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Now more than ever people are beginning to take small steps in protecting the environment from needless waste and energy; Many homeowners are choosing more efficient energy sources, restaurants are getting rid of plastic straws, and grocery stores are putting an end to plastic bags, just to name a few. With Earth Day around the corner, it is time to think about the steps and measures that we can take as individuals, to improve the environment and make our presence on this earth as eco-friendly as we can. Here are a few ways that you, as homeowners, can make to minimize your waste while conserving power and energy. Fortunately, not only does this help the planet on a whole, it also can cut spending and make more room in your budget for entertainment, or to increase the amount you put in your savings each year. 

Cutting Back On Food Waste
Food waste is a big problem throughout the country, with many Canadians throwing out way more food than they even realize. Food waste is also considered a waste of resources that were used to bring food from farm to table, and the disposing of our wasted food additionally contributes to our Carbon Footprint. If you are wasting a lot, you should first reconsider how much you purchase, and how frequently. Secondly, by starting a compost heap in your garden, you can dispose of some food waste more efficiently and use it to fertilize your garden as well!

Reduce Single-Use plastics
Single-use plastics often are a big item we find ourselves purchasing throughout the year; we use saran wrap to preserve leftovers, Ziploc bags for snacks, plastic straws, water bottles, cutlery, shopping bags, and coffee lids for our on-the-go caffeine fix. In being mindful of our usage in terms of these materials, and with a little planning ahead, we can reduce the amount of plastic use by leaps and bounds! Reusable straws, snack bags, water bottles, and coffee tumblers, among other products are now available for purchase at many home living stores, as well as online. 

Clean As You Go
There are so many beautiful parks and trails available in the Ottawa area for residents to explore, enjoy and really soak in the sunshine and fresh air. Next time you set out on a walk, bring with you a reusable bag, and pick up any litter products that may be lying around. Quite frequently, parks have waste disposal areas available so you shouldn’t have to carry it around for too long. If you bring an extra bag for “empties” you find lying around, collect these and bring them to your nearest LCBO and get money back! This is a great way to get kids involved in taking care of the environment, and teaching them about waste and recycling. 

Walk or Ride
Driving our cars, while accessible and easy, is a significant cause of air pollution in Canada. Air pollution affects not only human health, it also creates an impact on both the economy and the environment. By opting to choose more environmentally friendly methods of transportation, you can help to do your part to reduce emissions. Walking or biking to as many destinations as possible has optimal health benefits for yourself while simultaneously cutting your spending on fuel. If a car is necessary, looking into electric vehicles is a more eco-friendly option; while the upfront cost might be higher, you can greatly minimize the effect you are making on your environment, and save money on gas while doing so.

While we generally recognize Earth Day as April 22nd, it is important to follow-through with your changes, while continuing to make more all year-round. The earth is a beautiful place, and we as humans have the power to conserve this beauty for many years by just being more mindful of our consumption, and reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible each and every day.

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