7 Ways You Can Help Me Save The Planet

On one of my last trips, on a small island of Cambodia, Koh Rong, my heart broke in pieces when I saw all the plastic floating in water and on shore. Same in Holbox, Mexico. When I walked in the forest to go to an amazing beach, I discovered their dump, full of beer bottles (Mexico recycles only cans and not bottles). They don’t have recycling facilities and budget like we do here in Canada, so it has to go somewhere. And that somewhere is usually in oceans or forests.

One of the biggest problems we see in Canada is the over packaging! Think about cucumbers. They are wrapped individually and if you buy a pack of 3, there is another wrap over it. It is so hard to remove it from the cucumber! Packaging helps to preserve produce on transport. To avoid too much packaging, I try to buy fresh produce and I go to a refill store. I just need to bring my empty mason jars. You pay per weight and get only what you need.

Do you recycle your flexible plastic and shopping bags? Did you know that all our plastic bags travel all the way to Malaysia and end up in big piles? Enormous piles of dust-like plastic residue is left to contaminate groundwater, and often leaves a haze over certain regions of the country.
Read more: ‘We are going to send this back’: Malaysia returning unwanted Canadian plastic by CBC News
Watch this 20-Minute CBC Marketplace video

How many of you use plastic shopping bags in trash your bins? Did you know that it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Unfortunately, the bags don’t break down completely but instead photo-degrade, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment. For years, I have been using my cloth shopping bags. I refuse to take plastic bags. Indeed, I buy compostable garbage bags to send to the landfill.

How many Ziploc bags do you use in 1 day? Ziploc bags are usually used only for 1 time and then thrown away. It makes my hair go straight up on my head! I try to use glass containers to pack my lunch or leftovers. I also use bee wax paper (get them at your natural food store) to cover bowls or vegetables.

Under my kitchen sink, I have 2 big empty containers for composting. I am very disappointed that composting is not a common practice in British Columbia. It is in big cities in Quebec! I am very fortunate to have a community garden. I just need to bury my kitchen scraps in my garden. My worms are very happy to get fed on a regular basis! I reduce what I throw in the trash and I bring nutrients to my garden. If you don’t have a garden, you can have your own composting. I find it easier to manage the one with worms than the outside black container.
Youtube Video: How to Make a Worm Composting Bin, Quick, Simple and Inexpensive Gardening

Do you recycle your batteries, light bulbs, appliances, and electronics? It is different for every city. You just need to do a little search under garbage/recycling management on the website of your city. I keep a container for my batteries, cartridges, charger cables, etc. Below is where to recycle in Kelowna:

How many cleaning products do you have at home? Do you know that you can clean your entire house only with vinegar and baking soda? Here are some examples:

  • Mirrors: I make a solution of 1/4 cup of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Wash vegetables: I use the same spray bottle.
  • Wash floor: vinegar and hot water.
  • Toilet bowl: before I leave for work, I will pour 1 cup of vinegar and let it sit. I leave the big baking soda box on the cover as a reminder to pour some and brush it when I am back home. You will create a “Drano” solution and it is safe for septic tanks.
  • Laundry: swap your Downy with 1/4 cup of vinegar. It kills bacteria and softens your clothes by adjusting the pH of the water. My sport bras do not smell moldy anymore and my clothes don’t smell vinegary at all. I do not need to use a refresher sheet either in the dryer.

    Read more: What You Need To Know About Cleaning With Baking Soda And Vinegar by One Good Thing

I understand that it can be a pain for some people to drive at different locations to recycle a few items. I always organize my route to drop off the items when it is on my way. That way, I don’t need to drive extra kilometers and create more pollution with my car by driving around!

Moreover, it takes one gesture and one person at a time to help save the planet. If everyone would do their part, including industries, we would not be where we are right now with the global warming.

I hope my tips and tricks are going to help you change some habits. Happy recycling:)