reduce our climate impact
Sustainable Living

6 Easy ways to reduce our climate impact

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing enough when it comes to reducing your climate impact? There are definitely days that I see a news headline or the latest report on the impacts of climate change and feel overwhelmed by the current state of our planet and my ability to make meaningful change.

However, looking back across many of the posts Alison and I have shared, I realize that there are many good, small things that I’ve changed for the better. However, they’ve become so routine that I don’t think about or give myself credit for them!

Heart island in ocean. A reminder that there is a hidden cost of gifted experiences
Photo credit: Pixabay

This post is part of the Climate Change Collective, a group of environmentally-minded bloggers who share valuable climate action news. Started by Michelle from Boomer Eco Crusader and Jamie from Jamie Ad Stories, each month a different member contributes a lead/focus post that the rest of the collective responds to on their own sites, further discussing the information and issues raised.

The collective is currently open to any other bloggers who want to join; let us know if you’re interested!

This month the lead post was shared by Molly of Transatlantic Notes and centres around the message that we don’t have to be perfect when taking climate action. One of her suggestions was to celebrate wins which got me thinking that I rarely celebrate the wins, but rather focus on the size of the problem and what is left to do. So today I’m going to share a few favourite changes that my family and I have made over the years in hopes that it encourages you to positively reflect on your journey too!

“In the face of climate change, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; rather, it demands diverse strategies and constant evolution. Acknowledging imperfection can encourage innovation and collaboration.”

Molly – Transatlantic Notes

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Reduce our climate impact: Positive past changes

  1. Ditched paper towels: Around the time of the pandemic I made the choice to switch from paper towels to re-usable small cotton towels instead. Over the years it has saved me a good amount as a result of not having to purchase paper towels, and has positively impacted the environment as I now have 4 years of not using paper products that required use of natural resources such as trees and water.
  2. Switched to reusable menstrual products: As part of Plastic Free July one year, Alison and I tried out re-usable cotton pads – and they were amazing! There’s definitely a bit of a learning curve, however the cost savings, reduction in environmental impact of single use products, as well as reducing the flow of plastic into our landfills is well worth the extra effort.
  3. Made my own refillery: My refillery wall makes me so happy every time I walk past it! I was frustrated with how expensive hand soap, shampoo, and cleaners were becoming and so decided to buy some products in bulk, get some cute glass bottles, and see if I could reduce my spend. It’s now two years since I started doing this – I do one bulk purchase toward the end of each year and just refill my glass containers as needed! It’s a great way to get the benefit of eco-friendly cleaners at reasonable prices while skipping the plastic packaging.
  4. Purchasing in bulk and batch cooking: This is a great way to reduce plastic packaging and help out the budget at the same time. Check out this post for some of my favourite recipes!
  5. Planted a garden! There’s no more satisfying way of supporting the environment than planting a garden. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables or a little of both, your garden can be used in so many ways to help the planet! I have reduced my budget by growing my own vegetables, while creating a carbon sink with garden beds and plants.

What’s next to reduce our climate impact: A water audit!

When thinking through some of my past changes, one notable area jumped out at me that I haven’t given a lot of thought to: water use! And so (because I can’t quite shake the feeling that I can always do a little something more!) I’m planning to perform a home water audit to see if there are any areas where we’re wasting water and, if so, how I can fix it!

The benefits of performing a water audit and reducing usage will positively impact my budget – we pay water bills here and I’d love to get it down! Additionally, with rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and growing water scarcity in many regions, adopting water-saving practices is not just a matter of convenience but is key for the health of our ecosystems and communities.

map of the world
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Here’s the plan:

  1. Identify water fixtures and appliances: Make a list of all water fixtures and appliances, including faucets, showers, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and outdoor spigots.
  2. Check for leaks: Search around fixtures for any puddles, check outside attachments for any evidence of leaks.
  3. Measure water flow: Place a container under the faucet or showerhead, turn on the water to typical usage level, and time how long it takes to fill the container. Multiply the flow rate by the number of times you use each fixture daily to estimate daily usage.
  4. Check toilet flush volume: research the gallons per flush of toilet(s) and consider putting a container in the tank to reduce usage if it’s not a lower usage model.
  5. The fun part! Analyze results and find areas for improvement: Review water usage data and identify areas where consumption can be reduced. Pay attention to high-usage fixtures and appliances and consider implementing water-saving measures such as installing aerators or low-flow showerheads.
  6. Periodically re-check usage and see how much it has improved!

Imperfectly reduce our climate impact together!

I hope you too can take some time to reflect on the positive changes you’ve already made, while being excited and open to new possibilities to make small and impactful changes!

What changes have you made that you’re most proud of?

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One Comment

  • Molly | Transatlantic Notes

    I love this! It just goes to show that when you start small, you slowly realize you can add more here and there as we get better at seeing what/how we can change. Everything all adds up and makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing this!

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