Resources for Action
Make a difference at home
By following Earth Day Canada's Top 10 Actions every day:
- Smart Shopping
- "Buy what you need, not what you want"
- Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed
- Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores
- Simple Savers
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
- Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
- Weather strip windows and doors
- Transportation Alternatives
- Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
- When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
- Consider car sharing programs or renting
- Food Choices
- Choose local and organic foods that are in season, and support local food producers
- Eat less meat
- Washing and Drying
- Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry
- Heating and cooling
- For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
- For winter heating, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
- Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats
- Close to Home
- Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible
- Bathroom Basics
- Take short showers instead of baths
- Close water taps while brushing your teeth
- Careful Cleaning
- Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
- Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water.
- Don't Discard
- Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
- Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recycling centers
Make a difference at work
- Power down computers at lunch and when you go home
- Start recycling
- Put in place recycling containers for paper and as many other products as possible. Try to parallel your community's residential recycling program - people are used to it and know what products can be recycled.
Do you really need to photocopy or print off copies of emails and other material?
- Avoid the habit of printing off emails and leaving hard copies on co-workers desks. Start forwarding emails and encouraging them to be read, not printed off. And when you think you need to photocopy something, pause and ask if it's really necessary.
- Next to your photocopier, also leave a pile of paper that has only been photocopied on one side. Reusing the blank side of used-but-not-needed paper reduces paper waste. If it's not for essential office use (ie. external use), you can probably use both sides of paper (yes, even the blank side of paper that was previously photocopied on one side only)
- Be water wise
- Encourage employees to use their own cups for water.
- Serve water in pitchers at meetings.
- Create your own Green Team
- You can enact all the workplace green policies you want, but it will be much more efficient and successful if it's employee-driven. Develop Green Teams that are put in charge of conducting a light bulb audit, reviewing janitorial practices, lawn care practices, hydro usage, products used during office parties (ie. stop using paper plates, plastic cutlery and paper cups. Start using washable dishes, silver cutlery and washable mugs; for Christmas parties, stop wrapping gifts with Christmas paper and start using reusable gift bags).
- Organize a Green Meeting
Last update: March 13, 2020