Simple Ways To Live An Eco Friendly Life

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I was never very environmentally conscious before becoming a mother. Once I had children, though, my perspective on most things changed, including my views on the environment, the world I was raising my children in, and what I needed to do to make sure my children were growing up aware of the things they needed to do to keep our planet green and contribute to their environment in positive ways. Thankfully, I've raised some really good people–boys who are smart and know more than I did when I was their age about science, the environment, and how even small things can make a big impact. Taking on a new job in Communications at Environment and Climate Change Canada has opened my eyes even further to how much work is being done around us to keep our air clean, and our communities safe and healthy.


Here are some ways you can be more environmentally conscious in simple ways:

Be Aware: Becoming more environmentally conscious isn't difficult; in fact, living in Canada–a country that does so much already to help our environment–makes it almost easy. Read more, be aware, and find out how you can get involved in your community in ways that give back in small or big ways.

Get the kids involved: The more you lead by example, the more your children will learn. Have your children help with composting, recycling, and donating items they no longer need or use. Teach your kids the importance of conserving energy, why it's important to use less water, why they should turn off lights when they leave a room, and try spending more time in the great outdoors appreciating the environment and the clean air we're so fortunate to breathe.

Reduce what you use: This can be tricky, especially if you like holding on to things like I do. A few times a year, go through all your household items, including your closet (this one can be difficult!) and get rid of what you don't need, what you don't wear, and what you could do without. Donate items in good condition.

Buy less: Think twice before making that next purchase; go through your closet one more time and see what new outfits you can put together so you don't have to keep shopping for the same things over and over again.

Pay attention: Pay attention to how much you're using in your house, including water and electricity. Turn off lights, install energy efficient lightbulbs and, if you can, energy efficient windows, and reduce your daily consumption. Unplug electronics, and use less water.

Plant trees: Even if you don't have a large back or front yard, you can always find room to plant more greenery. The City of Ottawa will give (and plant) a new tree to home owners. All you have to do is request a tree. We did this last year and are enjoying watching our tree grow.

Drive less: I drive to work, because it's the easiest and more efficient option for me, but if you're able, drive less, or carpool. I wish I worked close enough to walk or bike to work.  

Buy energy efficient products: We've switched to energy efficient lightbulbs throughout our home. Energy efficient light bulbs consume 40% less energy than regular bulbs, and last ten times longer, too. Going green saves money, which is a total bonus.

Share: I have a thing for buying new books and I'm an avid reader.  I'm also not a fan of e-readers, because nothing can replace an actual book in my hands. What I do to make myself feel better is lend book to all my friends who are looking for new things to read. At least I'm re-using what I already have! I also donate books to hospitals. Every few months, my girlfriends and I get together for a clothes swap, too, which is another great way to recycle items you're no longer interested in keeping.

My children also love grocery shopping with me and we choose local produce as much as possible. We also enjoy planting our own vegetables and thanks to a mother-in-law who is an expert gardener, my boys have enjoyed learning about plants and how they grow.

Keeping things green and helping our planet doesn't have to be complicated. It's the simple things we do daily that will have impacts for years to come.

How are some ways you're helping the environment?

Disclaimer: This post is part of The Whole Family Happiness Project in partnership with Social Currents and the Low Carbon Economy Narrative Initiative. The Whole Family Happiness Project poses the question, "What is the connection between our individual purpose, our family happiness, and the happiness of the world around us? 

To learn more or to get involved, visit Whole Family Happiness on Facebook. #wholefamilyhappiness
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