Choose fabrics that are sustainable! Every item of clothing has an impact, do you know which makes the least? Here's a guide that will help you understand what to focus on when it comes to new clothing. Who has a sustainable fabric article of clothing that they LOVE?! Show us a pic! https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/do-you-know-which-fabrics-are-most-sustainable.html
Use natural bug spray when camping and enjoying any outdoor activities (or even try a DIY - recipe link below) instead of DEET - or using bug jackets or light weight but long sleeved/legged clothing to keep bugs at bay. Apparently, DEET is 1 of the top 5 contaminants in US streams. As someone who spends as much time outside as I do - I've found the best option is to just cover up. https://gudgear.com/homemade-insect-repellent/
We get it, glow sticks are fun - but they are SO wasteful! Similar to balloons, they're a single-use plastic that serves no real purpose that can't be achieved with a reusable option. Kids love headlamps and fun flashlights - and there are options that fit almost any budget, style or purpose. Use zipper-pull lights for tent zippers, and reusable lanterns and flashlights. Level up: use your rechargeable batteries!
If you're not yet a seasoned camper, but want to try it out, try borrowing or renting camping equipment from a friend or outfitter rather than buying a full set of camping gear. If you're not sure you're going to love camping, you're more likely to buy inexpensive gear rather than investing in good quality equipment which is tried and true for keeping you comfortable at the campsite. If you're not comfortable, you're probably not going to love camping, and that gear you just purchased may not end up being used over and over again. Check with camping friends, sharing economy groups online to borrow equipment. Outfitting companies and MEC rent equipment, and their staff can help make sure you have the right setup to fall in love with camping, without blowing your budget!
If you're camping in the front country, then the obvious choice is to wash your dishes (or children, lol) in designated kitchen facilities. Using biodegradable soaps (such as CampSuds) in the backcountry or more rustic sites is a fantastic option, but did you know that you can't dispose of biodegradable soaps in (or near!) water? Most bottles actually instruct you to use the soaps a certain distance from any surface water and to dispose of used soapy water by pouring it into a hole dug in the ground. That's because the soap requires the microbial activity in the soil to properly biodegrade, without harming aquatic habitat in natural water bodies.
Here in Nova Scotia, we've got several invasive species which are threatening our native forests, that can be spread through transportation of firewood. Protect the environment that you're there to enjoy and always buy firewood from as close to your campsite as possible. This is strictly enforced by Parks Canada given the confirmation of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid at Kejimkujik National Park, but it's a good practice regardless of where you're camping. Read more here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ns/kejimkujik/activ/camping
Remember to stick to reusable water bottles while camping. Most campgrounds have potable water, which you can use to fill up your own bottles. If you're camping in the backcountry, there are plenty of water treatment options that are affordable and effective. Check out this article for more information! https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/backcountry-water-treatment
How you dispose of your expired medicines and pills matters! This Government of Canada website has a ton of helpful information. Even if you think you already know, read for a refresher! https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/safe-disposal-prescription-drugs.html
It's time to think about the health (and waste-free) benefits of cooking with ALL of our vegetables. No I don't mean having a plate full of various veggies, I mean using the entire carrot, beet, asparagus, etc... leaves, stems, roots and all! Here are some yummy must-try's: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/cooking-with-vegetables-from-root-to-stem/
Banana's are quite the world travelers and come to us here in Canada from several thousand kilometers away. Don't let their relatively inexpensive price fool you. Banana's have a high carbon footprint! So when you see the one banana without the rest of the bunch, pick it up and buy it. Single bananas are often tossed by grocers as they are usually the least likely to be sold. Here's a cute song to help you remember to pick up the lonely banana.
There are a plenty of good reasons to quit smoking, and I'm sure plenty of resources for those who need help. Nothing about cigarettes are good for your health or the environment - having said that - if you're not there yet, and still struggling with quitting, please (pretty please) dispose of your cigarette butts properly. Butts are arguably amongst the most abundant pieces of litter. In addition to all of the chemicals found in cigarette butts, their filters contain plastics as well which take over 10 years to degrade. (Not to mention all that is involved to grow, manufacture and transport and the impacts of each.) Check out this article which outlines the environmental concerns with cigarette butts: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/24/health/dirty-truth-about-cigarette-filters/index.html
Skip the "treat bags" filled with plastic everything (toothbrush, flosser, mini-toothpastes, and kids' toys) after the dentist visit! Let the staff know why you're saying no. The more patients who politely decline the plastic products & takeaways the more likely we are to see a reduction in needless plastic at the dentist. While you're at it, suggest they switch to a sustainable/compostable alternative like a bamboo toothbrush!
Shan here. I can't tell you the number of times I've been out and about and have wanted a cup of tea and realized that I don't have a reusable anything to put liquid in, and I didn't want to sit and drink it before moving on. :( When this happens to me, I most often choose to go without, and yeah, it's a bit of a bummer, lol. I had a friend make a comment suggesting that this was a form of self-inflicted "punishment" - which I considered for a bit, but I don't believe that to be true. I actually felt good later about sticking to my guns and confirming my new values. Yes, I went without, but I sure didn't forget my cup the next time I was on the move for the day! In fact, now I keep mason jars in the car, and my favourite tumbler (I love my Joco) goes EVERYWHERE I go so that I don't have to go without in the future - I have trained myself to have it on me the way I do my purse... I don't think about it, really. It just comes along. I'm not sure I would have trained myself without allowing myself to go without. I suspect that this will be difficult for many of us. What do you think?!
Community gardens are a wonderful way to connect with others and to learn about gardening. In HRM? Here is a list of opportunities: https://www.halifax.ca/recreation/parks-trails-gardens/gardens/community-gardens
Driving around a carload of stuff? It's time to unload! Driving around with excess weight in your vehicle means that your engine has to work harder. A harder working engine means that more fuel needs to be burned. https://www.carbibles.com/improve-gas-mileage/