Green Goodness: 10 tips for sustainable living, every day

Sustainability is on many Canadians’ minds as we usher in 2020. From cutting back on waste to saving energy, there are many small steps we can take to be more environmentally responsible in our daily lives. And surprise: many of these eco-friendlier choices are easier on your wallet, too! Here are 10 ways to make each day a deeper shade of green.

Carry a lunch set

Cut back on waste, including single-use plastic, by toting reusable food containers and bags to work or school. DIY your lunch to save money, but if you’re short on time, bring your empty container and have the restaurant pack takeout in it.


Bring your own bottle to cut back on single-use plastic. Canadians consume a whopping 5.3 million bottles of water per day, not all of which gets recycled. Another reason to choose reusable bottles and tumblers? You’ll save money with every gulp you get from the tap versus the store.

…and travel mug

Paper coffee cups and lids often get tossed into the recycling, but they’re not recyclable in all municipalities. Better bet? Carry a travel mug—you’ll score discounts at many major coffee chains and indie coffeeshops, too!

Reuse paper

Get one more use from those old single-sided printouts. Staple them blank-side up and use ’em for grocery lists and rough notes. Need a standard notepad for work or school? This one is made from diverted sugarcane waste – sweet!

Green up your print jobs

Choose from printer and copy paper made from 100% post-consumer recycled content, 30% post-consumer recycled content or other Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) eco certified choices. 

Cut food waste

Meal planning is a great way to cut back on food waste; say hello to pre-prepped home-cooked weeknight suppers, and goodbye to wilted, forgotten kale at the back of the fridge! Download a meal-planning app, or use a calendar to keep your menus on track.

Hit the farmer’s market

Supporting local agriculture is easier than ever, with municipal farmer’s markets, weekly neighbourhood markets, and seasonal pop-ups in malls and other hubs. Keep a collapsible tote or leftover grocery bags in your desk so you’re always ready for après-work foraging.

Park the car

Car-less commuting isn’t an all-or-nothing lifestyle. Hit the road in comfort when you need to, but consider public transit, cycling or walking when the weather cooperates or you’re otherwise able. Want to save on gas and parking? Try carpooling with a colleague or neighbour.

Sign up for e-billing

Paperless billing does more than save trees, it saves you money, too. With many service providers charging for paper bills, making the switch, if you haven’t already, will save you big bucks in 2020 and beyond.

Nix your fast fashion habit

Fast fashion has a HUGE global impact, from fossil fuels to water pollution and human rights concerns within the industry. Get more life out of your wardrobe with investment pieces that will last longer than one fashion cycle. Before you hit the mall, shop your closet, thrift, or host a clothing swap at work, school or home.

By Yuki Hayashi

February 10, 2020