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10 easy ways to greenify your life in 2011!

1. Make the switch to eco cleaning products. Not only are they super
easy to find around the city, but they are often way cheaper and more
efficient. You’ll also save your skin from gnarly rashes. Nature clean
is a Toronto based brand of non toxic, hypoallergenic, products, and
they have a killer all purpose cleaner that’s made mostly from plant
sources and wood pulp. You canuse it to clean everything from your laundry to your produce. You can find Nature clean stuff most A&P, Dominion, Home Hardware, Metro, Sobeys, Wholefoods locations around the GTA.

2. Commute smarter. Take the TTC, jump on your bike, or carpool. It’s
estimated that 85% of GTA commuters drive alone – that works out to be
a lot of smog and gridlock we could totally avoid!

3. Try to reduce your paper cup usage. Over one million paper cups are
sent from Toronto to a landfill everyday. They aren’t recyclable.
Unless you’re willing to kick your latte addiction anytime soon, get a
reusable mug. Any kind will do.

4. Organic Yes! Pesticides No!You could eat all the vegetables
in the world and none them mean anything if its all covered in
pesticides. Organic food gets such a bad rap, being so ridiculously
expensive. But take it from a starving writer, check out some of the
bulk health food stores in Kensington market, (Tuttifruitti, 64
Kensington Ave and 4 Life Natural Foods, 257 Augusta Ave) and you will
be able to snatch up some sweet organic finds at a fraction of the
cost of what you might have thought.

5. Natural Tampons and Pads 
Disposal feminine hygiene products produce an estimated 12 billion
pads and 7 billion tampons, dumped into the North American environment
every year. If you’ve never heard of the Diva Cup, check out their
website and be totally amazed (). Basically, this silicon
cup is a totally reusable, washable, and you only need to worry about
it 2 – 3 times per day. You can do everything you would normally do
while using the Diva cup, from yoga to white water rafting! No lies!

6. Support Local! Do your research before you shop. You vote with every dollar
 you spend! Make sure the companies you’re dropping your hard
earned cheddar on are worth it. Try to support local, small
organizations and farmers markets. They require less transportation
and have a smaller footprint.

7. Find some new idols. Some celebs are actually way more interesting
than Perez gives them credit for. Alicia Silverstone, Rachel McAdams, Vivienne Westwood, Kristen
Bell
are a
few honourable mentions.

8. Say no to junk mail. Just grab a sticker for your mail box and save
a ton of paper and pesky flyers. For some freaky stats about the waste
generated by physical junk mail, and to buy or download a sticker, go
to www.reddotcampaign.ca.

9. Switch from paraffin candle wax to beeswax. Most candles are made
from paraffin, which is a petroleum by-product (the stuff left over
after producing other petroleum products like gas and pavement).
Basically, this toxic substance is bleached and then stuffed with
synthetic fragrances and colour dyes to make candles. Then, you burn
candles and breathe it all in. Beeswax candles cleanse the air of
dust, odours, toxins, mould, and dust mites, kind of like an
antioxidant of the candle world. They give off an earthy, honey-like
smell that won’t fill your home with a fake fragrance. Also, they last
longer than any other candle (paraffin, soy, or vegetable wax) costing
only pennies an hour to burn.

10. DIY as much as possible. Trade clothes with friends, re-use things
like plastic bags and bottles, get creative and find ways to make old
stuff new again. 

“Going green” is all about making your carbon footprint, or impact
on the environment, smaller. Don’t buy stuff unless you really need
it!

~ by Earth Lovers Kait Fowlie and Becca Lemire

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