Earth Day is about re-evaluating our environmental impact and thinking about ways to reduce it.
When we think of installing solar panels, improving the thermal envelope of our home, purchasing energy efficient appliances andÂ buying electric cars, we often get discouraged by the impact the reduction of our environmental impact has on our wallets.
However, there are a lot of simple and inexpensive things you can do on a day-to-day basis that enable you to reduce your environmental impact.
Here are just 10 simple and inexpensive ways to reduce your ecological footprint (if you’re not already doing so):
1. Drop a couple of bricks or rocks in the reservoir of your toilet (if you don’t have a water saving toilet already), conserving water every time you flush. – Make sure they don’t get in the way of the flushing mechanism!
2. Walk, bike, use public transit or carpool instead of getting in that car all by your lonely self! (Pick up a hitchhiker if you’re driving the car and have room.)
3. Lower your thermostat by 2°C/3.6°F and put on a sweater. Lower your thermostat to 10°C/18°F at night and add a blanket.
4. Install energy efficient lights and turn them off when you walk out of the room. Turn off the stereo, TV, computer and power bars off, too, if you don’t use them!
5. Hang your laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer; they suck energy! Drying racks are pretty cheap.
6. Wash your dishes by hand. Dishwashers use a huge amount of water and energy.
7. Have a compost bucket (and ice cream bucket will do – keep the kitchen sink and create worm composting bin on your balcony or a compost bin in your yard.
8. Disconnect the downspout of the roof gutters from the drain and install a barrel underneath the spout to collect the rain water to water your garden and lawn.
9. Transform your lawn and garden into a xeriscape garden.
10. Better yet, transform your yard and lawn into food producing garden using permaculture principles.
I know #9 and #10 are perhaps not really simple, but it doesn’t have to happen overnight! Work towards it in the next few years!
Happy Earth Day!