You don’t have to be a fanatic to live green

Eco-friendly lifestyle tips and tricks are the main topic of many publications and Internet sites created in the last years. Albeit being a realtor in Toronto gives me plenty of changes to talk about the many ways of Eco-friendly living with my clients, my topic today will be a bit more specific. Most people have already heard the main eco-tips, so we are not going to try to summarize them here again. Instead, I would like to contemplate on groceries, water and electric current – as the three key resources that we, who live in modern countries, tend to use without further thinking.


live green

You don’t have to be a fanatic to live green


Suppose that the majority of people are used to recycling part of their litter – at least paper, glass and metal, then we can say that most of the remaining household litter is comprised of food. The bulk of this food would usually be in perfect condition, in some cases not even out of its wrapper or container. The sad reality is that on average most households in Canada throw away 20 to 30% of food bought in stores. Together with the food thrown out in stores and restaurants, it makes between 7 and 14 billion tonnes of food dumped annually. Speaking in money language, it means annual waste of $3 to 5 billion Surprising, what we have just calculated, isn’t it? With so many charities trying to help people suffering from lack of food, while at the same time so much of it is being wasted straight under our noses. Whereas it wouldn’t be too clever to pack unused foods and send it to countries hit by famine, there are other ways to avoid food being thrown away in vain. 1. Try using leftovers. For example if you had some rice left from last night’s supper, you could have prepared stuffed peppers today. 2. In your pantry or food cabinet, try to stick to a simple habit: the food closest to the expiration date is always stocked in front of the fresher ones. 3. Sometimes you realize you have some food you are not going to consume before its expiry date and you would have to dump it. Try to take these to your local charity place or soup kitchen or any similar place where they can find some use for the food before it goes bad. As hungry people don’t live only in Africa, your food will serve a good purpose even in your neighborhood. 4. Do not waste leftovers – mulch it. Maybe you will oppose that you don’t own a garden. But your neighbor might own one and may be able to help you to get rid of your leftovers.


You probably already know many recommendations on how to avoid using more water than necessary in your household. But there is one interesting side of family] water saving – toilets, as places we use to get rid of our more think of them – as long as they operate the way the are supposed to. But try to determine the amount of water your household uses every month just for flushing the toilet. You might be shocked by the big number you get out of this. Now suppose you could lower that by simply decreasing the amount of water your toilet uses every time you flush. You can try these two tips to using less water for flushing: 1. There are new kinds of toilets available, that are using just the minimum volume of water necessary. Go and check out the assortment in your local store, it is amazing how rich it is nowadays! 2. If you put a couple of plastic bottles full of water into the tank of your toilet, it will help you to save some water for flushing as well. You might have to keep trying a bit before you find out the right volume of water needed for the toilet to keep working fine.



Electric current

You have probably already heard many tips and tricks on how to save electric energy. What I personally regard as being the biggest electricity waster is the commonly used tumble dryer. In modern times, people are not used to waiting before they get something they want or need at the moment, and they sometimes consume too much energy getting it, just because it will be done faster. Of course we no longer want or have the time to wash our clothing manually, and it is true that by using dishwashers we can waste less water. However, think about tumble dryers. Would it be such a great issue if we just waited 1 – 2 days for our laundry to get dry? In case your environment-friendly ambitions are serious, try to consider turning your tumble dryer on in urgent cases only, or even think about saying goodbye to it at all – you can sell it or donate it to someone else. In addition to the environment, you will save some money on your electricity bills as well.


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