(To help you lose the weight of the world)

  • Join an organization that protects local wildlife, conserves habitat or promotes education on sustainability. The Hamilton Naturalists Club, The Royal Botanical Gardens, Green Venture & Environment Hamilton all appreciate your volunteering, donations or memberships. All these groups have free educational walks, workshops or tree planting events you can bring the family to or attend on your own and meet new, like-minded people. (When we first moved to this city it’s how we met all our new friends)
  • Switch to certified Bird Friendly coffee. There are so many coffee drinkers, even if you aren’t one, you know one. It’s estimated Canadians consume some 234 MILLION kilos of coffee per year. That kind of volume means that leaving the big franchises behind (as well as their non-recyclable, plastic lined cups) has the potential to make a big, cumulative, difference, especially if you can get your friends and family on board. Even the most expensive organic coffees work out cheaper per brewed-at-home cup than buying  from a big corporation that has no ethical ties to farmers or the environment.

Google it or find more info here https://birdsandbeans.ca/what-is-bird-friendly-coffee/

  • Pack your lunch & snacks or at least part of it. This includes bringing your own Thermos, coffee cup and/or refillable water bottle. When you have food at hand, like a mason jar of mixed nuts from home, sliced veggies, boiled eggs, herbal tea etc – 4 things happen, you’re less tempted to opt for a ‘quick fix’ with an unhealthy, sugary or saturated fat snack, you’re less likely to experience mood swings or the ‘hangry’ effect by sustaining your blood sugar levels, you’re saving money, and finally, you aren’t adding a throwaway item to landfill (try finding food ‘to go’ that isn’t wrapped in plastic!)
  • Go scent free. Scents added to shampoos, laundry soaps and dryer sheets are unregulated, overpowering, exacerbate many people’s allergies and have been linked to cancer. Consider switching to a concentrated, scent free, bulk laundry powder like ‘Nellie’s Laundry Soda’. Try attending a workshop by ‘The Soap Kitchen – Hamilton’(on Facebook) to learn how to make your own money saving, version & to reduce plastic bottles (most of what you’re buying with commercial brands is water and packaging) Switch to a foaming liquid soap dispenser to use less soap or a solid shampoo bar to eliminate packaging altogether.
  • Adopt LED Lighting – Potentially the most environmental change you can make today (alongside an energy audit) is the switch to LED lighting in your home. LEDs consume one-sixth the electricity of traditional incandescent lighting and 40 percent less power than compact fluorescents (CFLs) Add to that the drastically increased lifespan of LEDs, lasting up to 21 times longer than incandescent bulbs & three times longer than CFLs, the savings in power use, hassle of changing bulbs, and money saved are enough justification for upgrading.

Candy Venning is an aspiring bird nerd, tree-hugging, local Landscape Designer