Environmental actions to do at home
It is still possible to celebrate Earth Day at home, alone, or with your family! Need some inspiration?
Here are some ideas of practical, creative, and fun ideas for all tastes and ages.
- Eat organic: Preserve the richness of the soil, improve air quality, and protect biodiversity and your own health.
- Eat local: Eat fresher products, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, and engage in an especially important act of solidarity.
- Eat in season: Eat better-tasting, more nutritious food that has undergone less processing and travelled shorter distances, coming straight from our local farmers.
- Reduce food waste: In Canada, 58% of food is discarded somewhere along the food chain. Make herbal teas, tasty soups and leftovers, freeze, and store properly: so many tips to fight food waste at home.
- Eat more plant-based proteins: in addition to being a recommendation in Canada’s food guide, diversifying your diet helps reduce our environmental impact related to food and agriculture. The trick: try out new recipes to cook with new protein sources! Great discoveries to be made!
- Switch to a green energy supplier (for those outside of Quebec): Wind, solar, or hydroelectric power, there are several green energy alternatives. Take advantage of this moment of reduced activity to compare offers from different suppliers.
- Replace your light bulbs with low-energy light bulbs: Recyclable and energy efficient, low-energy light bulbs consume 80% less electricity than conventional light bulbs. A small change with a big benefit for the environment.
- Lower your thermostat: Did you know that 19°C is the “thermoneutrality” temperature of the human species? No need to heat above that, especially when you know that, above 20°C, each additional degree increases the heating bill by 7%. So save your wallet and the environment!
- Limit the sending of emails: A typical year of incoming emails would add 136 kg to our carbon footprint, the same as 320km travelled by car. Being careful not to send large attachments and deleting emails regularly are other ways to reduce your digital impact.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters: Sending a standard email produces 10g of CO2. Can you imagine the carbon footprint of a newsletter? Now is the time to sort through and unsubscribe from the ones you never read. More information on digital pollution here!
- Use an ethical search engine: The digital world represents 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. Want a good way to reduce your ecological footprint while continuing to use the internet? Using an ethical search engine like Ecosia which finances tree planting.
- Watch fewer online videos: In 2019, watching these videos that are hosted on massive servers around the world generated the equivalent of Spain’s CO2 emissions! Reading a book, creating, cooking, spending time with your friends and family: there are so many opportunities to have fun in a different way.
- Make your own cosmetics: Free of additives or chemicals, homemade cosmetics can be produced at little cost. They also avoid unnecessary packaging and allow you to enjoy making them yourself.
- Make your own cleaning products: Conventional household cleaning products contain chemical components that are dangerous for your health and the environment. Go ahead and create your own cleaning products.
- Compost, consign, recycle: The winning trio to reduce your waste, after a reduction at source of course!
- Move towards zero waste: More and more items are available to help you reduce your consumption of single-use plastics: things like reusable cups, straws, bags, and containers… In these troubled times, it can be a bit more difficult to use them but don’t let that hold you back. Once the situation has returned to normal, they will be valuable assets in your zero-waste approach.
- Opt for second-hand purchases: Thrift stores, second-hand shops, garage sales… There are plenty of opportunities to buy second-hand. You can also organize exchanges between colleagues or friends!
- Recycle your batteries: “The best way to keep batteries out of our landfills is to make sure they never get sent there.” Discover all the tips from Call2Recycle Canada on battery recycling.
- Prioritize walking: Good for your health, cost-efficient, zero emissions: walking is THE means of travel to adopt in your daily life once the pandemic is over. In the meantime, let’s stay home as much as possible!
- Go cycling: Whether you’re using your own or the services available in your city, a bicycle is an excellent means of transport for those everyday journeys that you want to make quicker than on foot. Please note that, during these exceptional times, it is best to stay home.
- Take public transit: Bus, metro, train, tram… Once the health situation has returned to normal, use public transport rather than your motor vehicle to get around. Emissions reduction guaranteed!
- Switch to electric car: More affordable, silent, and ecological, it is appealing for more than one reason! If you are a professional, did you know that Earth Day Canada can assist you in the conversion and acquisition of light electric vehicles thanks to our brand new Transition Wow program? Now’s the time to learn more.
- Reduce your air travel: The aviation industry accounts for 5–10% of global greenhouse gases. Why not take the train and live the incredible experience of travelling across Canada from east to west with Via Rail, for example?
- Grow your own vegetable garden (in the city or the country): Whether you are in the country with a large garden or in the city with a balcony, it is time to start growing your own vegetables and herbs. Don’t forget to leave flowers for our friends the pollinators!
- Go for natural fertilizers over chemical fertilizers: With soil depletion and loss of biodiversity, it is time to stop chemical fertilizers, even on a small scale. Use your compost or the compost from your city as a natural fertilizer for your plants. In addition to creating a healthy soil, it will make your plants happy since it provides an excellent nutrient supply.
- Plant nectar-giving plants to attract pollinators: Melliferous flowers are more nutritious for pollinators because they are rich in nectar and pollen. Often very colourful, they attract our foraging friends better and from further away.
- Contribute to greening: A filter for the air, a purifier for the water, but also socially beneficial, greening has many advantages, especially in an urban environment! Are you an organization or a municipality and wish to embark on the adventure of greening? Earth Day Canada can assist you with its Tomorrow’s Forest program!
- Collect one piece of garbage per day: It may not seem like much, but imagine if each of us took advantage of our little walk to pick up a piece of garbage on the ground: our cities, beaches, and forests would be much cleaner! For those who are more sporty, we can even practice “plogging” (picking up garbage while running!). You can turn this activity into a fun game with the kids, an idea to keep in mind when the containment measures are lifted.
And don’t forget, doing something concrete on April 22nd is good, but every day is even better!