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Four New Years Resolutions for Eco-Living In 2020

New Years resolution

Garbage. We all have it. Between recycling plants, overseas shipping, local landfills, and incineration facilities, there is a lot of it! Spending family time on waste management is a fact of life! Canadian families create more waste per capita than anyone else in the entire world! This is why eco-living in 2020 is the most important reason to act now. These three new years resolutions are important in 2020

This is a record I’m sure Canadians are not proud to hold! But the truth is we can’t rely on recycling alone to solve methane output and plastic pollution. Recycling makes people feel like they’re doing their part. They believe it’s what makes the world right. The key to solving waste management issues.

However, companies have created an overpackaging nightmare. This is why relying on recycling actually gives us a false sense of hope! The endless onslaught of garbage will never cease to end. Unless we can do something about it! Unless people begin to apply an eco-living element to their lifestyle.

Plastic: A modern-day convenience

Plastic makes up our everyday essentials. Its a way of life. It’s a big deal and it’s affecting many lives positively. The very reason why no one has been complaining until recently.

Our relationship with cars and Airplanes has made our lives easier, faster and convenient. However, by volume, cars are made up of 50% plastic. Like airplanes, car companies are making them with plastic components because they’re lightweight. It gives better gas mileage and improves design features.

Everything from safety gear to sports equipment… so much plastic! Shoes, skates, pads, balls, and sticks all contribute to plastic pollution. Plastic glasses help us see through the day. It’s in the medical devices that help us live our lives longer. We mold plastic and shape them into a myriad of prescriptions. It’s no wonder we’re addicted to using this synthetic material.

Addictions require an intervention

Food and Beverage Companies use plastic bottles to deliver their products to us. We’ve relied on them to give us the hydration we need. So do you blame them for using plastic to get it to us? In the 1950’s cigarette companies advertised their product as “good for your health”. The water companies say the same thing.

Do bottled water companies really understand the side effects of plastic? It’s a challenging dilemma. What we know now is the relationship between consumer and manufacturer has come at a cost. Today our reliance on plastic has caused massive amounts of waste. It’s dumped, incinerated and misplaced around the world.

The Environmental justice group named Coca Cola the number 1 plastic polluter in the world. Coca Cola has stated, a business won’t be business if we don’t accommodate the customers. This means they’re not willing to find an alternative bottle. If they won’t change than we the people have to change.

Reality of recycling

What we need to do is find a way that actually deals with the problem. Canada has shipped most waste overseas to countries called “end markets”. However, there is a lack of International Government transparency and often poor labor standards. We sell it to poorer countries who either incinerate it, place it in landfills or illegally dump it!

Processing garbage hasn’t resulted in more post-consumer products. According to the United Nations, recycling has only accounted for 9% of post-consumer products. That leaves 91% of the total waste accumulated unaccounted for!

Even if there is a state of the art sorting facility recycling isn’t going to help. The law directs recycling facilities to sort material responsibly. Therefore, all the waste in the blue bin has to be recycled in a recycling plant.

But, the law changes once the waste is turned into bails. It then becomes a commodity subject to current market value. Since there are so many regions selling recycled material the market has become saturated. It has become an unfeasible business.

For instance, the paper has decreased in value by 110% and plastic bags are down 53% since 2017. These commodities have fallen in value because there is just so much of it!

This volatility is causing mass confusion in the industry.

Save money

To make matters worse, on Jan 1, 2018, China decided to ban foreign recyclables. Since then southeast Asian countries are taking the garbage. But, their recycling industry is much smaller. They’ve recently started turning the recycling away.

They’ve shipped 11 containers of plastic back to Canada. Plus, they’ve vowed to ship millions of tonnes of waste back to where they came. So now only the highest quality material can be sold overseas.

The costs of labor plus the commodity crash is costing Canadian Taxpayers loads of money. So much, in fact, the Ontario government must either raise taxes or cut social programs. Basically, the overpackaging and poor packaging choices ultimately costs taxpayers social programs!

Eco-living

Don’t just recycle it: Be picky about what you buy at the store. Companies often choose flashy nonrecyclable materials for their packaging. They’ll choose materials that cannot be recycled together but look great for marketing their product. Most people will just throw their packaging in the Blue Bin wishing it could be recycled. But, instead, it could potentially contaminate tonnes of waste. Think twice before you throw it in the blue bin!

Avoid buying items packaged in these materials.

Styrofoam: Who do we get to thank for making Styrofoam? This man-made material is banned in cities around the world. This stuff lasts 500 years or longer and is responsible for much of the world’s ocean garbage.

Teflon: Once Teflon enters your bloodstream it remains there. Nothing breaks Teflon down. You can find Teflon pans, appliances, utensils, and clothes. Avoid supporting the companies that sell these items. If they’re not selling it than manufacturing will decrease and less of this chemical will be released into the environment.

Plastic: Plastic bottles are a very big issue. We cannot rely on beverage companies to change. UNLESS they see a drop in sales. What you can do to facilitate a change NOW is to stop buying it.

Look for your drinks in glass containers. Glass can be recycled continuously without losing its purity. Whereas plastic can only be recycled once or twice. We mold things, laminate things, make crafts and cook with plastic. It has saturated our lives! 100 years ago it wasn’t as common but now we rely on it. It’s readily available, the easy option and makes sense in so many ways. Eco-living lifestyles must be creative when reducing waste.

Reduce your waste:

It seems every purchase I make people ask if I’d like a bag? Many people don’t think twice, they take it and move on with their day. People absent-mindedly put their fruit and vegetables in plastic bags! I know I’m not the only one that thinks this is CRAZY!

There are plenty of ways to reduce your waste. First, keep it simple. If you want to stop buying drinks with plastic bottles. It’s not too hard! Iced tea is a popular drink that offers a go-to fix for flavor. Making iced tea at home is super easy. Buy the flavor of loose leaf tea you prefer, add sugar. Done.

Here is another solution for a more complex waste challenge. For example, those little Keurig coffee pucks people love to use! Surprise!! They’re wasteful. SO, for the latte loving coffee people, the next logical step would be to buy an espresso machine. Yet, is it really the best option? The volume of waste once it’s life is over is quite big.

The best option? The Bodum is good but it also contains plastic. What I’ve been using is a stainless steel sieve. The perfect sieve will sit on the lip of your coffee cup. It uses a hook that curls over the lip of the cup. You can easily pour hot water over the espresso grounds. It makes the perfect cup of coffee!

Clean Your recyclables

Since there is always some waste in our world of eco-living. Make sure you clean your recyclables. Clean any packaging of food scraps, oil, and coffee stains.

It also doesn’t work if there are two different types of material. For instance, paper coated in plastic or metal foil on paper. Contaminants such as these ruin tonnes of “clean recycling bales” meant for post-consumer products.

An army of overpackaged products has taken over stores and our lives! There are ways to reduce your waste and it’s not hard to do it once you know the way. Read more here about how you can make a difference.

Create goals that matter

Eco-living reduces waste and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

We can’t rely on recycling to be the answer to our pollution problems. We can’t keep throwing our trash into the landfills. Landfill waste and recycling all generate greenhouse gas emissions. Foreign countries are also dumping our garbage and incinerating it. We’ve created this fire breathing monster and it’s heating things up!

Let your New Years’ resolution make a difference in the world. Start now and see how eco-living can make a difference. It just takes one change a day to help make the world a better place!

There are lots of eco-living ideas. It’s as easy as baking a loaf of bread or a dozen cookies. You can reduce your reliance on single-use packaging. Find out what else you can do to create a happier, healthier lifestyle. These four successful shopping tips will take you to the next level. It offers great tips for you and your sustainable life and home.

It’s time to take a more holistic approach and start inventing new ways to replace synthetic chemicals and materials with natural alternatives. Communities around the world have an opportunity to harvest Planet, People Products. Support small organizations that are working to support these small villages, local artisans, and grass-root organizations. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life in a meaningful way? Buy products from small companies working with villagers. These Seagrass market bags are a good way to support artisans in Vietnam. It’s our pledge to work together to create a more natural, healthy, and Eco-friendly planet.

Curious to know more about the Southeast Asian communities? Click the link below

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Why Customizing Your Own Perfume Can Make You Healthier.

Being young and healthy is what we crave to be! Finding the bottle of eternal youth is everyone’s dream. What if I told you if you change one thing in your beauty regime you’ll become a healthier person! Customizing your own perfume CAN make you healthier!

Last week I posted about eco-friendly finds at the local Christmas market! Along the way, I found a sweet-smelling product amongst the handmade goods. I found essential oils.

Support ethical companies

These oils come from a company that sources sustainable products and ethical standards. Their standards empower the community in which it grows and allows the environment to thrive.

This is why I dove in! To support a company with these principles now…not later! I swear time gets sucked into the void. Each day flies by so fast! I run into the next day without fully appreciating the last!

Make it your New Year’s goal to support companies that are transparent. My goal is to make these companies easier to find. To give you a clear path towards buying sustainable products.

Who is Doterra?

Doterra is a well-established company that operates on “Co-Impact Sourcing.” principles. It’s two main goals are:

  • Source ideal growing conditions in native countries. Plants grown in their natural environments are happy plants and they’ll thrive
  • Care for the well-being of the farmers, distillers and local communities. Giving back dignity and profits to those that work hard. It just makes the world a happier place!

These principles should be a good enough reason to try the product. Yep, I did it! I jumped in and became a member! You can find essential oils in any grocery store, drug store, health food store. But no one outlines their sustainable actions better than Doterra.

Plants offer amazing health benefits but it’s their beautiful scents that attract me the most. It’s just like nature’s candy. It delights the senses attracting love and friendship.

Perfume past and present

Essential oils have been used as perfumes since 2000 BC. Kings, Queens, and Nobles would wear it. The rarity of an essential oil distillery made it expensive. Therefore, those that had the money could afford to buy it. Peasants and laymen would envy the soft floral scents.

However, in recent history, perfume has become a product for the mainstream population. Rockstars are customizing their own perfume and selling it back to us. But, why let them tell you what smells good for you? You’re better off customizing your own perfume.

Synthetic fragrances

Today Chemists are playing around with man-made synthetic chemicals. Consequently, these synthetic chemicals are derived from a petroleum base (oil). Perfumes also have chemicals that disrupt those little glands responsible for hormones. Between that and the known carcinogens within the solution, It’s no wonder we get sick!

Also, fragrance can make sensitive bodies do things they’re not supposed too. Dizziness and confusion are some of the minor side effects associated with synthetic perfumes. Our sniffer can be super sensitive and strong scents can damage to our bodies.

The psychology of perfume

Perfume is powerful. Studies have shown that it is the only substance that crosses the blood-brain barrier. What the heck is the blood-brain barrier? It’s basically the super soaking wall that allows molecules to flow through the nose and into the goo that surrounds our brain. It separates the brain from the blood and the central nerve’s fluid. The brain’s subconscious attraction lures us into buying a specific scent.

For instance, Nostalgia, feelings of happiness and satisfaction lures us into a purchase. The smell of a room stimulates the brain to create long-lasting memories. For instance, the scent of a home-cooked meal or mom’s perfume stays with us for years.

When we buy we want something to give us excitement, fond memories or peace of mind. So, we use it every day and wear it on special occasions. Spending hundreds of dollars on it is not out of the question. The global perfume market is estimated to be worth over 31 billion dollars (USD). The market is expected to rise even further into 2025. It facilitates our need for a scent meant to project the sense of who we are!

Customize your own perfumes

I believe our take on synthetic scents lacks a sense of Scents-ibility! Healthy living and saving money can go together. You don’t have to look too far since you can find 100% essential oils at the click of a mouse.

So, take it to the next level and make your own scent. Playing with the different smells of each plant can give you a signature scent. Florals, spices, citrus, these notes are blendable.

The cool thing about blending essential oils is the pure chemistry involved! The base note, mid-note, and top note can all be customized. As a result, you can make your own scent and you’ll glow all day long!

The heart and soul of Oil

For a good carrier oil, you can use a Fractionated coconut oil. Or if you want a watery consistency use 1/4 cup of boiled water plus 1/4 cup of Club 190 Grain alcohol or perfumers alcohol.

  • Base notes: From woody to sweet these scents are carried for the longest amount of time. It will likely stay with you for the majority of the day. 15-20% of the scent will stay for 24 hours. Good examples of a Base note include Jasmine or Vanilla.
  • Mid notes: The heart of your scent is 50-80% of your scent. This scent will be with you for the majority of the day. You get to decide if you are a spicy or fruity kinda person. Many girls enjoy the floral scents of a good mid-note. Juniper or ylang-ylang are perfect examples.
  • Top note: It’s the first impression and often citrusy which won’t stick around for very long. Light fragrances such as Bergamot Eucalyptus or Peppermint are a good top note.

Customizing your own perfume is easy!

Blending ratio

When beginners learn to blend their own perfume they should only use 15 drops of essential oils total. It can become expensive if you make a mistake while experimenting with combinations. At this point in the discovery don’t bother using carrier oils yet.

Try it on your body so that you can decide if your body chemistry changes the natural scent. Then once you can commit to the fragrance you can make bigger batches.

The Growing up herbal Blog suggests you use the 30-50-20 rule. You will use 30% top notes, 50% middle notes, and 20% base notes. Give custom scents as a gift for friends and family!

So, stop and talk to a Doterra wellness advocate selling essential oils today. It’s an opportunity to learn about the health benefits of the plant world. In addition to its benefits, you will save money. Customizing your own perfume is an affordable way to feel healthier.

Plus, you’ll support an ethical industry and support a community of farmers and distillers. Lastly, make it your goal to start using products that are 100% NATURAL in 2020! Create those warm and fuzzy feelings we look for in life. You’ve found the trifecta of perfume perfection.

It’s time to take a more holistic approach and start inventing new ways to replace synthetic chemicals and materials with natural alternatives. Communities around the world have an opportunity to harvest Planet, People Products. Support small organizations that are working to support these small villages, local artisans, and grass-root organizations. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life in a meaningful way? Buy products from small companies working with villagers. These Seagrass market bags are a good way to support artisans in Vietnam. It’s our pledge to work together to create a more natural, healthy, and Eco-friendly planet.

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How To Build A Cool Toad Abode For Your Pad

Having a five-year-old makes living life way more fun! It brings out the best in me. Building a toad abode uses my brain’s creative side to communicate with my son. Translating information for him so he understands life. It has sharpened my own senses. It’s a chance to TEACH! Untapping this creative Mom energy has me doing things differently. I look for the small things to inspire my son.

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The toad abode will educate the kids about ecosystems

A five-year-old is still learning the concept of time. Today and tomorrow are kinda the same to them. So, he’s taught me that the concept of time is another learned behavior.

For instance, if I tell him we’re going to visit a bird sanctuary tomorrow he always asks. “Now?” They don’t live in the past or the future, kids live in the NOW! 

So, there is no time like the present! Educating children on Climate change is more important now than ever.

So, off we went to the Bird sanctuary to let him experience Nature. A tradition that keeps sanctuaries open. It allows Wildlife peaceful enjoyment of the land. It’s a place where families go to feed the ducks and explore a nature trail. It’s a place to learn.

My son found out the smallest creatures hunt and survive close to the shores. Nonetheless, frogs also hang out near the shore.

(They’ll croak if they don’t!)

They’ll reproduce and lay their eggs in shallow water. Then, larger animals and birds will eat their eggs as food. Therefore, if they disappear in large numbers it will impact the local food chain. This potentially will devastate other wild populations as well.

Progress and Habitat Preservation

We live in an area developed with a mixture of houses, townhouses, and condos. Communities like mine are not built with the consideration of the wild residences. I think one of the biggest problems with current developments is the lack of habitat preservation.

We don’t build parks for wildlife only for our children`s pleasure. Our neighborhood used to be farmland and some of the former wildlife still reside here.

Throughout the Summer our neighbor, Mr. Frog, was talking from time to time. I didn’t really think much of it. Until one day I thought, It’s pretty hot out there for the little guy! Summer came and went… and this clever little fella found enough food and water to survive.

I consciously decided it was time to give our neighbor a new home. The Toad Abode is super simple and only takes about 30 minutes. For me, this is the first home I’ve ever built it. It`s probably your first time too!

Building materials

  • Pebbles
  • Moss
  • Small Sticks
  • Wider sticks: Driftwood works well

Dig a shallow hole to begin the foundation of the home. Place the pebbles and Moss on the floor. Stack the sticks and wider driftwood or small logs so it leaves pockets for the Frog. Cover the wood with dirt.

Stocking the Pond

Most frogs hate change. So don’t try and take a frog away from their habitat for the sake of filling the one you built. If you tried to transplant a frog from one point to another their chances of survival are slim. It could take up to two years for a frog to find the home you’ve built. So, If you can`t wait then look for Tadpoles. They’ll have a better chance of survival.

For a population to grow in your toad abode you will need a large enough pond. The pond should be 60 cm deep with lots of hiding spots, foliage, lily pads, and shallow areas.

Place the thicker flatter wood around the edges to give them a way to get out. If you choose to go with a large pond don’t stock it with fish since the fish will eat their eggs.

I chose to use a large flower pot to invite our neighbor into my backyard. Use wood in and around the edges to give them access or an escape from the pond.

Time well spent

My son and I went to the beach to find the building blocks for our Toad’s abode. We then turned it into a 10 Minute Shoreline Cleanup. We found all the materials and headed back home. It gave us a purpose instead of just another stroll on the Beach.

This is a good example of living consciously. I usually talk about shopping eco-friendly in the grocery store. Both activities take planning and require you to think outside the box!

Amphibians are the “canary in the coal mine.” Since frogs have permeable skin water passes through their bodies. Unlike us, they have no filter. However, like us, they prefer clean food, air, and water.

The three biggest reasons frogs lose their homes: Habitat destruction from Agriculture, urban development and logging habitat.

Secondly, from habitat fragmentation such as building a Dam in rivers, roads through the forest and walls.

Lastly, they lose their habitat from degradation usually caused by pollution. These three reasons are the reasons why people should make their backyards a frog friendly haven.

Educate your kids with more eco-friendly ideas and help children connect with Nature. An Ocean plastic pollution guide is a wonderful resource to help kids learn more. It teaches them that they can do things to make a difference. For example, reduce plastic in their lunches or shoreline cleanups with their friends. Find out how you can buy eco-friendly school supplies with the best educational guide to plastic pollution.

It’s time to take a more holistic approach and start inventing new ways to replace synthetic chemicals and materials with natural alternatives. Communities around the world have an opportunity to harvest Planet, People Products. Support small organizations that are working to support these small villages, local artisans, and grass-root organizations. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life in a meaningful way? Buy products from small companies working with villagers. These Seagrass market bags are a good way to support artisans in Vietnam. It’s our pledge to work together to create a more natural, healthy, and Eco-friendly planet.

For more frog-friendly reads click the link below

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The 8 best must-have gift ideas at the local Christmas Market

What I love about the Christmas season is a local Christmas Market! They’re held almost every weekend and can be easily missed! To plan a Christmas market spending spree you have to do some homework. They advertise through bulletins, online, and word of mouth. So, If you plan to buy local for Christmas then mark your calendars!

It’s a good place where small companies get together and gather their wares for sale. A family affair with fresh goodies and fun! As a newly conscious shopper, I’m on the lookout for plastic!

I ask questions like show me something not made from plastic. Or I’ll say gee, I wish it wasn’t packaged with plastic. (YES! I am that person) I only do this now because this feedback can make a difference!

If everyone did this I`m sure companies would take notice. But, for now, those that voice their ecofriendly opinion are few and far between!

Knit blankets

People that knit blankets have the power of a superhero! Their patience level really is a superhuman quality. One vendor at the Chrismas market sold Chucky knit blankets (love them), toques, and sweaters. She separated those made with a mixed wool and polyester blend away from 100% wool.

The cost of a 100% wool product is more expensive than the latter. However, to the sight and touch, they’re both very similar in texture and softness.

For this reason, many people often purchase the cheaper version. So, eco-conscious shoppers will need to pay more for higher quality natural material.

Scarfs

Though, it would be wonderful to find a version that isn’t more expensive. Thus, I went home and hunted online to find 100% natural clothing. In the hopes, I’d find something with the same prices as a polyester blend.

I found this extra-large 100% cashmere Winter scarf and it’s the perfect gift under $40.00

Confections

Another key product to an eco-friendly Christmas gift is FOOD! There is nothing like homemade jam and chutneys at Christmas! The different flavors are so diverse.

Jam

I ‘ve never made Jam at home and wouldn’t even know where to begin! But, I’m sure those in the know would tell me its simple. However, jam varieties are easy to find so it’s almost better to purchase it and save your time.

I noticed the vendor at the used mismatched canning jars. (Saving money and reusing containers) You would never find a company reusing containers in a grocery store. So, this is another great reason to support these local events.

Honey

Honey is nature’s vomit in a jar! Kidding! Sorta! It does come from a Bee’s mouth! However, the honey doesn’t lie in its digestive tract. What I like about honey is how sweet it tastes!

What I like about buying honey from a local Christmas market? Giving support to local beekeepers. They will turn honey into an experience. Who knew? Honey can be mixed with other lovely natural ingredients. Ingredients such as lemon, ginger, cinnamon, and other spices.

Upcycled stocking ideas

We have to start thinking about reusing the throwaways. There are so many lovely ideas at the local Christmas market. You can find wayward toys that have been discarded. No home means landfill bait! The toys that were once loved but now the kids have all grown up.

Tree ornaments

For instance, alphabet blocks can be separated from a set so easily. When someone finds them separately or in a small group they will always find doubles. So what would be the point of collecting them? One woman decided to create Christmas tree ornaments with them. She turned the blocks into cute robots with arms and legs each with their own letter.

Green, silicon snack bag

Household essentials

Snack bags

Ideally, these sandwich bags would come from recycled material. However, when the alternative is single-use plastic these reusable silicone food storage bags are a lifesaver! As a global community, we must stop supporting the use of disposable sandwich bags. The single-use plastic is devastating our planet’s ecosystems with consequences we haven’t yet come to realize! These food-grade silicone storage bags are a good alternative and you will save you money too. No more wasting money on a product you just throw away! This is your chance to make a shift to an eco-conscious kitchen. Great for the kid’s lunches, leftovers, or a snack for the road!

Shampoos and conditioners

They say that water bottle companies are only selling plastic water bottles to us. It’s a sobering statement that can also apply to Shampoo companies. We’ve all used a bar of soap to cleanse in the shower. But somehow the shampoo companies have convinced us that if the product doesn’t come in a plastic bottle it’s not good enough for our hair! While out shopping at the Christmas market I came across a vendor. She was selling organic shampoo and conditioner bars for all hair types.

After six months I’ve found my long hair healthier than it has ever been!! The shampoo has controlled my oily scalp and kept the ends tolerable. Don’t get fooled by the clever marketing ploys. Stop using bottled shampoo and conditioners and start using all-natural products without the packaging!

Food wraps

Another product every kitchen needs are those sweet-smelling beeswax food wraps! I think very highly of these food wraps. It’s essential in every low-waste household. Use them to wrap your produce, cover bowls of leftovers, or open a stubborn jar. If we don’t share the simplest solutions like beeswax paper how will we ever stop using saran wrap!

Vendors that go to a local Christmas market use it as a side hustle. This event gives them extra play money at the end of the year. Support these people because they manage to be creative, upcycling items, and promoting local ingredients.

Give these eco-friendly gifts for Christmas or Birthdays each year. Encourage your friends and family to use eco-friendly products. Like beeswax paper instead of Saran Wrap! Give them the incentive to change their ways with you. Last but not least shopping locally reduces the amount of packaging waste. When you buy online the plastic air pouches, bubble paper, and styrofoam ruin it. It defeats the purpose of an eco-friendly purchase.

It’s time to take a more holistic approach and start inventing new ways to replace synthetic chemicals and materials with natural alternatives. Communities around the world have an opportunity to harvest Planet, People Products. Support small organizations that are working to support these small villages, local artisans, and grass-root organizations. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life in a meaningful way? Buy products from small companies working with villagers. These Seagrass market bags are a good way to support artisans in Vietnam. It’s our pledge to work together to create a more natural, healthy, and Eco-friendly planet.

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How To Cut Your Christmas Spending In Half.

Ahh, Christmas time! The time of year where we deck the townhouse with boughs of LED lights. While singing our favorite Justin Bieber tune Oh Despacito! Tiny tots their eyes are all aglow with…(wait for it!) Minecraft. (I know it’s corny but all of it’s true!) The times have changed for Christmas traditions! We spend WAY more money! So let’s try and cut your Christmas spending in half!

Canadian’s are spending money on things that are the next best thing. The latest and greatest gadget! But this will lead us into more debt not to mention stress. We definitely don’t need more of this!

We do it even though the images from the media show us our waste is piling up! Too much trash! Recycling is only a bandaid. Species and ecosystems remain at risk. What can you do to help? Simply, cut your Christmas spending in half!

Our friends invited us over for dinner and we talked for hours about the kids. Oh! how they’re super spoiled during Christmas time! (all year long really!) Kids are in love with toys.

We talked about toy companies and how brilliantly they market their products. They’ve innovated toy models from basic into something with a new novelty. They can shift their shapes, make new noises or light up! Yet, they’re still fundamentally the same.

My friend said she asked her family to give her child previously used toys. She knows that this will help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Marketing Vs Christmas spending

However, her clever thought never materialized. Her family believed it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t the Christmas spirit! So, what is the Christmas spirit?

The modern-day Christmas spirit has become a marketer’s mandate to increase sales. Consequently, the marketing of the Christmas spirit has generated greater fourth-quarter earnings. 

It’s effective and their marketing tactics make it hard to break tradition. The tradition of opening our wallets year after year. But, we shouldn’t let our economic ability to buy new toys be the driving force of Christmas. The loss of income should not be the reason families consider buying less.

Finding ways to make positive memories and traditions should be fun. It will take some planning, but once we get into the moment, it’s a stress-free experience. It’s the simple things that become popular amongst family and friends. Not how much money we spend!

Decorate and bake

Hang the mistletoe! It’s a time-honored tradition that’s been handed down through the ages. It’s romantic and adds some fun to a holiday.

Baking your own cookies, Christmas bars or cakes make the house smell like home. It’s the sweet smells that make the longest lasting memories. How many people grow up and remember the taste of Mom’s cooking? Yes, it’s a memory that will outlast the gifts we receive on this special occasion.

Baking also reduces the amount of packaging we throw away. It also reduces our reliance on Palm Oil commonly found in cookies. Palm Oil is the number one threat to the deforestation, habitat loss and extinction of wild animals. So bake till your heart’s content knowing you’re making a difference!

Games

Family Games like “Find the pickle”  is played when a pickle-shaped ornament. It’s hidden somewhere on the Xmas tree, the person who finds it gets an extra present (maybe it’s a chocolate or a Christmas cookie).

Elf on the shelf is a popular children’s game! The elf observes the family throughout the day and reports back to Santa Clause at bedtime. The next morning the little elf turns up in a different location around the house. Kids are on their best behavior and it becomes a game of hide and seek for the entire month of December.

Gift experiences

To change up Christmas means that habits have to change by using the imagination. Yes! for some, this is going to be difficult. However, it’s time to challenge current ideas and assumptions.

Christmas is part of the plastic pollution problem. So we need to break down Christmas spending and figure out creative solutions. The gift of a thrilling or humbling experience could be the best way to avoid giving the kids to many gifts.

The experience will give families connections with one another. In addition, making alternate or opposite plans will also greatly reduce stress. It offers us a mental break from the usual traditions!

Set a budget!

Set a small budget for gifts and allow older children to pick a category like something they need, wear or read.

Choose family memberships to theme parks, Museums, Recreation Centers. To cut Chrismas spending consider a DIY gift for family members. There’s a lot of great ideas to be found on Pinterest or Instagram.

Making gifts can start a great tradition that some family members won’t be able to resist. It’s fun and creative and another good way to make lasting memories. By reducing the amount we give offers the best way to alleviate our financial and emotional stress too!

What needs to happen to shift the paradigm of Christmas? When do we stop throwing toys away from Christmas past? We should hand them down to the next generation.

Don’t expect retail chains to change. We have to shift our perspective as a collective. The moral of the story here is BUY LESS.

The timeless tale of the Christmas Carol nails it on the moral head. Christmas should be the time of year where people give to the needy. The time where families share moments in life, NOT things! Let’s get creative instead of hitting the Mall!

Cut your Christmas spending in half! Practicality, imagination and re-evaluating the purpose of Christmas will make a huge difference in our happiness throughout the year.

Starting out your eco-living lifestyle can begin in a place you least expect it! Find out what kind of upcycled goodies and local goods can be found at a Christmas market. I list 8 necessities that will get you on your way. Necessities like Shampoo and conditioner bars. Check out The 8 best must-have gift ideas at the local Christmas market

It’s time to take a more holistic approach and start inventing new ways to replace synthetic chemicals and materials with natural alternatives. Communities around the world have an opportunity to harvest Planet, People Products. Support small companies working to support these small villages, local artisans, and grass-root organizations. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life in a meaningful way? Buy products from small companies working with villagers. These Seagrass market bags are a good way to support artisans in Vietnam. It’s our pledge to work together to create a more natural, healthy, and Eco-friendly planet.

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Seven everyday essentials for a more meaningful life

Smart people are working hard to make eco-friendly alternative products. So, it’s fairly easy to find everyday necessities and these are some of the options! These suggestions are biodegradable and will offer up a more meaningful life! It’s a startup guide for those wanting to help change the world. By making these basic necessities you are voting with your dollars.

It’s really that easy and doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can make a positive impact for under $50.00. It’s a little stewardship mixed with consumerism! Spend money wisely so sea creatures aren’t harmed. Stop CO2 from seeping into the atmosphere from landfills. Don’t buy the usual plastic laden products. These are the top seven products I’m excited to share.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

Pablo Picasso

Toothbrushes

I used my old plastic brushes until the bristles flattened out. They did the job and its time to buy new ones. There are a gazillion bamboo toothbrushes online. Bamboo is eco-friendly because it’s a fast-growing tree so harvesting the wood is more sustainable. The farmers don’t use pesticides and most importantly it’s not 100% Plastic! I bought a box and I was immediately impressed with the quality.

Tooth Paste

We rely on an assortment of Soap products every day. Our parents have trained us to use a toothbrush and toothpaste. But, we just throw them away when we finish using the tubes. Tubes are not recyclable. Therefore destined to become landfill.

I thought it would be better to make my own toothpaste. However, there are like six ingredients that come with their own packaging. Since we’re reducing packaging waste it’s not wise to make it yourself. Just too much waste!

There are soap companies that make toothpaste balls instead of traditional paste. They buy their ingredients in bulk. So it’s best to buy from them to reduce packaging waste.

Beewax Paper

I have used plastic cling wrap for as long as I can remember. It has to go! But, not having the option of covering a bowl of food is not practical. We do a lot of dishes and it doesn’t make sense without it. Emptying the contents of one container into another makes twice the amount of dishes! I would rather keep the food contained in one bowl and cover it. Having cling wrap reduces the amount of elbow grease, water, and electricity. All important reasons why Beeswax paper is a necessity

Another advantage of using Beeswax paper is its ability to keep vegetables fresh longer. Ther’s nothing worse than wilted lettuce bought three days ago! I used to use a plastic bag from the grocery store to wrap and store in my crisper. Although we’re told its best to reuse our plastic bags. It’s really just best to avoid them in the first place. This is where beeswax paper comes in handy!

Lastly, there was an unexpected use for the sweet-smelling paper. I have a terrible time opening the lids on a jar. I`ve banged lids down on their edges, used a cloth, or pried them open. The grip you can give will undue the tightest lids with your beeswax paper

Pela case

Buying an eco-friendly product leaves a smaller environmental impact. But, quite often these companies will also make a social impact as well! Buying a biodegradable phone case will make a statement. It’s a piece that will catch the attention of others and start a conversation. According to Pelacase, more than 1 billion plastic phone cases are made each year.

There isn’t much we can do with the plastic problem we’ve already created. But it’s important to decide today that we will no longer support the industry. There are viable alternatives. These phone cases are a prime example. Once we’re finished using the case all we have to do is throw it into the back yard compost pile. It will disintegrate gracefully back into the Earth. Awww sounds too good to be true!

Another positive impact of purchasing this phone case is the element of charity. They donate a portion of proceeds giving one person fresh, clean water for one year. The belief that giving water to a community in Kenya will allow girls to go back to school. The woman will earn money and families within the community will benefit.

Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bottles are the most popular way to get our shampoo. Stores have a wide range of products for thick, curly, fine, oily dry hair. You name it! If your hair grows there are many companies that will make it healthy. The Canadian population throws away 60 million shampoo bottles a year.

These bottles are recyclable. However, only 9% of worldwide trash is recycled! What households should do to reduce the amount of plastic is to stop buying it. There is an alternative way that ends trashing shampoo bottles. Shampoo bars! Simple and effective.

They promise us the same healthy hair without the nasty plastic packaging. Try to find a local supplier. I ordered Goat’s milk soap with tea tree oil from a farmer. I was pleasantly surprised because the soap didn’t leave a residue. My hair felt soft, clean and it smelled good.

Bed Sheets

Cotton’s grown with a tonne of pesticides and water. It’s also one of the most popular fabrics bought today. Organic cotton is a better alternative however Beechwood is even better. This plant is fast-growing and doesn’t require the use of pesticides. Faster growing plants require less water and can produce more material we need for sustainability. Beech Bliss bed sheets are 3x softer than cotton. It helps to regulate body temperature keeping the body cool in the summer and warmer in the Winter. When searching for an Eco-friendly alternative try and find something made from 100% Beechwood.

Pillowcases

Silk pillowcases are such a treat! Every time I go to sleep the satiny pillow caresses my skin and makes me feel at peace. It’s not only perfect for pampering its great for your hair and skin. Silk is an eco-friendly product because it’s not manmade material. Silk is a renewable resource with less of an environmental impact than most other fibers. It’s hypoallergenic. Plus, there are no chemicals in the process. Look for Peace silk pillowcases for a truly ethical purchase.

Living a meaningful life depends on the habits of everyday shoppers. You can make a difference in the lives of others and help to change the world. One good deed a day will help to create that change. This could mean you made an ethical choice to support the eco-friendly industry. Good on you! I hope you see where I’m coming from and make your next purchase meaningful! Then give it away to spread the word!

I hope these basic necessities help you move your life into a more meaningful life. Changing these seven things can make a difference but there is more you can do!

For instance, while walking through the park you can take a package of wildflower seeds with you. Planting more flowers offers wildlife food. Each seed planted makes the world a little more beautiful. After all, we all love pretty things!

Next, you can save money by doing something as simple as unplugging your devices. It’s incredible how much money can be saved if we do this one simple task. Find out how else you can save money with these 37 ways to live a better life.

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4 Halloween Tricks To Treat The Earth-Friendly

Halloween is the time of years where our little ghouls and goblins roam the streets. It’s one of Canada’s favorite traditions filled with sweet treats and fun costumes. Kids love the festivities with decorations and games. Each year we hand out over 400 million dollars of packaged chocolate bars, gumballs, taffy, and lollipops. But, it’s a plastic and polyester nightmare! Yet, some of the happiest memories are made during this spooky time of year. In the midst, of all these spooktacular memories have you wondered how much goes in the trash? Since research estimates, the amount of plastic thrown away by clothing alone is 2000 tonnes a year! Find out how you can change your habits and become an Earth-friendly Halloween shopper.

Earth-friendly Halloween Costumes

Unfortunately, the textiles used in costumes are primarily polyester. The man-made material is a polluting oil-based plastic that won’t biodegrade. It’s a Franken cloth that truly will spook you and the kids! It will also, give your grandchildren’s kids a fright too. It’s not easy being eco-friendly during Halloween that’s why I want to give you these great ideas.

As parents, we want to give the kids a good time but not at the expense of our planet. Natural products were once at the core of celebrations in the past. The celebrations would only involve natural materials. For example in the very beginning animal hides were used as costumes. I don’t think anybody wants to go back to those days but there certainly is a compromise.

If your searching for a costume it’s best to find one that has already been used. Buying a brand new polyester costume only makes the problem worse. Don’t use your money to support a company that uses cheap and dirty threads. Instead of handing over our money to support a company that uses polyester, buy used. It’s important to reuse the costumes that are already out there! The thrift store, Varagesale, or Facebook marketplace has lots of options.

Earth-friendly Halloween Decorations

There are not many times of the year that you can decorate with hay bales! This is the most perfect way to set up a display in your doorway. Your pumpkins and gourds will give your entrance a beautiful framework. When you decorate with natural decorations people really take notice and you’ll get lots of compliments. I promise. Every Halloween display needs a banner and I recommend looking for burlap material. I found burlap garland one Christmas at the dollar store. But, you can find burlap bags at a farm or grocery store near you.

Happy Halloween Banner

Cut the burlap into a 4.5×4.5 inch square

You will need 14 squares

Use Mineral paint to write one letter onto each square

Cut a piece of string (jute or hemp) to size

Make sure there is a small gap between the letters and a large gap between the words

Adhere the burlap squares to the string with eco-friendly glue

You should look for eco-friendly glue because the glue we use today is made with formaldehyde. This cancer-causing chemical is a good enough reason to find an alternative. So, the alternative for your craft drawer is a product that contains soy protein, carbohydrates, and lignan. It is both strong and water-resistant.

Mineral paint is an environmentally friendly option since it does not contain lead ammonia or formaldehyde. This unique formulation is non-toxic and has no odor! It’s a wonderful eco-friendly choice for any project which needs painting.

Finally, decorations can be found for free in the Natural Environment. You don’t have to break the bank to decorate since there is beauty in your neighborhood. If you live in an area near marshland then bull reeds make a beautiful arrangement. You can also use Pampas grass flowers which accent the arrangement with texture for your home.

Candy

One of the biggest issues with Halloween today is the massive amounts of overpackaging. The waste from those tiny little chocolate bars is crazy! The wrappers cannot be recycled using the blue bins at home. They’re single-use packaging that’s slowly but surely polluting the planet. But, what could we possibly give out to other people’s children that are considered safe?

Hershey kisses have tin foil wrapping and it can be recycled. But, most people don’t know that! So, these little kisses are a good alternative. But, the candy industry must change their packaging so we can truly make a difference.

If you’re that person that would rather hand out something healthy then apples, oranges, and bananas are a good option. Get creative! Give them a face by drawing with a felt pen. Kids will appreciate a vampire banana or a Jack O Lantern orange.

Most families look forward to Halloween every year. It’s a custom that has been celebrated for the past 2000 years. Therefore this tradition will always be a part of our lives and enjoyed for future generations. As a conscious Earth-friendly Halloween shopper, we need to change our ways and vote with our dollars. The costume and candy companies don’t make it easy for us, but do you know of a company that’s raised the bar? Let me know.

For more Halloween facts check out these truly scary links

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Why Mother Nature Has More Powerful Legal Rights

Is it possible for the entire modern civilization to ban together and pledge equal rights for Mother Nature? No, but keep reading! The design of the current economic system oppresses the poor. This has driven them to degrade giant swaths of protected land. As a result, deforestation is one of the biggest issues in dry, arid and poor countries. They have a choice to either expand a harvest or risk starving their family. So the choice becomes clear. Economic systems that pay farmers pennies a day have no rights. They are slaves that work every day to make a measly $200.00 a year.

Human rights are the basic freedom that belongs to every person. They’re shared human values which include dignity, fairness, respect, equality, and independence. However, there are forces in this world that don’t believe in rights. That is to say, there is a twisted vortex of greed, hate, sickness, and blatant disregard. It’s destroying the rights of hard-working people. Injustice and inhumane treatment have hurt not only humans but also the natural world.

Will it ever stop? It’s not an exaggeration when I say this is a question that millions perhaps billions of people ask! The unequal treatment of whole ecosystems is one of today’s biggest issues. It is society’s biggest social problem. It’s rooted in history so it will not be easy to change. There are thousands of tribes with different customs, religions, and beliefs. So, it seems near impossible to fix the racial biases that shape the world today. Colonialism has made the largest impact on human rights.

Colonialism vs Egalitarian

Today’s leaders seek a policy to govern the rights over people, territories, and things. This economic dominance so far has created a climate catastrophe. We cannot respect nature if there is rampant inequality. But, we do have it within ourselves to protect nature. There is a way of life that predates our modern state. These people are the hunter-gatherers, the more natural or Egalitarian people. They believe in governing with equal political, economic and social rights.

The core beliefs of a family represent mutual respect and fair treatment of one another. Respect that lays the foundation required for equality. Family members identify themselves as having the same social and economic caliber. All that’s needed is equality and education for stewardship to become a core value in the family system. Stewardship has long term benefits for social and economic order. It’s important to realize that it’s in the best interest of families, social order, and future generations. It’s in the best interest of Mother nature.

Mother Nature’s rights

There is an Egalitarian Tribal family that has sought to make a positive impact. It’s a change that will protect the rights of a natural ecosystem. In 2017 a tribe from New Zealand has changed the way people can treat a River. The Maori Tribe from the North Island won legal rights for the third-largest River in New Zealand. The legislature awarded them a victory because their case was strong. Instead of managing the river the law will now treat the river as an entity. The rights of the river are the same as the tribes. So for instance, fines and prosections will be given to those who dump or overfish. The law will try the offender with the same laws as an entity. The incredible process was the longest litigation in the country’s history.

The tribe’s core value recognizes the genealogy of the human race. As a matter of fact, molecules that form our bodies come from the Universe. So, rather us being a master of the natural world we are apart of it. This legal win will allow the Tribe to build a framework of the river’s new life. They say it is not an anti-development or anti-economic framework. But a core belief about how the future life of the river will run. This connection to the natural world runs deep with Indigenous people. The livelihood and general well being of future generations rely on the health of the river.

Work in progress

Something other than a person having human rights is an established idea. The definition of a “legal personality” is a common corporate practice. It distinguishes the legal obligations of the directors and shareholders. So, the theory is practiced in modern business. Once in effect the people, legislature and corporations must take it seriously. Advocate Mumta Ito, believes the current system is programmed for self-destruction. The legal system is the enabler.

“the only way we’ll be able to change things is to create a new operating system with nature’s rights at its core.”

mumta Ito founder of Nature’s Rights

However, the lives of those that live in a city or suburb don’t have the same connection to the environment. The desensitization of society’s polluting way has created a climate catastrophe. A lawyer named Neil Howlett says if this law is passed outside the cultural basis it will not work. Skeptics say dedicating personhood is an act of desperation to save a river. Regardless, indigenous Hunter-gatherers like the Maori tribe will steward the rights of mother nature. Co-existing conditions such as peaceful relations and the right to do business are however necessary. Indigenous people around the world should not be oppressed. Corporate greed and disregard for human rights can not offer us the change we need.

You can make a difference when it seems impossible. Mother nature needs your help.

Here is a list of things you can do to help.

Talk to family members: Give back to Nature. Often families look for ways to make quality time. Cleaning up a beach, garden, do your own juicing, plant a tree. There are many ways to bond and do good for the Planet.

Bake your own cookies: The palm oil that manufacturers use is devastating the Amazon rain forest’s habitats.

Buy Fairtrade Chocolate: This program is designed to give locals (farmers) and their families sustainable incomes and working conditions.

Support initiatives led by Indigenous Tribes or support a non-profit advocacy group.

Check out these interesting stories and info on this topic!

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These 4 Successful Shopping Tips Will Change Your Life.

successful shopping habits

The amount of packaging a person throws away annually is around 5 pounds a day. On average only 1/4 is recycled. I will help you wade through the over packaging and give you these 4 successful shopping tips.

For the majority of people, time and money is the biggest excuse as to why they’re not ready to make a change. There isn’t enough time in a day to make a healthy choice. There are times when it’s near impossible to say no to plastic. For instance, buying juice comes in either tetra packs or plastic containers. For some reason companies that choose to put their juice in glass charge a fortune!

These excuses were mine until one day I realized its important that I learned new successful shopping habits. It’s more important now more than ever since the world around us is overflowing with our garbage.

Four Successful Shopping tips

We have to muddle through right and wrong and decide what is right for us. It’s a journey that is unique to you. We all walk down the same path of consumerism and overpackaging in the stores.

One-time single-use packaging has allowed us to simplify our lives. It’s given us freedom. We rely on it to get us through daily life without having to plan. If we don’t have to prepare our next meal we can work more, play more, plan less!

Motivation in my short eight-month journey to become an Eco-Shopper is the first requirement for change. You and I both know it takes motivation to achieve successful results! It’s the first ingredient and the kick start we both need!

However, for me and most people, this one feeling can quickly subside. Yes, we can all get a little lazy. Ultimately it could very easily turn into that fad diet or another stint at the gym. If obsession doesn’t take over then it most certainly will!

Train your brain to say no to plastic. To do that… Be present and use repetitive behavior as your best friend. If there are distractions somehow plastic can slip stealthily into your life. It happens so easily so don’t be hard on yourself when it does!

Moisturizer, Milk, yogurt, chips, everything we find in the store have the element of single-use. The trick to staying calm is by knowing you have a goal. The goal to shop smarter.

Meat

Walking into a large convenience store like Walmart is overwhelming. I’ve realized that if I wanted to do this right I couldn’t rely solely on one store. You’ve got to be versatile and set a standard when starting your next set of successful habits. Stay with it! I find that supporting your local butcher is the best way to get meat. Quite often they will find suppliers that are close by in order to get the freshest meat. When you pick your food up and take it away they give you paper coated in plastic. The wrapping isn’t recyclable and considered single-use. I suggest you bring your own container.

People on one side of the environmental spectrum don’t eat meat to protect nature. Animals are treated unethically and death is traumatic. Plus, eating meat causes an increase in CO2 emissions. I agree. However, if you’re like me it’s tough to stop. If you’ve grown up eating meat in every meal and don’t feel repulsed by it. You’re like me! Look for an Organically certified product. They’re called Happy Cows because they’re not fed antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones. They also have unlimited access to pastures and shelter. Changing your eating habits for the sake of the environment is a personal choice. It also makes an impact on animal welfare.

Bread

Next, if your looking for a good fresh loaf of bread chances are you’re not going to find it alone. It usually comes accompanied by a brand new plastic bag! I thought the way to avoid the bag was to bake the bread at home. However, when working full time it’s super hard to find the time to bake. The bread goes hard in half the time since it doesn’t contain preservatives. So for families that eat it all the time it has to be baked more often. But, here’s a trick I learned along the way. I realized I could bring my own box to the local Bakery. There are some reusable packaging options online for your bread. A reusable box will do for transportation but once you get home it’s best to use an airtight container.

Baking

While living an eco-friendly lifestyle one of the successful shopping tips includes the time to bake cookies. The great things about baking cookies are when kids are in the house they’ll always get eaten. Plus, single-use packaging isn’t needed and we don’t rely on palm oil. Palm oil is the number one reason why the rainforest is being burned to the ground. Plantations use the fertile soil of the Amazon to turn crops and move on. Therefore, when you buy a box of cookies it’s not really just cookies your buying. It’s also the single-use packaging that impacts the environment and the palm oil that destroys it.

Eggs

Eggs are a go-to food for breakfast, lunch or dinner! It’s a versatile food that contributes to so many dishes including most treats. However, buying eggs from an industry that’s known for the dark, crowded and unsanitary conditions sucks. Start to look for a local farmer that has a flock in his backyard. They often advertise their eggs on street signs or word of mouth. The big business of chicken farming has been operating the same way for over half a century. The demand for eggs has steadily grown with the rise in population. So the business practice won’t stop. It won’t quit unless people support smaller operations.

Bring your own basket or box to take the eggs away. Of course, if you’re doing your shopping and a farm seems too far away go for free-range organic eggs. These chickens are the only ones that are certified to live happier lives. They are better for our health, environment and the general well being of the Chicken. 

Try these four successful shopping tips to get you moving in the right direction. So far, the way we have treated our planet has been a series of personal choices. Our choices do make a difference in the world we live in. We need to train our minds to reduce plastic and packaging waste. It’s not hard and if you make it a personal goal then you will develop successful habits.

This will catch your interest if you liked what you’ve read here!

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11 Simple Tips On How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

Canadians consume 1.5 million barrels of oil a day! It gives us things such as heating, cooling, of our homes, and transportation. It underpins our economy and the lifestyle we love so much. Consequently, if oil disappeared tomorrow the impact on our reality would devastate our existence. Could you imagine a world without Oil? Without oil, we would have a long list of impossible endeavors! No themes parks, movie theaters, public swimming pools.

Not to mention, we’re blessed to give children warm clothes and toys. As well as the ability to reach the furthest corners of the world! But, now Scientists have warned us our carbon footprint is too large. The planet is warming. It’s a forbidden love affair and sh#%s getting real around here! We’ve been warned that we need to break up and move on but can we?

Oil imports increase the carbon footprint

The Canadian government states, Canada is the 4th largest oil producer in the world. Even so, we import refined oil from other countries. Seriously this is like a Baker selling bread but not eating what he makes! Instead, he buys bread from across the street! Smart conscious consumers shop locally. Neighborhood businesses rely on support from the community around them.  But the federal government doesn’t have the same policy.

Not to mention, Canada is one of the richest countries in the world! Even though, the Canadian population is small in comparison to many countries. We have plenty of natural resources so there’s no excuse not investing in domestic energy. The Canadian landmass is vast and the energy consumption is booming. We have the potential to provide ourselves with our own oil. In spite of these facts, we import oil because of our inability to refine it.

Imported Oil

The Eastern Atlantic refineries are outdated and the plants need retrofitting. The refining plants were built in a time when light crude oil was abundant. But, now heavy crude oil from the tar sands accounts for 96% of it’s oil. The Eastern refinery plants don’t have the capability to refine heavy crude oil. So, they import oil from other countries.

The majority comes from the USA followed by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Norway, Angola, and Mexico. Presently, New Brunswick imports 40% of its oil from Saudia Arabia. Quebec, Ontario, Labrador also get oil from the Southern USA. Consequently, every year Canada spends 10 million dollars on oil alone. This translates to 20 billion dollars in the past ten years!

Don’t you think we should start spending our money elsewhere? Invest in our own alternative energy plans and become self-sufficient?

CO2 and trade

This is another example of Canada’s inability to be self-sufficient. It so badly needs to become a circular economy. Refining domestic oil can give Canadians the means to explore alternative forms of energy. Canada should invest in new technologies that reduce the need for oil. In the hope that it will slow oil shipments from great distances. For fear that if we don’t Carbon Dioxide (CO2) will continually be released into the atmosphere. In order to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, it’s time. Time to spend money on the aging and outdated infrastructure. Time to invest in new energy technologies.

We’ve had the ability to travel long distances with our goods for ages! Long-range trade has been a part of life since the third Millenium! (2001- 3000) For the purpose of the lifestyle sourcing materials from great distances is in our DNA! Establishing trade colonies has led the way to how we do business today. It would be asking a lot from humanity to change our trading ways! A lot! But, welcome to 2020! When the world is getting warmer and it’s projected that unsustainable living conditions are imminent. In view of the current trade routes, oil has such an incredible journey to get to us.

What can we do to lower our carbon footprint now?

Use an electric bike or pedal bike.

If your cruising distances then electric is the way to go! Electric bikes can move up to 25 km’s an hour on average. They’re fun and worth the initial investment of $800-$2000. I love cruising around on my cruiser especially with friends. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this more often?

Turn off your heat.

Starting June 1 and keep it off until September 15th. Cut your annual bills down by saving up to $50.00 each month the furnace is off! In other words it’s a free meal at your favorite hangout!

Buy local products.

Support local artisans and businesses that offer seasonal products. Quite often products are fresher and there is way less packaging. It has traveled less to get from the farm to the plate.

Switch to a push mower.

If a push mower is out of the question than plant gardens to reduce the amount of time using a gas mower. Planting more trees is vital to stabilizing the climate, gives birds and insects homes. Plus if your picky groups of different varieties can look fabulous.

Use transit or electric vehicles.

You will save money in the long run if you buy a used electric vehicle. Be one in a million that has the opportunity to save thousands of dollars.

Choose petroleum-free cosmetics.

Petroleum gives the illusion that your skin is rich and hydrated. However, studies show that it actually suffocates your pores! It is not a water-soluble substance so it traps moisture.

Don’t buy plastic.

In general, this one is pretty much self-explanatory! In other words just say no to plastic bags! Avoid vegetables and fruits in bags or clam shell packaging. With this in mind, don’t forget to bring your coffee cup to work!

Unplug your electronics

Idle Desktop computers, stereos, coffee makers, iPad, and cellular phones all drain 5-10% of energy. If you take a moment of your day to unplug appliances and electronics each day it will save money.

Don’t buy fast fashion

Polyester is the worst fabric for the environment because it’s made from man-made polymers that don’t break down. These clothes don’t readily biodegrade and people continually throw away clothes. Invest in product lines that are ethically sourced and natural.

Use a clothesline.

Since an average family does seven loads of laundry a week. Being that drying clothes cost .45 cents an hour. You will save money when a clothesline is installed. This will save you over $150.00 a year or 30 lattes

Tell your local MP you want more renewable energy sources for your community.

More than ever the Leaders are listening to the world. Whenever they declare a climate emergency they’re willing to change policies. After all, raising awareness is vital to keep the momentum going! Write a letter to your local MP and tell him your concerns about the future. This post on plastic bags provides a link to contact your local British Columbia MP. Plus, sign this petition with the David Suzuki foundation

Make a difference

Even though, modern living has existed happily in the comforts of our homes, offices, and automobiles. We must change one habit or behavior a day! Thus conserving energy for the future of our children. We can reduce our carbon footprint together. We all know oil extraction is harmful to the environment. Importing Oil not only increases the carbon footprint. But, also encourages other countries to continue drilling. Not to mention it benefits their economy before our own. Conserving energy is easy. Try these new ideas and make an impact today!

For more information on this topic visit the links below