Following Earth Week, my children and I enjoyed doing plenty of fun activities that enabled hands-on learning about ways to be more green and the effects it will have on our planet.
Recently, we sat together on a wobbly tree log in the middle of a local conservation trail where we have our daily walks, and then I remembered a quote that has always affected me but particularly in that moment as I sat watching my children collect rocks and sticks, basking in all the natural beauty:
We do not Inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow It from our children.
I have always strived to lead a more ecofriendly lifestyle but even more-so after having children. Imagine how our world would look like 20 years from now if we chose to neglect it and not treat it with the proper care and respect? It’s actually quite unnerving to think about. Which is why it’s best to focus positively on the simple steps we can take each day to make our planet more beautiful for our future.
One company that has always encouraged me to “think green” is TELUS.
As you may or may not already know, sustainability at TELUS is broadly defined and connected to all areas of their business. From bridging the digital divide, to enabling remarkable health outcomes, caring for the planet, advancing educational opportunities and keeping people safe in our digital world, each and every one of their team members has a role to play in this journey. In 2016:
- They engaged more than 28,000 team members, retirees, family and friends globally through their annual TELUS Days of Giving
- Decreased their greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent over 2015
- 850,000 Canadians benefited from TELUS WISE programming and resources
- With the completion of TELUS Garden in Vancouver and upcoming TELUS Sky in Calgary, they will own or lease more than 3 million square feet of LEED certified facilities
- They provide a flexible Work Styles program enabling close to 70 per cent of their eligible team members to work remotely allowing them to reduce carbon emissions and their real estate footprint (while enabling better work-life balance)
- They remain steadfast in their commitment to reduce their absolute energy consumption by 10 per cent, and their absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020
Although they met many of their sustainability targets this past year, they continue to collaborate and innovate to meet their long-term goals.
TELUS’ comprehensive 2016 TELUS Sustainability Report highlights their sustainability strategy, goals and results for 2016. Importantly, the report is a meaningful document that demonstrates their efforts to create a better world for generations to come.
Realizing that it really is less complicated than we may think to be more green, I’ve compiled a list of 30 simple ways to help lead a more sustainable lifestyle. After all, every day should be Earth Day.
30 Simple Ways to Lead a More Sustainable Life
- Change incandescent light globes to energy efficient ones.
- Buy in bulk – but not if you end up wasting food – it defeats the whole purpose of being sustainable.
- Grow herbs in an egg carton, or another recycled container.
- Start a compost bin for kitchen scraps & garden waste (no dairy, meat or fish scraps).
- Install a water-saving showerhead, if you haven’t already done so. And cut shower time – if you aren’t already having 4 minute (or less) showers.
- Buy organic or local produce.
- Just say NO to plastic bags, and bring your own reusable bags. I always make sure to leave a few in my vehicle, in case I need them.
- Start a veggie garden – work out what you like to eat and plant accordingly. Any surplus can be shared with friends, family, neighbours or at local community events.
- Pick up one (1) piece of garbage you see every day.
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- Stop using your clothes drier and use the sun and wind to dry your clothes. I know this may be difficult in some homes but if you can, especially on warmer months, dry some of the larger items outside.
- Stop buying bottled water – use a refillable bottle instead.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Buy recycled pencils for the kids. Smencils (gourmet scented recycled pencils) is a favourite in our home. TerraCycle®, a recycling program partnered with Staples Canada is also a fantastic initiative! They provide a second life for used writing instruments and all you need to do is save your used writing instruments and recycle them at your nearest Staples store. Learn more here: https://www.terracycle.ca.
- Go to a local Farmers market, and buy some of the produce while you are there.
- Use both sides of a piece of paper – then recycle it.
- Visit a forest or Conservation area near your home. Always refreshing for the mind, body and soul to “stop and smell the roses” and appreciate and enjoy all the natural beauty around you.
- Purchase Fair-trade coffee, chocolate & tea.
- Use both sides of aluminium foil, then put it in the recycling bin.
- Support a green business (like Telus!).
- Plant a tree – indigenous, fruit or nut are the better options.
- Turn lights off when not in the room.
- Give used toys and good condition used clothing (adults and children’s) to a good cause. You can also hand them onto family or friends with younger children.
- Install solar outdoor lighting.
- Do your banking on-line – saves time, saves paper and saves money – and reduces waste by not having to print out those little slips of paper!
- Put on an extra layer of clothing when it is cold instead of turning up the heating. Or better yet, invest in an energy-saving thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen. You can learn more about it in my past review here.
- Seal gaps around external doors and windows.
- If you’ve got kids at school, get the newsletter emailed to you, or access it on-line. If your school doesn’t offer that option – why not make a suggestion to the office?
- Car pool where you can.
- Upcycle as much as you can! A simple project like making a milk carton into a birdhouse with the kids is a fun activity. You can also decorate empty glass jars to make simple vases or storage for craft supplies or you can use egg cartons to start seeds for your spring garden or to organize your child’s tiny treasures. Once your child understands the concept of up-cycling, the sky is the limit!
What are some ways you show the planet you care? If you have children, what ecofriendly ways do they contribute?