5 eco-friendly Earth Day swaps to consider this year

by | May 12, 2024 | Automotive

Living a more sustainable life is something many of us aim for year-round, but Earth Day, which falls on April 22nd every year, provides an annual reminder of what we can do to help the environment. Here are five ideas of sustainable swaps for your day-to-day life to help you get started.

  1. Switch to solids
    Many of us use various liquid soaps to clean dishes and laundry and to wash our hair or body. But most of these liquid suds come in plastic containers and are watered down. Save the expense and reduce extra plastic waste by opting for bar soaps instead. There are bars made for dishes, and there are dissolvable sheets of soap for the laundry machine. Check your local health food store if your grocery store doesn’t stock them. And don’t worry – there are shampoo bars made specifically for different hair types, so you won’t destroy your mane.
  1. Lose the old lightbulbs
    If you haven’t changed out old incandescent lightbulbs for the LED variety yet, know that energy-efficient certified LEDs last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 90 per cent less energy. If you tried them long ago and found them too harsh, look again. There are more warm tones of light to choose from than when they first came on the scene. Look for the “lumens” value to see how bright it will be rather than the wattage – the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
  1. Ditch disposables and duplicates
    Many of us often grab single-use, disposable products, like a takeout coffee cup or a cotton swab. But these short-lived products only add to our waste. While some are biodegradable, it’s still best for the environment when we create less waste overall. So, swap in cloth bags, metal straws, glass food containers, washable cotton swabs, reusable water bottles and so on. But also keep an eye on how many reusable products you buy, too. Donate items that you rarely use and resist the temptation to buy more.
  1. Consider e-receipts
    How often do you buy something, take your receipt and then toss the paper out, whether right when you get home or months down the line? Next time you’re shopping, consider saying no to a paper receipt – much of this paper has a coating that can’t be recycled. And the less paper we need to recycle the better. Retailers are increasingly offering to email receipts, so you can still keep a record of the transaction. Having the digital copy makes it easy to find if you need to do a return, too. If you’re a business owner, give customers the option for an e-receipt before they have to ask – you’ll save on paper too.
  1. Opt for electric
    Many of us must rely on a car or truck for work or life activities. If that’s you, consider the pros and cons of investing in an electric vehicle (EV). EVs can make a big difference to your carbon footprint and save you money on gas day-to-day. Compared across their life cycles, they are more environmentally friendly than gas or diesel. And you might be surprised at how much charging networks and battery range have improved in recent years.

If that sounds like an expensive swap, check out incentive programs for EVs. The Government of Canada offers incentives on the purchase or lease of light-duty vehicles for individuals and families through the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program. Businesses and other organizations looking to swap out larger commercial vehicles can check out the Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles program for rebates on electric or plug-in hybrid vans, trucks, coach buses and more. These incentives are applied by the dealer when you buy the vehicle, and they can be combined with other applicable rebates.

Find more information on both of these programs by searching zero-emission vehicles on canada.ca

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