Ten ways to become “green for life”

Last week I wrote a post about Gillian Deacon’s book “There’s Lead in Your Lipstick.”  She is a writer and broadcaster who also works as an environmental advocate.  Whenever I love a book, I end up googling the heck out of the author to find out anything and everything else they do, and so that’s how I discovered Deacon’s website.

On it, I found a really cool list of the top ten ways to become “green for life,” which is her motto.  The points are easily applicable and helpful, so I just wanted to share them with you.

1. Buy local food.  Find a farmer’s market near you and start enjoying the bounty of the season.  At the grocery store, choose produce that has travelled the shortest distance.  And try to buy less meat!

2. Drive less.  Create a carpool at the office.  Walk your kids to school.  Buy a bike – with a basket so you can carry groceries or your briefcase.  Take public transit.  Choose a gym closer to your office or home.  Walk to the corner store.  Leave your car at home at least one day a week.

3. Insulate your house.  Check for air leaks using a stick of incense or a candle.  Add caulking and weather-stripping wherever you notice a draft.

4. Use less hot water.  Set a timer in the shower, aim for 5 minutes.  Install a flow-adapter switch to stop the flow while you lather, shave, etc., or simply shut off the tap.

5. Use natural cleaning products.  Buy a box of baking soda and a jug of pure white vinegar.  Tear up old towels and ripped T-shirts for rags, stop buying paper towels.

6. Lighten your laundry load.  Wash in cold water.  Buy natural soaps.  Add Borax to boost detergent so you’ll need to use less.  Invest in front-loading machines to save money on energy and water use.  Whiten with hydrogen peroxide.  Empty the lint trap.  Hang dry as much as possible.

7. No more bottled water.  Invest in a stainless steel water bottle.  Carry it with you everywhere!  Lobby the boss to get a water filter at the office sink and some glasses.

8. Bring your own bags.  Invest in a small portable reusable bag to carry with you.  Commit to saying NO to petroleum derived plastic bags.  Invest in shopping bins to keep in your car for large shopping trips.

9. Flick off your computer.  Power down when you leave your desk for more than 20 minutes.  Turn off lights every time you leave a room.  Put stickers on the light switches in the boardroom and other public areas to remind everyone to Flick Off.  Create a culture of No Waste at the office (paper too!).

10. Lose the plastic.  Bring lunch to work in reusable containers; stainless steel or glass are best.  Take any Styrofoam back to the restaurant and ask them to dispose of it; put the onus on them to recycle or use biodegradable packaging.




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