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Seven Ways to Green Your Life

Posted on April 22, 2014

seven ways to green your life

In honour of Earth Day and the release of VCC's new Environmental Strategy Plan, Wendy Avis, VCC's manager of environment and sustainability, shares her expert tips on how to "green" seven areas of your life and keep more green in your pocket!

Green your workout

  • Take it outside! Take advantage of hiking and biking trails in your area. Always interesting and 100 percent free!
  • Carpool to the gym with your workout buddy. Better yet, bike to the gym and get your warm up done at the same time.
  • Use your own water bottle. This will equal less waste in landfills and more money in your pocket.

Green your wardrobe

  • Check consignment shops and yard sales for perfectly good "recycled" clothes.
  • Choose organic cotton clothing, which is produced using few or no pesticides.
  • Fabric made from fast-growing, low-impact hemp is being used in gloves, jackets, shoes and sandals, among many other fashion mainstays and accessories.

Green your laundry

  • Wash your clothes in cold water. This can save you as much as 2,500 kilowatt-hours of power a year—more than twice the average household’s monthly energy bill.
  • Grab clothes from the dryer right away and fold or hang while still warm. No ironing means more free time and a lower energy bill.
  • Skip the dryer all together and hang your clothes to dry.

Green your commute

  • Measure tire pressure monthly. Operating a vehicle with underinflated tires can reduce tire lifespan and increase fuel consumption.
  • Walk, bike, carpool or take transit to get to work. Even leaving the car at home one day per week will help reduce carbon pollution.
  • Consider going carless. The estimated yearly cost of driving a single-occupant car ranges from $4,826 to $9,685—while the average yearly cost of taking public transportation falls between $200 and $2,000.

Green your office

  • If you must print, print double sided.
  • Turn the lights off in rooms when not in use.
  • Have at least one large plant in your office. Plants are not only green and pretty but great for recycling the air.

Green your lunch

  • Choose foods that are local and organic whenever possible, and make the most of seasonal foods.
  • Take care of your trash. Composting all organic waste—and recycling paper, cardboard, cans and bottles—will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills.
  • Pack a zero waste lunch. Use reusable containers, include a cloth napkin and stainless steel utensils.

Green your vacation

  • Take a staycation! With so many beautiful places to visit in B.C., it’s easy to give up the jet setting, and save time and money when you choose to sightsee close to home.
  • Driving? Avoid peak travel times. Traveling on off-peak days can prevent you hitting congested highways. Don't spend your well-earned vacation sitting in traffic!
  • Pack light. Extra weight causes airplanes and cars to lose efficiency and use more fuel to travel. Leave the kitchen sink at home.

Learn more about VCC's green achievements to date and what we have planned for the future by checking out our Environmental Strategy Plan.