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9 Ways to Live a Greener Life in Calgary in 2015

To help you up your green game in 2015, we’ve talked to local experts to find out what we can do to be better cheerleaders for the planet this year. Smart Cars and blue bins are great, but here are a few more common sense tips that you should be implementing into your everyday life

In 2015, words like ‘organic’ and ‘eco-friendly’ are just part of everyday conversation.

But just because you know better than to throw your plastic bottles in the trash it doesn’t mean you should be lecturing like David Suzuki.

So let’s talk about some very simple ideas that will make sure you’re doing your part for Mother Earth.

‘Cause thanks to companies like Green Events Services, Calgary is getting a whole lot greener. Focused on providing more sustainable solutions to special events, the company looks for ways to make some of our favourite city happenings a little more earth friendly. With concepts like ‘free water’ – using water filling stations instead of selling water bottles – and the ability to cut down as much as 88% of waste, events like Bike Prom, and Market Collective are leaving very tiny carbon footprints.  

Inspired by their efforts to make YYC environmentally conscious, we asked Green Event’s Colin Smith to share a few ideas as to how we can change up our daily routines for the better.

1. Travel Etiquette
If you opt for the train or the bus for a longer haul trip instead of a plane, then obviously that’s doing your part. But as Colin put it, “If flying, make the most of it and be grateful because you just burned fossilized sunlight that took billions of year to make.”

In other words, you can thank half of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park for getting you to your destination.

2. Build a Forest Online
For as little as $1.99 you can have a tree planted by Carbon Farmers. With an ambition to cut down our carbon emissions, each tree you plant will actually show up on the virtual forest they create for you online. It’s kind of like playing green Nintendo.

3. Party Smarter
Throwing a surprise party? The key to having greener parties is eyeing up your party supplies the same way you would groceries. So yes, one piñata is probably enough. Instead of going overboard, be realistic about what you’ll need to minimize your waste.

4. Ditch the Packaging
Bear Grylls of Survivor Man went on a huge campaign about this last year. Can you imagine how much garbage we’d cut out if everyone refused packaging for one year? The boxing, plastics, and wraps that come with our products is doing nothing for our oceans and landfills and by refusing them with purchases, you usually lose the processing, non-natural ingredients, and extra cost.

5. Treat Yourself
If you’ve read the studies out there, you probably know that water bottles are a going concern when it comes to environmentalism. Why not invest in a high quality water bottle that you can hold on to for more than a day? And on the health side, you’ll actually be surprised at how much more water you drink.

6. Say Goodbye to Coffee Cups
For many young professionals (YPs), coffee comes second to water in terms of daily consumption. So if you find yourself frequenting coffee shops for Americanos to-go then do the earth a solid and get yourself a nice travel mug. Many of your favourite local coffee shops and boutique have something for purchase. 

7. Gift Smarter
Only buy gifts if you know they’ll actually be used. Wine, spirits, and beer always make nice gifts. So do hugs, compliments, and quality time. And last time we checked, the latter are free.

8. Say ‘No’ to Styrofoam
If you’re not one for cooking at home then stick with local restaurants who are proud to serve fresh local ingredients. Do your research to find out which restaurants actually support local farmers and use fresh seasonal ingredients.

Further to this tip, avoid take out containers. Stay in and enjoy the service. If you frequent a local take out place who is using Styrofoam, tell the owners that you would appreciate them switching to more environmentally responsible packaging.

9. Workout
Ride your bike to work. This sounds like a simple piece of advice until you think about all the people who sit in traffic to get to the gym for spin class.

Be in nature and hang out with friends. After all, we have the most beautiful back yard in Canada. 


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Notable Life

Canada’s leading online publication for driven young professionals & culture generators.