CFLs have Mercury! Put in Household Hazardous Waste
  6. EAT GREEN: The way to your heart, and a more sustainable food system, is through your stomach:
    • Eat more fresh food and less processed food
    • Eat more locally grown food and less flown-from-across-the-world food. We have a local food program happening right here for that!
    • Eat more organic food and less pesticide/hormone/antibiotic-laden food. Here are the top places to switchJoin TFT button2
  7. GREEN YOUR WHEELS: Clean the air, help your wallet and unstick traffic with all your travel choices:
    • Bike, walk, take transit or carpool more
    • Drive alone less, especially with the Pan Am & Parapan Am Games coming to the GTHAbike to work2

Happy Trails!


*Ecoffective: new word I just made up to denote being effective in an environmentally friendly way. Patent pending 🙂