The City of Vancouver has a plan to become the greenest city by 2020 to tackle environmental challenges. We are seeing more local companies lead by example by having Zero Waste Events, construct green buildings, and finding better ways to green transportation. So, what can we do as individuals in BC to make a difference in where we live? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Reusable Shopping Bags
I really despise plastic bags these days as they are overflowing the drawers of my kitchen. I really make it a mission to say no to plastic bags when possible. I love to use fabric tote bags for their durability and the look of it, but it can be bulky if you’re storing it in your purse. Grocery stores are also encouraging the habit by making customers pay $0.05 or $0.10 when they use one plastic bag.
Recycle and Compost
Did you know, about 50% of a typical residential household’s garbage is food scraps and food-
Use a reusable mug for coffee, tea or water.
It’s been a while since I’ve drank from plastic water bottles. There’s no issues with tap water in BC, so I rarely buy water when I go out. I do have a preference for really cold water, so I like using these S’Well-like water bottles. S’Well is an amazing brand but it’s pretty pricey. There are a lot of cheaper versions out there that still perform well.
Green Cleaning Products
There are a lot of green product on the market for cleaning your home like reusable microfiber cloths and natural all-purpose cleaners. Whatever you use to clean should be healthy for you and your family. There are also tons of all natural cleaners that you can make at home without purchasing premium green cleaning products if you want to keep the cost down.
Living in the subburbs, carpooling is something we do every day. Of course there are other alternative modes of transportation like public transit, walking or biking, but we prefer the convenience of being in our own vehicle. To be even greener, there are a lot of great electric and hybrid vehicles out there.
We tried the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi a few weeks ago and in a week, we only used 0.5L of gas. It runs on electric power for about 28 kms before it starts using fuel. These types of vehicles are eligible for Provincial incentives of up to $5,000 in BC and some employers even match that amount. Provincial incentives are higher in Quebec and Ontario.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Being smart about the lightbulbs you have in your home can have cost savings on your electricity over time. Buy Energy Star certified lightbulbs as they use a 70-90% less energy, on average, than light fixtures with traditional incandescent bulbs.