Actividad realizada por los alumnos del Colegio Hogar del Buen Consejo en el programa de inmersión lingüística en Riopar promovida por Ministerio de Educación del 26 de Octubre al 1 de Noviembre de 2014.
0 Things You Can Do Now
We depend on the Earth so we better start taking care of it. Every day we are given the option
to make positive change for the future of our planet. Don’t ever let someone tell you that one
person can’t make a difference! The truth is that for centuries it has always been the action of
one person that inspires the action of many.
Be a leader in your community and do what you can to reduce the misuse and overuse of our
natural resources. We are not entirely to blame; we inherited a polluted Planet Earth and are
seeing the consequences of the decisions made by previous generations. Luckily we have all
the tools we need to ensure that our children can grow up in a cleaner, safer planet than
Making a difference for the future of Planet Earth doesn’t have to include huge life changing
choices!! Some of the most important things are simple lifestyle changes that, if we can all
commit to, will create a huge reduction in our ecological footprint.
1. CONSERVE YOUR WATER
Something as simple as turning off the water while your brushing your teeth can make a
huge difference for the planet. Here are some water saving tips:
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons of water per
Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator or in a single bowl of
Turn of faucets tightly after each use – don’t let them drip!
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while your scrape them clean
Save 25 gallons of water a month by turning off the water while brushing your teeth
When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather
It is important to note that humans can adversely affect water quality in numerous ways, and
water quality has been selected as one of the three main Environmental Sustainability
Indicators by Environment Canada.
2. STOP USING PLASTIC!
Together we can end this over-pollution of plastic. The use of plastic started in the last 100
years. For years humans survived without plastic – we can do it again! Scientists are
predicting that it can take up to 1000 years for a plastic bag to decompose, causing harm to
wildlife, oceans, humans, and the environment. Plastic pollution causes harm to everyone
and everything. Let’s end it together.
Purchase a re-usable bottle for your water and other drinks. This can be as simple as saving
the water bottle you used yesterday!
Bring your re-usable shopping bags to the grocery store. You can purchase cloth bags or re-
use the plastic bags you have at home. Also, when buying fruits and vegetables be careful
of using plastic bags – conserve where you can! Maybe that avocado doesn’t need to go in a
plastic bag …
Recycle any plastic bottles and bags you have in your home – keep these out of the landfills!
Recycle everything you can. Remember that the best thing to do is to donate or re-use
items, but recycling is the next best option. Check out your municipality’s website to see
which plastic types you can recycle.
Typically in the Greater Vancouver Regional District the following are accepted:
Plastic Shopping Bags
Transparent Candy Wrapping
Containers for Toiletries
Paper (Don’t forget to recycle envelopes with clear windows, pizza boxes and the tubes
inside paper rolls!!)
Plastic Packaging on Electronics
Food Scraps (Uncooked Fruit/Vegetable Scraps, Coffee Grounds/Filters, Teabags,
Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local
hazardous waste depots or recyclers.
4. USE LESS HEAT AND AIR CONDITIONING
Heating our homes in the winter and cooling them during the summer months takes a great
deal of energy, which is quite hard on the environment and also costs a fortune! Reducing
our dependency on heat and air conditioning is actually quite easy – it just takes a little
planning! Here are some things you can do:
Add insulation to your walls and attic. Not only does will it save you tons of money over the
years that you would have spent on heating and cooling your home – it also increases the
value of your home!
Use reflective shades on your windows. The shade will reflect the sun and keep your house
cooler in the summer months
Dress for the weather! Instead of turning on the fireplace, put on a sweater or use a blanket
to keep yourself warm.
Install weather stripping to the doors and windows of your house to help maintain
5. DRIVE LESS!
Climate change, to a GREAT extent is caused by society’s passion for the automobile.
Commercials, car toys, songs and movies have influenced our society into being largely
dependent on automobiles for convenience and social status. Automobiles, which once were
considered to be a luxury, are now found in even the poorest of countries. Reducing our
dependence on the automobile would make a substantial environmental improvement and
improve our overall quality of life! Not to mention what you’ll save on purchasing gas.
Here are some ways to reduce your use of fossil fuels:
Walk, walk, walk! For years we were able to function without automobiles. In our busy
society we understand that it is not always possible … but when you can take a walk instead
of driving your car. Not only will improve your impact on the environment – but also improve
your quality of life! Try walking to the local grocery store a couple times a week instead of
Cycle, Car Pool and use Public Transportation when possible
If you have to drive, make sure that you maintain a correct tire pressure and reduce your
idling time to no more than 30 seconds (unless your in traffic)
Service your vehicles regularly to keep your emission control systems operating at their
Make sure that you’re not carrying around extra weight in your car. Haven’t cleared out that
backseat or trunk in awhile? Emptying out extra weight will help reduce your fuel emissions
6. SAVE ELECTRICITY
Unplug your small electronics when not in use. Even when not in use, your cell phone
charger plugged in uses energy. Make the decision to unplug these small electronics
(toaster, coffee maker, etc) whenever possible.
You can also use a power strip to switch off your large electronics (like your computer,
television, etc). Even when you think these large electronics are off they are still consuming
what can be equivalent to a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running non-stop.
Whenever possible, dry your clothes outside. You will save substantial energy and your
clothes will smell fresh!
Choose green electricity whenever you can. Many companies give you the option of
purchasing electricity powered by wind and solar equipment for a small increase in cost
Turn off lights when you leave a room
Encourage companies supplying electricity to your home to invest more effort in
environmentally-friendly energy resources
Don’t use the “Heat Dry” option on your dishwasher. You can simply open the door to your
dishwasher and let your dishes air-dry.
Paint with light or bright colors! White walls reflect 80% of the light that hits them. Dark walls
7. CONSUME LESS CHEMICALS
Unfortunately chemicals have become a part of our daily life. It is impossible to avoid them
as they are in the air we breathe, food we eat, the clothes we wear, cleaning products we
use, and so many cosmetic products. In our society, chemicals are labeled “safe” until
proven otherwise and everywhere you look there is the use of chemicals without appropriate
research. However, there are many choices you can make to reduce your consumption of
these horrible products that are being linked to a rapid increase in illness across the world.
Use plants in your house to clean the air. Plants help to rid the air of pollutants and toxins
improving your overall air quality!
Avoid using personal care products with artificial fragrance. The use of the word “perfume” or
“fragrance” added to the ingredient list typically means that dangerous phthalates and other
synthetic chemicals are being used. Check out www.safecosmetics.com before purchasing
your personal care items
Don’t use air fresheners in your home. Most air fresheners contain chemicals. Source out all-
natural household fresheners or simply use baking soda to absorb bad smells
Be careful of the toys you bring into your home. A great online resource to research into the
ingredients in your toys is www.healthytoys.org.
Get rid of any TEFLON non-stick frying pans. Convenient as they may be, Teflon pans have
dangerous chemicals call Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) that are extremely toxic. A great
alternative is stainless steel or cast iron.
A large amount of household chemicals can be found in house dust. Vacuum and dust often
to kept these chemicals out of your home.
Flame-retardant products contain dangerous chemicals and can be found in a large amount
of older household products. Try using natural fibred products (like cotton, hemp or wool) as
they are free of chemicals and naturally fire resistant. Newer furniture is more likely to be
free of flame-retardant chemicals
There is a rapidly growing amount of chemicals (like mercury) in the fish we consume.
Choose to eat smaller fish lower on the food chain to reduce your intake of these chemicals.
Note: White albacore tuna has the highest levels of mercury – if you need to eat tuna try
canned skipjack instead
Whenever you can eat wild fish and organically raised meats. The hormones and other
synthetic chemicals used to mass-produce our livestock is a scary thing to consider when
feeding yourself and your children.
Avoid any products labeled “anti-bacterial”. These products contain a wide array of
chemicals toxic to the body. Instead, use soap and wash your hands with a good old fashion
30 second lathering!
Check out www.lesstoxicguide.com before purchasing potential harmful household cleaners.
You can make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, water.
Consume organic or “spray-free” produce. Avoid the harmful pesticides ad chemical
additives in your home. When possible, eat what is local and in season. Try drying or
canning fruits and vegetables so that you can enjoy them when they go out of season. Wash
your produce well to further reduce pesticide residues. Use the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list as a
great resource: http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php
When buying product in plastic containers check out the number in the recycling symbol
(usually found on the bottle on the bottle). The numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are safe. Avoid
anything else. Purchase things in glass whenever possible
8. SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD & PRODUCT
The best way to consume food is from organic, local farmers. Here is a list of Farmer’s
Markets in the Vancouver area: View PDF
9. USE WWW.EPOST.CA
Have your bills emailed to you instead of receiving paper in the mail! Also, set up online
banking to pay your bills online.
10. SPEND TIME IN NATURE.
Currently, most of our corporate world sees “value” in nature only according to human
interests, wants and needs … in other words – Money. For instance, Coal and Copper were
not seen as being resources until humans recognized how they could be used. A view that is
growing with a new generation of people is that all of nature holds value independent of
human needs. Take 20 minutes a day to relax in nature. Whether you go for a walk in the
woods, relax by the ocean or take in the trees in your backyard, the beauty of nature always
has magic and inspiration to offer