La Presse recently published an article stating that humanity has already consumed all the natural resources available for the year 2019, thus living on credit. According to the Global Footprint Network, which conducted the study, we use ecological resources1.75 times faster, reducing their ability to regenerate in the future. Worrying, isn’t it?
It is therefore high time we integrated eco-responsible practices in our daily lives and changed our consumption habits to preserve the environment. After all, it’s our actions that make all the difference.
From the grocery cart to the kitchen
Buy food from Québec Consuming local foods reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and helps the local economy. Look for foods with the Aliments du Québec logo. Products with this logo are entirely from Québec or contain ingredients that are mainly from Québec. All processing and packaging activities are also carried out in Québec.
Promote seasonal products Once again, to limit greenhouse gas emissions, it is better to eat seasonal products offered by local farmers. You can also visit the website of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation to find markets near you.
Buy organic foods Another way to help conserve the environment is to focus on organic foods because they are grown and produced without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. An organic product is produced with respect for the environment and sustainable development.
Consume less meat To be environmentally friendly, you can also reduce your consumption of meat and dairy products. Meat production alone generates 72 to 78% of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers are therefore unanimous: We must consume less meat and adopt a diet that includes more vegetables, nuts, and plant products.
Reduce packaging and plastic Purchasing food in bulk reduces the amount of packaging sent to landfills. More and more supermarkets are offering bulk products that can be simply stored in glass jars or airtight containers. Also avoid single-use containers for lunches and food conservation. Instead, adopt reusable plastic or glass dishes and eco-friendly resealable bags made of waterproof and washable fabrics. Obtain a reusable cup. For water consumption, opt for reusable bottles. You only have to fill them up, and, in the end, you will save. You can do your part without changing all your habits.
Remember your reusable bags You can bring your reusable bags to the grocery store but also to make other purchases. If you must take a plastic bag, you can accumulate and deposit them in the recycling, provided they are all put in a single transparent bag.
Use environmentally friendly cleaning products Ecological products are increasingly present on the market; they allow you to clean with a clear environmental conscience. It is important to ask yourself if you really need a different product for the kitchen, bathroom, windows, toys … An all-purpose cleaner does the job very well! In addition, Équiterre mentions that the interior of a house is 10 to 20 times more polluted than the outside air because of the chemicals used during housework, so opt for natural products or make them with vinegar, hot water, lemon, and baking soda. It is a more economical, ecological, and healthy choice!
Buy recycled products Buying recycled products helps to protect the environment in many ways. It conserves natural resources by manufacturing products from secondary materials. Furthermore, by giving a second life to used products, the volume of waste decreases, along with the production of greenhouse gases, not to mention the fact that many manufacturers now offer products made from recycled materials.
Sort your waste Sort your waste and deposit materials in the right bins (recycling, composting, or garbage). If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your municipality. It is also important to dispose of certain products properly, to avoid interfering with sorting chains and to prevent contamination of soils and streams. These hazardous household products include paint, batteries, drugs, and electronic products, to name just a few. Various websites provide the drop-off point closest to you, according to the product to be disposed of.
Save water This may seem trivial but remember to turn off the water when brushing your teeth or when doing the dishes. Do not flush unnecessarily. After all, each flush of a conventional toilet uses about 18 litres of water and accounts for almost 30% of total water use in a home. It is also advisable to repair leaky faucets and defective toilets, as they waste a lot of water. Note that by reducing your water consumption, you contribute to reducing your energy bill and producing a healthier environment.
Choose natural fertilizers Avoid using chemical fertilizers that can pollute streams and soils. Instead, opt for natural fertilizers such as compost. In addition to ensuring good growth of plants, this fertilizer is safe for the planet.
Use electric equipment Since gas-powered lawnmowers and snowblowers generate greenhouse gas emissions, use electric equipment, which is less noisy and less polluting. If the cord annoys you, cordless models are available that don’t interfere with your maintenance tasks.
Collect rainwater Have you ever thought of installing a rainwater collector to water your garden or land with? It is an ecological gesture that saves drinking water and contributes to the conservation of this precious natural resource, which is, unfortunately, finite.
There are obviously many more eco-responsible actions which have not been mentioned that can protect the environment. Keep the 3R rule in mind as much as possible:
Reduce – Ask yourself if you really need the coveted product, if its quality will ensure its durability, and if it is over-packaged.
Reuse – The more goods to which you give a second life, the more you significantly reduce your environmental impact.
Recycle – By properly sorting waste and materials, you ensure they can be used again by being recycled or properly treated.
Finally, even if the actions listed above seem commonplace, keep in mind that they can make a difference … especially if they are put into practice every day by us all!