Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Easy Solutions to make your 2012 More Green! January 5, 2012

CFN – Looking to Green your way through the New Year?  Here are some simple doables that will help you do just that.
Coordinate your shopping trips and errands with neighbours and friends.  If the two or three of you can alternate driving the children to classes or carpool for the weekly grocery trip, each of you can save money and time, cut down on fuel emissions and find a little extra “you” time.

Become regular customers with your local food producers.  Shopping local for food on the table supports your local economy, encourages new agri-businesses, provides you with nutritious options and certainly is beneficial to our world environment in that we are transporting these goods over a very short route.

Skip the long drive-through line for that take-out coffee or sandwich.  Consider parking and walking.  This reduces emissions, saves you money and time, and gives you a little physical exercise; a boost for your overall well being.  Oh yes, and remember your reusable cup for your beverage.

Plant yourself a little vegetable garden.  This is an awesome way to incorporate some exercise for your health and wellbeing and insure you have a fresh supply of your own organic vegetables or fruit throughout the growing season.

Skip the take-out lunches with all the plastic and Styrofoam that goes with it by packing your own nutritious lunch in reusable containers, with reusable cutlery and the reusable napkin.  You will save yourself money, alleviate the load on your local landfill and you will have control over the quantity, quality and nutritional value of the “fuel” consumed to keep you charged up for the afternoon.

Contemplate planting a tree or fruit bush around your house or business.  This will provide oxygen to our environment, and much needed shelter, shade and/or food for you and our local wildlife.

Make the most of the resources that go into each and every thing that is in your household or workplace.  Compost, Recycle, Repurpose or Donate.  Once an item has outlived its usefulness in your home or office what effort can be made to insure it does not end up in a landfill site?

Incorporate task lighting into your space.  If you regularly work at a desk where the whole room is lit by some overhead lighting it is quite likely that a desk lamp in your immediate work space will provide the needed lighting with less wattage which will save you considerable energy and money over time.

Collectively we can make a huge difference in our community by incorporating one to a few of these doable changes.

Of interest to all of our Ontario readers, we have been advised that the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (reports on compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights, the government’s progress in reducing green house gas emissions and its actions towards achieving greater energy conservation in Ontario) will be releasing a special report at a media conference on January 10, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.  The conference will be available via web cast.  To watch the live broadcast of the conference, visit  No questions will be taken during the web cast.  The full report will also be available in print, PDF and e-book (.pub) formats on the same date and time through the site noted for the web cast.

Your commentary is encouraged and always welcome below or to


  1. All excellent and relatively easy ways for us to make a difference, Jacqueline. I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on compact fluorescent lamps vs incandescent lamps regarding the trade-offs between energy consumption, quality of light and safe disposal (mercury). So far, I’m not convinced that CFLs are the way to go.

  2. @Furtz…thanks for the comment and questions Furtz. I will talk about this in my next column. ( That would be about a week this Monday as a new column has already been submitted for publication this week) Unfortunately I don’t get e-mail notices that someone has commented on the column and I do not visit each day so I apologize for not responding before today.

  3. Jacqueline, you’re bad. I check in every ten minutes, 24/7. 🙂

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