As we age, we may feel that our contributions toward saving the Earth don’t really matter much. Seniors, as a whole, have the power to impact future generations just by making a few eco-friendly lifestyle changes that promote sustainability and help the planet.
June 5th is World Environment Day so we thought we’d share some ideas of how seniors can help the Earth and set a good example for younger generations.
Here are 10 simple ways seniors can create change:
- REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLES
Skip those store-bought bottles of water. Instead, buy yourself a BPA-free, refillable water bottle that you can keep with you throughout the day. Having water on hand will keep you hydrated this summer and with a refillable water bottle, you can save some money and the environment too!
- REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS
Use reusable grocery bags as much as possible. Plastic grocery bags are a source of waste. Many stores now charge for plastic bags so why not save some money by using reusable grocery bags instead?
- DITCH THE PLASTIC STRAWS
Many restaurants and fast-food restaurants have stopped supplying plastic straws — thank goodness! But you are still able to buy them at stores (including the dollar store). Though this is an item you might reach for without even thinking about they are very harmful to our environment and wildlife. Did you know that used plastic straws end up damaging our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans? So be sure to go straw-free or use paper straws whenever possible.
- DITCH THE PLASTIC UTENSILS
As we move forward with government regulations on one-time-use plastics, eliminating plastic utensils from your life is a helpful step. Disposable cutlery can be convenient, but they’re another big source of plastic pollution. Reusing your plastic cutlery or carrying your own set of inexpensive utensils can go a long way to helping the environment.
- BRING YOUR OWN MUG
Did you know disposable coffee cups and lids from coffee shops like Tim Horton’s and Mc Donald’s are not recyclable? It’s true! They are simply garbage and go into a landfill. Whenever possible bring your own coffee cup to your favourite coffee shops they’ll happily fill it for you and they may even offer a small discount to you for doing so.
- EARTH FRIENDLY CLEANING
Make your own cleaning products. Another way you can help keep the planet green is by mixing up your own home cleaning supplies in reusable spray bottles. Vinegar, baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil are a fraction of the cost and can keep your house looking and smelling clean while avoiding harsh chemicals.
- RECYCLE ELECTRONICS
Cell phones, old televisions, and computers are another source of waste. Toronto and Etobicoke offer curtsied pick up of many electronics. If you are outside this area contact your local waste disposal to find out how to recycle your items safely.
Some tips for the seniors in Toronto/Etobicoke
- Set electronic items out on Garbage collection day for pick-up 0.5 metres (2 feet) away from your Garbage Bin.
- Please avoid setting out items in bad weather.
- Put large electronic items, such as computer monitors and televisions, on the ground.
- Put small electronic items, such as cell phones, in a clear plastic bag or in an open cardboard box.
- If possible, put more than one item out at a time.
- Electronics will be collected by a different truck after your garbage has been picked up.
- SHOP AND THINK LOCAL
When shopping for food try to buy produce that is from Ontario as much as possible. This will support Ontario farmers and cut down on transportation emissions.
When shopping for other supplies, clothing, and other household items buying close to home can support small businesses and eliminate the packing and supplies that shipping online purchases requires.
- TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Making the smallest adjustment to your household thermostat can go a long way to help the environment. Fossil fuels used to regulate temperature release chemicals that are damaging to the planet. Keeping your home’s temperature a little lower in the winter and a little higher in the summer not only saves you money, but it’s also earth-friendly.
Reduce your utility costs and help the environment by washing your laundry in cold water. Whenever possible, wash clothes in cold water instead of hot. This is a simple and earth-friendly step you can take right away!
- WASH IN COLD WATER
Reduce your utility costs and help the environment by washing your laundry in cold water. Whenever possible, wash clothes in cold water instead of hot. This is simple and earth-friendly step you can take right away!