Taking better care of the environment may not have been on your list of resolutions for 2011, but when you see images of smog-filled cities or hear about devastated natural landscapes, you have to wonder about the type of world that will be left for future generations.
Move towards a greener lifestyle with these simple steps:
• Replace bulbs with compact fluorescent or solar powered lights.
• Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth and learn to take shorter showers.
• Unplug seldom used appliances. Plugged in appliances that are turned off can still sap energy.
At the office
• Reuse misprints as scrap paper.
• Save files electronically instead of printing.
• Turn off your computer at the end of the day.
• Carpool whenever possible to reduce the impact of your commute on the environment. Also consider walking, taking public transportation, or cycling.
• If you drive, avoid idling for long periods of time.
At the store
• Keep reusable bags in the trunk of your car so you won't have to purchase plastic at the grocery store.
• Buy fair trade products whenever possible so that you can put more money into the hands of those who produced it instead of the middleman.
• Consider buying environmentally-friendly cleaning products to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that are released into the atmosphere.
Around the world
• Provide the developing world with resources to care for their environment too. Christian Children's Fund of Canada's gift catalogue (www.ccfcanada.ca/Gifts) offers several eco-friendly options to assist families in need like gardening tools, a fuel-efficient cooking stove, fruit trees, or a rainwater harvesting tank so a community can have filtered water after the rain.