15 SIMPLE THINGS TO IMPROVE YOUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
As the debates around climate changes and ecology are the main topics, several factors should be treated in terms of pollution, including waste creation. Thereupon, did you know that the province of Quebec is a part of the 4 worst provinces in Canada? We are producing, on average, 1650 lbs. of garbage per person and per year. Here are some simple things to improve our ecological footprint.
IN THE BATHROOM
It’s now possible to buy bulk products for personal hygiene, with your own reusable containers. You can also find recipes to make your own personal hygiene products as: soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and toothpaste. There are many recipes online that can be homemade.
Bulk markets are more and more prevalent. You just have to go shopping with reusable bags and your own containers and then, when you get home, you don’t have anything to unpack.
Some types of products have to be replaced or to be less consumed as individually wrapped items. Coffee capsules can be replaced by coffee beans and tea bags can be replaced by teaballs. Plastic water bottles should be avoided too.
Choose local and seasonal products first. They’ll come from a place closer and they’ll be less chemical treated. Furthermore, they’ll taste better and they’ll be healthier.
Food wasting has its part of responsibilities in pollution. According to Recyc-Québec, 63% of the food that is wasted is still edible and a Canadian household wastes around 310 lbs. of food every year which is around 1 100$. This wasted food has polluted by being produced and brought where you bought it and it has to be replaced without even being consumed. Some mobile apps are fighting against this waste and they allow you to save money as well. You have FoodHero (for metro and IGA markets) and Flashfood (for Maxi markets).
As for the garbage, sorting is crucial. It allows to recycle garbage that can have a second life. Compost is recommended for the rest of the organic food. It can be reused as natural fertilizer for plants and future vegetables that you can grow on your own. All these methods can reduce the amount of non-recyclable garbage.
FOR HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS
It is possible to find ecological alternatives to replace chemical products that are useful for housekeeping.
You can also recycle your old clothes to make sponges with the Tawashi technique and rags.
In addition, to clothes recycling, choose local and ecological brands that use natural or recycled materials. Alizée is one of them. Its products are designed and tested in Quebec’s area and they are made of recycled plastic. Many concepts are being developed here and abroad to get dressed in an environmentally friendly way (follow us on Facebook to discover some of those ecological innovations in fashion).
Thrift stores are coming back in force these last years. It allows to buy second-hand clothes, in good condition and to give them a new life so they won’t go to the trash and avoid the creation of new clothes. Besides, it’s a good way to save money!
To go there, choose public transports or carpooling first during the winter and bike riding or walking during the summer. Those who must have a car should choose a low fuel consumption car or an electric car.
At your workplace, you can use the paper on both sides to save it. It is now possible to buy recycled paper to improve the ecological footprint of your company, talk to your manager!
When you leave your office, don’t forget to turn off the light and your computer. And, when you leave just for a meeting, don’t forget to turn off your computer’s screen or to put the computer on sleep mode.
What may surprise you is that keeping your emails consumes energy. Indeed, your emails are stored in servers. The more there are servers, the more they consume energy. So, the more emails you keep, the more it consumes energy. That’s why it’s important to regularly sort your emails. Delete as much emails as possible and unsubscribe to the newsletter that you don’t open anymore.
As you may understood, every little action is important! On Facebook, you can even find groups to help you know more, as Objectif Zéro déchet – Ville de Québec. This group answers to questions on sorting, on bulk markets and on every possible way to improve our ecological footprint. Everybody has its responsibilities; we have to react now!