Every April 22nd and for most of the week, we all join in on activities to promote sustainable living: community clean ups, brown bagging your lunch, turning off all the lights and sitting in the dark for an hour, car-pooling, to name just a few of the current and past activities. I am a firm believer that we all should try to do these activities ALL the time, not just for a day, a week or a month out of the year.
What Are Things I Do For Frugal Sustainable Living?
Growing Vegetables and Herbs
When I had my house, I loved having a vegetable garden; it was not only relaxing to garden, but also made the grocery bills super low. Having my own tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, rosemary, thyme and basil was fabulous for making some great summer salads. When I ran out of space, I even grew strawberries in containers. Yummy. Don’t have a house or a huge backyard? Even if you only have a small porch/balcony, check your local garden centre for fruits and veggie plants that are container friendly – this means they will survive living in a pot outside. Nowadays, I help my father with the vegetable garden in their yard, and I will grow container plants/herb gardens.
Don’t Throw it in the Garbage!
I’m a huge supporter of sending my old clothes to consignment stores and/or donating them. You can make a bit of cash in the process and if not, they are donated to a fantastic cause.
I’m also a big recycling and composting fanatic. I know, who knew? Not much at all goes in the garbage. Food scraps go into the compost and any paper, can, bottle, and piece of plastic I can put in the blue bin gets recycled. An extra bonus for composting: Check with your local municipality for FREE compost days! Halton Region, where I am, has two days a year where they let residents pick up FREE mulch and compost soil. You are paying taxes right? Why not take full advantage of both the money and effort you put in to where you live?
Even better, get your own backyard composter and throw organic waste in there (just no meat, fish, or dairy please — ewww). You can usually pick these up from your local municipality for a super low price – around $22. Or, better yet, build your own!
Walk or Cycle to Where You Need to Go
Yes, I agree this isn’t always possible. It would take me a week to walk to downtown Toronto and the police would not be too happy to see me walking or cycling down the QEW/Gardiner. Once I’m in Toronto, however, I walk to where I need to go. Even locally where I live, if I have to go to the bank or the library on the other side of town, I walk it! I’ll get 30 minutes of exercise, not waste gas that is $1.38 per litre (or $1.55 in my premium car case), and feel great being able to sort through my thoughts while I walk. Walking is my therapy; it’s the easiest way to get any stress out and positive, motivational thoughts in.
Forget the Dryer in the Summer, Go Outdoors!Hang silks indoors to dry!
Yes, even a fashionista like me hangs her clothes outside to dry. Super easy and super cheap, just don’t hang delicate fabrics out like silk or wools, the sun will damage them. They can hang indoors on your shower rod.
Interested in more awesome Earth Day Tips? Check out these great resources at Earth Day Canada:
Top 10 Sustainable Living Actions
Tips and Guides for Your Cottage, Condo, Workplace or School
Even more ideas:
Looking for Earth Day Events?
Find your local events here.
Check out Mill St Brewery in Toronto who will be donating money for every pint sold on Earth day and for every six-pack for days after for its Pint for the Planet initiative.