Ten super simple things you can do in 2020 to help save the planet

Tesla electric truck

Tesla has finally come out with a new electric truck. If you haven’t seen it yet, it looks like a space-aged DeLorean and costs roughly $50,000. While many of us may not be in a financial position to be on the first buyers’ list, there are things we can all do now to do our bit for the environment and climate change.

Here are ten super simple things you can do in 2020 to help save our planet:

  1. When grocery shopping, place loose fruits and vegetables in a reuseable shopping bag instead of using the thin plastic bags in the store—there’s really no need to bag green onions, lettuce, peppers, etc.
  2. Use recyclable travel mugs instead of disposable cups.
  3. Stop using drive-thru windows to reduce idling and emissions—you’ll also get more exercise if you walk in to get your coffee or treat.
  4. They’re saying grocery prices will skyrocket in 2020. If you’re a meat eater, try reducing your meat consumption by 10-20% and save on grocery bills too.
  5. Stop buying bottled water.
  6. Recycle clothes by donating old clothes to local clothes initiatives. Why not shop there too? Some of my favourite finds have been at used or community clothes places.
  7. Get crafty: instead of throwing household items out, see what you can make with them instead. I have a couple of friends at work who make gorgeous furniture and household items with recycled stuff.
  8. Don’t buy or use plastic straws or cutlery. At work, keep a mug, plate and fork and spoon on hand for work celebrations and potlucks.
  9. Get serious about commuting—if you live in the city, try taking the bus or biking to work. If you’re in the country, see if you can ride-share a couple of days a week with a neighbour or co-worker. Or, negotiate with your employer to see if you can work from home from time to time.
  10. Compost. I’m shocked at how many people don’t compost. Not only does it redirect items from landfill, you get beautiful, rich soil for your garden.

This week’s #HappyAct is for all of us to start making little changes in our buying and consuming habits, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that we all need to take action now. I pledge to focus on #1-3 and #9 this year since we’re already doing most of the others.

What are you doing to save the planet? Leave a comment below.

Curb appeal

couch for sale
Free to a good home

At this time of year, many municipalities hold large garbage days. This is where you put your big stuff on the curb and then the whole town cruises the streets, scanning the curbside for treasures. In today’s age of marketing, they now call them “free giveaway day”.

My favourite large garbage day story happened in Oakville about 20 years ago. Dave and I were either dating or just married, and we had an old beat up Ford Ranger truck and an empty apartment to furnish.

Nobody does large garbage day like Oakville. As my brother’s buddy Jim Reid says, the official uniform of the Oakville housewife is a Lululemon track suit, so you can count on their castoffs being sweet.

We’re cruising around in our truck and we pull up to a house with a perfectly fine hockey net at the end of the driveway. Just as we pull up, a BMW parks behind us and out comes a young family dressed to the nines who look like they have just come from church or a family brunch.

A young boy raced to the hockey net and started pleading with this father to have it. His Dad was explaining to the boy that there was no way he could fit it in his car when Dave and I stepped in and offered to drive the hockey net in our truck to their home.

We followed them home to one of the ritziest neighbourhoods in Oakville. Seriously. These were million dollar homes. We dropped the net off, the family thanked us and we went on our merry way to find our next score.

The morale of this story? It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how much stuff you have, there is always something you want and when you can score it for free, it’s a happy day.

This week’s #HappyAct is to find out when large garbage day is in your community and cruise the streets for free stuff. You never know what you will find or who you will meet. Here’s our contribution—not curbside, but in our barn for anyone who wants it. Our old couch—perfect for a cottage or hunting camp, and free to a good home. Here’s the ad on Kijiji if you’re interested. If we like you, we may even deliver it for ya!