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5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution ...

5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution Worth Keeping

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever made a News Years Resolution.

Now put them down.

Now how many of you felt personally victimized by your News Years Resolution?

Ok.

Haha, so maybe that quote didn’t really work out the way I thought it would, but you get the gist – New Years resolutions suckkkk. No one ever keeps them and they are always cliche and un-motivating. Find me one person who managed to keep their New Years resolution, and I will eat my socks.

Up until this year, I never made a single resolution because my perspective was that if I really wanted to change something about myself, I’d do it right away. Why wait till January 1st to do it.

This resolution was different though, because it didn’t have anything to do with me (directly, anyway). It had to do with the environment. My New Years resolution was to change 5 things about my lifestyle to become much more environmentally conscious and reduce the amount of waste I produce.

In my Why I Stopped Eating Meat post, I talk about how agriculture directly affects climate change and what we can do to combat that. I’m following up on that with other small changes I have made around my household and day to day, to live a sustainable, eco friendly lifestyle.

5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle

1. Buy a Compost Bin

5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution Worth Keeping

A compost bin took AGES for me to get, and I was seriously bugging Adam about it every single day. In Toronto the condo board  is supposed to supply compost bins. I guess they gave it to our landlord, who never offered it to us when we moved in. So instead I made Adam part with some of our Amazon gift card money so I could buy ourselves a lovely little bin.

I am so happy that we got it, because it is immediate and direct how much of a difference you are making. All those scraps of food that get thrown out add up so quickly. It takes three seconds to open the compost bin and chuck it in there. We live in an apartment so we have a separate chute for compost, but all houses should be supplied with a green bin from the city. I highly recommend looking into buying one of these as your first step to reducing waste!

2. Use a Reusable Coffee Mug

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This tip is nothing fancy or new, but the difference being that I actually made a concerted effort every day to use the mug. Starbucksgives you $0.10 off your drink if you bring one, so I found myself going there more often.

I recently questioned both Tim Hortons & McDonalds if they accept reusable mugs, and they said they do! Unfortunately no discount at those locations, and you have to sacrifice your McDonalds free coffee stickers. In my opinion that $2.50 free coffee you might get after 7 drinks is easy to sacrifice if it means reducing SEVEN coffee cups. SEVEN.

3. Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Cat Litter

5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution Worth Keeping

We probably don’t stop to think about how much cat litter gets thrown out every week, but if your cat pees as much as mine does, it’s a hell of a lot. We switched our cat litter to one that was made with walnut shells, is 100% natural and eco friendly, and biodegradable.

I also called the city and searched around the internet to see if we could compost cat litter. Believe it or not – you can! And if you have a dog and not a cat, there are eco-friendly biodegradable poop bags that you can buy online or in any pet store.

4. Reusable Shopping Bags and Containers

This is one that I have been preaching for as long as I’ve gone grocery shopping. I use reusable bags every single weekend to buy my groceries, and containers to pack everything in. I think i’ve used 5 Ziploc bags since the beginning of the year. I know people will argue that they use their grocery bags for their garbage, but lets be a LITTLE realistic here. I see couples getting an average of 4 bags of groceries, and double bagging them all. That’s EIGHT bags. Two people do not go through 8 bags of garbage in a week.

5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution Worth Keeping

Another tip is to minimize the use of the small clear produce bags. There is no need to bag bananas, avocados, oranges, or basically anything that has an un-edible peel. And it’s not like those bananas are going to roll away if they’re not bagged up. When I shop, everything just sits in the basket, and only the wet/leafy produce gets bagged.

5. Bike & Walk instead of Drive

With the rise of Uber and car sharing companies, more people are choosing for the convenient and cost effective drive option, over public transit or walking.

My biggest piece of advice – get a bike. In Toronto you can get pretty much anywhere faster on a bike than you can in a car. It cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and also makes you a fitter and healthier person. Another added benefit is the money you will save; last year I saved over $1,100 on bus passes (not even including Uber rides) by taking my bike EVERYWHERE.

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While implementing this changes, I became a bit obsessed with every aspect of living an eco friendly lifestyle. I’ve slowly realized that I can’t change the world, nor can I easily reduce my waste even close to 70%. But I can make a difference, and by sharing this post with you guys, I hope that you too take something from it too.

What About You?!

  • Do you ever think about how much waste we produce?
  • Are you a composter?
  • What changes have you made to live an eco friendly lifestyle?
  • Ever kept a New Years resolution? (But seriously, dont lie).

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5 Ways to an Eco Friendly Lifestyle: A Resolution Worth Keeping

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  1. Carla

    6 June

    When we first moved from Texas to Northern California it was a culture shock 🙂 I never composted before – – I’m embarrassed to say it didn’t even occur to me – – and it was really awkward and weird to me AT FIRST.
    And then I fell in love with it. And then I moved back to Texas 🙂 And I kept on composting.

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Yayy! Good for you! I’m trying to convince my mother to compost, but she hasn’t yet converted her ways… Maybe you could have a chat with her 😉

  2. That is so awesome that your condo has a separate compost chute! I grew up composting and had a big bin in our backyard when we lived in the suburbs, but our condo in Chicago doesn’t have that… these are great tips!

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      That’s too bad Chicago doesnt have it!! I think if we didn’t it would be something i’d bring up with our local politicians haha. I’m such a nerd, but so serious about this stuff!

  3. Lauren

    6 June

    If you are looking for reusable produce bags, norwex has some good mesh ones! I’m sure many brands sell them, but they are great for when you are buying apples or a lot of something.

    But I am happy to hear of the rise of Eco Friendly living and that there’s people like you setting the example 🙂

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Thanks so much for letting me know! I will definitely be checking those out. Thank you Lauren xx

  4. Hahahahahha I giggled out loud at your quote at the beginning. Totally got the reference <3 I've been really into reducing my waste and it's become such an important thing to me. I've been composting for quite a while now and am weirdly obsessed with it?? I just recently got some reusable produce bags to use at the grocery store for my fruits and veg and also for bulk stuff! I've also just been paying more attention to what I'm buying and how much waste it'll produce, so I try to get things in bulk or reusable containers instead of bags. I'm searching for a bike too, Victoria is such a bike city, so I really need to step it up!!
    Yay for helping the earth!!

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Yesss i need reusable bags for when I go to the bulk store. There have been times i forgo getting somethign because I feel bad using a full bag for like, 8 pretzels haha. And so glad you got the reference 😉 Hope you’re loving Victoria!

  5. LOVE!!! Ok I do all of these things (except for the cat litter, because we have a doggie) and except for the compost bin but I am like “DUH, why aren’t we doing that?!” Such a smart idea! And PS I hate new years resolutions.

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Doooo it!! You’ll absolutely love your compost bin haha. It’s my favorite thing even though it sometimes smells

  6. Oh I’m all about reusable coffee mugs, water bottles, tupperware, grocery bags…it’s the easiest way to do your part!

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Amen!! Why WOULDN’T you. My container collection is my second favorite thing after my compost bin 😉

  7. caileejoy

    6 June

    I love these tips Beverley! I do 2 & 4! I have a reusable Starbucks cup for my water and multiple coffee mugs (I LOVE coffee)! I need to start biking and walking more! Thanks girl! Hope that you’re having a great week!
    xoxo Cailee!

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Thank you Cailee! Biking through the city and passing the traffic is something you gottaaaaa experience haha. Its a great feeling.

  8. Linz

    6 June

    i was just talking to someone the other day about wanting to start a compost pile!

    • beverleyc

      7 June

      Do it!! You’ll love watching the difference that it makes to your waste reduction

  9. I love these tips!! I am huge on bringing my own reusable shopping bags with me because it is incredible the amount of plastic bags I used to use when I was not in the habit of bringing them. Such. A. Waste. I love the idea of a compost bin — definitely need to check that out

    • beverleyc

      10 June

      Thank you Brie! Yes I fully agree, I feel so bad every time I get a plastic bag if I forgot my reusable ones!

  10. Polyglot Jot

    8 June

    Love these tips! I use the reusable bags and coffee cups all the time. Compost is sadly very rare thing where I live in the US (PA). I wish it was more commonplace like it is in other states like CA but its just not the norm!

    • beverleyc

      10 June

      That’s a shame! It’s strange how Canada and the US are so similar, yet sooo different in some ways

  11. I’m living at home right now, and I have a feeling my mom would be waaay all over that compost bin idea! She trained me in high school to love tap water and never buy bottled haha, and now I use a reusable coffee cup I love too. Like seriously tho, refuse to drink coffee out of anything else kinda looove

    • beverleyc

      10 June

      Aww your mom sounds like she raised you exactly like mine! haha. plastic bottles are seriously the worst and should be stopped being produced immediately

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