5 Ways to Make an Environment Change in the New Year

Tuesday January 10, 2017

Composting

We’re two weeks into 2017 and I’m sure your social media feeds have been flooded with New Years resolution announcements and advertising.  At this time of year, we often see people focusing on their weight, health and life achievements.  While all of these are great goals to work on, there’s one component that is often missed in people’s resolutions, and that is the focus on our environment!  Mother Earth isn’t able to vocalize her New Year resolutions so we need to make that change on her behalf to better our environment and planet!

Here are 5 ways you can make a change for the good of our environment this year, and still feel good about yourself too!

1.  Alternative Transportation – If you haven’t heard already, carbon tax was made effective January 1, which means gas prices have gone up.  To save a few bucks, save the planet, and break a little sweat, try getting to your destinations in something other than your vehicle.  The Cycle Tracks were approved so why not hop on your bike to grab your groceries (our 10th Avenue location has a new bike rack that would love some attention!)  Walk to grab your cup of coffee, or sit on the c-train and avoid rush hour traffic.  Sure -25 isn’t the most ideal time to be walking or biking, but a 15 minute walk (bundled up of course) refreshes your sense, and is going to save you from wasting gas and polluting the air.

2. Reduce Your Waste – City of Calgary will be implementing the Green Bin Initiative program this year and we couldn’t be more excited.  With proper recycling and composting, you will reduce what goes in your trash bin substantially.  If you have a community garden in your neighbourhood, you can likely start composting right away if you haven’t already!  If not, you can wait until the green bins roll out or start your own (check out Green Calgary for tips).  Aside from composting, be mindful of the packaging that your food and other household items come in.  Try to buy bulk items, fresh produce or recyclable packaged items.

3. Rethink Your Household Cleaning Supplies – Many of the conventional cleaning supplies are full of toxic chemicals that are not only harmful to your body, but harmful to the environment too.  After scrubbing your bath tub with harsh chemicals, where do you think all of it goes?  While Calgary has some of the cleanest drinking water, other cities and towns aren’t so lucky.  Try switching your cleaning supplies to more eco-friendly products such as Seventh Generation, Bio Vert and Eco Max, or try making some of your own!

4. Shop Locally – Whether it’s food, home décor, or clothing, where you purchase your items has an impact on the environment.  The closer items are made and distributed from your city, the less the carbon footprint they have!  By shopping locally, you also are supporting your local economy!  You can find plenty of local business on REAP’s website for all your essential items, Market Collective for one of a kind local artisan items, and of course Community Natural Foods carries hundreds of local produce and products.

5. Increase items that are reusable – Dryer sheets, paper towel, feminine hygiene products, plastic bags, and coffee pods.  There’s one thing in common with all of these products – they’re thrown away after one use!  Coffee pods alone generate more than 10 times the amount of waste as a standard cup of filtered coffee.  Coffee beans ground and used in either a coffee machine or French press not only taste better (and fresh) but also reduce your waste.  Community Natural Foods carries plenty of alternatives for dryer sheets, as well as feminine hygiene products, such as the Diva Cup, and it’s not new news that we were the first grocery store to go plastic bag-free.  Shop with your reusable grocery bags and pick up more sustainable products that don’t bog down our landfills.

by Kelsey Williams, CNF