With Earth Day just around the corner, a lot of folks will be putting in that extra effort to help care for our amazing planet. There are several local clean-up initiatives in and around Barrie and Simcoe County going on that we can take part in, but the spirit and energy of Earth Day can also live on year-round. We have many opportunities to make a positive environmental impact and tread a little lighter on Mother Earth, so let’s start with some things we can do around our homes. Whether you live in a condo, house, apartment or cottage, check out the 3 ways we can all help reduce our carbon footprint:
- Commit to composting and recycling
Most municipalities have regular curbside pickup for organic waste, which makes it even more convenient to compost all those items that may have previously been tossed in the landfill. Once you get in the habit of it, composting becomes second nature. You can also enjoy the benefits of having your own compost bin in your yard if you prefer, especially if you like to garden. Before you know it, you’ll have rich, organic, nutritious compost to enhance your soil without spending a penny on fertilizers.
Our local recycling programs have also been expanded in recent years, and curbside recycling pick-up includes a wider range of acceptable items. Recycling isn’t just about the blue boxes, however. We can also do our part to limit our landfill contributions by:
- Repurposing household items
- Donating unused items to non-profit organizations or local churches
- Having a garage sale or selling items online
- Reduce the temptation to use ‘single use’ plastics, and be sure to bring your own bins or cloth bags whenever you shop
- If you’re a regular at a coffee shop, bring your own travel mug every visit; the fewer cups and lids that get used the better
- Have an energy-efficient home
There are so many ways to make our homes more energy-efficient. Easy, effective ways to get started include buying LED lightbulbs and looking for the energy-usage rating when buying any type of appliance or electronic goods. Solar products and panels are also becoming more and more available (and affordable), which certainly help us by using less electricity and batteries.
Another good idea is to switch over to highly energy-efficient products as you replace them, you don’t need to do it all at once. You’ll not only save money in the long run by using less hydro, natural gas and/or water, you’ll also improve the value of your home if or when it comes time to sell. This also applies to replacing drafty doors and windows and making sure you have good insulation to keep your home warm in winter, and cool in summer.
- Be eco-friendly
Another way to help look after our planet on a regular basis is to read labels on all cleaning products, paints and other such items we bring into our homes, and cut out dangerous toxins, sulphates, fertilizers, pesticides, and so on that can harm not only our waterways and lakes, but our own health too. Further, having plenty of indoor plants is always a great idea – not only does it look great, but plants also help purify the air we breathe. Go ahead and get planting indoors and out this spring; you may even find yourself enjoying your new hobby! Don’t forget to use a rain barrel whenever possible to help avoid reaching for that garden hose.
Looking after our planet is everyone’s job, and as you can see, there are a lot of little ways in which we can make a positive change. If you’re interested in making a positive financial change in your life, whether it’s buying your first home, renewing your mortgage, consolidating debt, saving for retirement or thinking about investments, be sure to connect with me, Darren Robinson. As an accredited mortgage broker and investment advisor, I’m here to help. Call me today at 705-315-0516 and let’s set up an appointment; you’ll get ‘down to earth’ advice that will be sure to make a ‘world’ of difference.