Green Day seminar's best eco-friendly tips

Attendees urged to buy local produce, consider composting

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Museum London played host to Green Day this past Sunday and creatively displayed some eco-friendly tips on dealing with waste in the Forest City.

There was plenty of helpful advice for those who struggle to better their ecological footprint. For starters, buy a coffee mug, use rechargeable batteries and buy a battery charger. You can also buy cloth bags and lug them to your closest grocery store to stock up on staples.

A vegan/vegetarian diet is environmental and healthy, but there is a solution for meat-eaters; meat products, fats and dairy can also be used for composting.

Fruit and vegetable peelings, kitchen scraps and coffee grinds can be used, once composted, to make excellent ground soil for your garden.

For those with a green thumb, gardening has ecological benefits. Native plants save energy because they thrive in our local climate and they don’t require fertilizer or pesticides. Decreased demand for pesticides and fertilizers will lower energy requirements associated with the manufacturing and transport of these products. Native plants also use less water and are resilient to local weather conditions.

Green Day participants discovered that London, in comparison to 14 other municipalities, ranked ninth in terms of whose residents recycle more per household. In 2006, London’s 155,000 households sent about 93,000 tonnes of garbage to landfills (that’s equal to a football field piled 16 metres high).

We each have the power to make some small changes at home that will have an impact on the earth’s sustainability. Some advice included using fluorescent light bulbs, a low-flow showerhead during showers and a programmable thermostat to reduce heating and air conditioning bills. Other tips included using a clothesline for your laundry and washing your clothes in cold water.

Lastly, water bottles are the biggest offender among university students. Single-use drinking bottles (as opposed to plastic reusable ones) are convenient, but are not necessarily recycled. The water they contain has not been tested to the same standard as municipal drinking water systems and the cost of bottled water is substantially greater than the cost of municipal drinking water. The solution: invest in a water filter and buy your own water bottle.

Buying organic food is the next step; visiting local farmer’s markets is a better way to buy your produce. “Food Miles” is the distance that food travels from the place where it was growing to the place where the consumer purchased it. Often these journeys go halfway around the world, taking detours and inefficient paths. The amount of energy it takes to carry billions of tonnes of fruit each year from remote farms to the city is enormous and has a major impact on the environment. As the cost of oil rises, affecting shipping costs, locally grown produce is quickly becoming comparable in price.

Buying local is not only better for the environment, it also supports the local economy. It provides consumers with fresher and therefore tastier products.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette