If you haven’t taken some simple steps to live a little greener, it’s never too late to start. And with Earth Day just around the bend, it’s the perfect time to connect a little closer to our planet.Earth Day has published a list of the Top Ten Actions to Help the Environment. And frankly, we think they’re pretty great.

You see, it’s the simple switches that help make things happen. A little here, a little there; if we all just do our part, the results will truly make that impact we strive for.

Smart Shopping

The folks over at the Earth Day website suggest you “buy what you need, not what you want.” Easier than it sounds – just shift your thinking a little! As much as you might want to buy some wasteful garb, think of what you really need – and it’s carbon footprint, too. If you can, opt for renting and borrowing over buying. Books are a great example, and we love taking advantage of libraries – after all, they are free, wealthy sources of information. And with Spring around the corner? Garage sales are on their way.

Simple Savers

Little switches around the house can make a significant impact on your hydro and utility bills. Add weatherstripping to windows and doors to keep cool drafts out, use aerators on faucets to make the most of your water, and replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent varieties. Look for new features on your large appliances, too – for example, my range and television both include eco-friendly options to save a little when they’re idle or in use. Here’s some more incentive to lower the temperature, too: the new “green tax”.

Food Choices

Eat less (or little; or no) meat. Think about veganism. Choose organic, fresh whole foods. Opt for local most of the time. Enjoy foods in season. Plant a garden.

Careful Cleaning

Spring cleaning – it’s pretty inevitable in April, isn’t it? We definitely recommend using homemade cleaners instead of chemical-filled store-bought versions. It’s easy to make pretty much everything you need out of household products, like baking soda, lemon and vinegar. You can even reduce waste and recycle by choosing to clean with newspapers and washable rags, instead of wasteful paper towels.

Don’t Discard

Know what’s trash and what can be reused, recycled or composted. If you take the time to educate yourself to see what actually could go in the waste, you’ll see that hardly any products have the only option of going in the garbage. Use Freecycle or Craigslist to get rid of household goods that might be able to make their way into a new home, learn what can be recycled, and start a compost in your backyard if your city doesn’t have an organics program. Be sure to discard hazardous waste, such as batteries, to local depots, too.

Read the full list from Earth Day Canada here.

What are your favourite eco-friendly tips, easy changes that are perfect for starting out fresh on Earth Day?

Image courtesy of earthobservatory.nasa.gov

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