At Blom Contracting, we aren’t just committed to finding the most eco-friendly alternatives for your home, we also do our best to practice what we preach, and beyond. We hope that by giving you the information about green alternatives and eco-friendly options in your life, it will persuade you to go green too. The mistake that so many people make is doing nothing because they think they can only do a little, and that their efforts won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. However, if everyone started doing what they can, even if it’s something small, to help the planet, then everyone’s small effort would equate to a very large difference.
Follow along in the next week to read about eco-friendly swaps that can save you money, green alternatives that are equal to the cost of their conventional counterparts, and some switches that might be a bit more costly, but usually pay for themselves in the end.
There are many things a household can do in order to help save the planet. A lot of these habits and switches seem small, but will make a difference long term. Anything you do to help plays a part. Some really easy things you can change in your day to day life to help the planet are completely FREE and most take just seconds to complete.
Ecosia Web Browser
Ecosia is essentially an eco-friendly version of Google. This website browser plants trees in areas that need it most – while you search. They are a non-profit company that uses the money they receive from ads to plant trees and remove CO2 from the air. Every search removes approximately 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. It also has a personal search counter that shows how many searches you have completed, as well as how many trees you have planted because of your searches. They say it takes about 45 searches to plant one tree. If you go to Ecosia.org and scroll down, you can add it as your default search engine.
Paying your bills online
- Yes, technically this is not “free” because you are paying bills, however, paying them online rather than in the mail will save paper and probably make it quicker and easier for you.
Reusing paper whenever you can
- Using the back of printed on paper, or the back of notes or sticky notes, for crafts and colouring for children, making lists, or doodling.
Skipping paper all together
- Instead of making lists on paper, try making them on your phone or computer. Another great way to skip paper, especially for school and note taking, would be to use a tablet if you already have one. There are many note taking apps to use on technology. This is a great way to organize notes, and you never have to worry about losing a stray piece of paper or a notebook.
- If you don’t have a tablet, depending on how much you use paper, it might be a good investment for more reasons than one, but of course this option is not free. Another benefit is that you are still writing the notes, which helps you retain the information better and defeats the argument for why computers are not encouraged for note-taking.
Staples Recycling Program
- Staples has an amazing recycling program (partnered with Terracycle) that accepts all kinds of things for recycling. These include technology, ink cartridges, batteries, pens, mechanical pencils, highlighters, markers, and sharpies. All you have to do is drop them off to a Staples. They even have a reward program that saves you money when you trade in ink cartridges. For more information, check out these links:
Trying to plan your errands into one trip
- Everyone seems so busy nowadays, having to run around and get so much done. Just because you have to drive around, doesn’t mean you can’t be efficient. Try to plan your trips so that you go the shortest way and you don’t have to go out multiple times. This even begins to save you money because you save gas! If that’s not incentive enough, it will save you time too!
Roots or LuluLemon reusable bags
- If you have ever bought clothes from Roots or LuluLemon, you know that they give you reusable bags to put your purchase in. These bags do wonders – you can reuse them for clothes shopping, grocery shopping, or shopping for just about anything. When you are shopping for clothes, try and fit all of your purchases into one bag – whether that is a bag that you bring yourself or if it’s the bag of the first purchase you make, most of the time more than one thing can fit into a bag!
Taking your “garbage” to our 4 R World program or a donation centre
- Next week on garbage day, pay close attention to what people have on their boulevard. Every week we see people throwing away perfectly good couches, chairs, tables, you name it. All of these things can be used again, and although you no longer want it doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it, especially people who can’t afford buying these items brand new. At Blom Contracting, we have recently started a program in which you can donate your construction materials, doors, trim, kitchens, vanities, tubs, shower heads, furniture, plywoods, etc. to us to keep them out of a landfill. If you have something you think you can donate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Being mindful to what can (and can’t) be recycled is very important. All items that can be recycled have the recycle symbol on it somewhere. Take a second look at all plastics before you throw them in the garbage to see if they can be recycled. Some things that can’t be recycled that you maybe thought could be include soiled pizza boxes, coffee cups, plastic bottle caps, and shredded paper (and more).
- This one is easy. Try and plan with your friends, family, and coworkers to carpool to places that you go. This is beneficial for the environment as well as for commuters, using the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on highways when available ends up saving time in traffic. You also get to spend more time with the people in your car – get to know them better or catch up on their lives.
Encourage others to join the movement
- If you do something to go green – talk about it! Tell your friends and family. The more people that know about it, the more likely others will start to do it too. When you are with others, suggest eco-friendly alternatives when placed in certain situations, like skipping a straw, or riding your bike instead of driving. The domino effect is stronger than you may think.