How to Green your Office

There are some small, easy steps you an take to get started on becoming more environmentally friendly in your workplace.  These are just a few ideas that are easy changes to make, you can defiantly take more steps to make a huge difference, remember every little bit helps!

Here is a list of 8 easy changes you can make in your office:

Reduce, reuse, recycle – recycling paper is good but using the other side of the paper before you recycle it is even better, if you have only used the one side then use the other side for scrap paper or notes. Don’t by plastic cups for the office, and before you buy products for the office make sure they can be recycled.

Electricity usage – turn off all electronics when not using them turn off lights and set computer monitors to energy efficient saving settings.

Buy office products that are environmentally friendly – use refillable ink cartridges, 100% recycled paper, etc.

Use non-toxic cleaning products – hire cleaning companies that use non-toxic, green cleaning products.

Transportation – encourage carpooling, biking to work, walk and even transit.

Go Paperless – although you may not be able to go completely paperless try to use as little paper as possible.

Buy Fair Trade and Organic Products – Such as coffee, tea for the office.  

Bring Lunch – bring a lunch from home packed in reusable containers.

Take the Stairs – instead of using the elevator, take the stairs, it is better for your health to.

Remember that taking small steps will have a great impact on the earth, let’s green our office space.

Little Life Box

Have you been wanting to make a change to healthy and eco-friendly products but not sure what to buy? Little Life Box can help you with that.

If you subscribe and order a Little Life Box you will receive a box with 8 – 12 snacks, skincare products, and lifestyle items in every box. Each box is valued at anywhere between $40 – $75 including shipping.

You can order original or vegan boxes, and can order a monthly subscription for $23, 3-months for $22 or 6-month subscription for $21 per month, each will have $5 shipping and applicable taxes added on. All boxes are shipped on the 5th of each month and take 2 – 7 business days for the box to arrive.

Not only can you order yourself a healthy monthly package, but you can send out gift boxes as well. This is a great idea for a gift for the hard to buy for. You have a choice from The Holiday Gift Box, the Man Box, The Classic Gift Box, and the Deluxe Gift Box. The gift boxes range in price from $28 to $40 plus shipping and taxes.

To learn more about Little Life Box visit their website at www.littlelifebox.com.

Organic Single Serve Coffee Pods

Many of us have gone to single serve coffee makers and are using the coffee pods, according to research 40% of us. Many of us are using them and throwing them in the garbage and not realizing that the pods, as a whole, are not recyclable as a whole.

That is where OneCoffee come in, they have produced a single-serve sustainable coffee pods. When developing the pod they looked at features that would not only benefit people but the environment as well.

The coffee is organic, they use fair trade coffee, their packaging is developed so it has little impact on the environment and are working to improve it, and the process of making them is as sustainable as possible.  They use the example on their website at www.onecoffee.com that when making the decaffeinated coffee pod they use the Swisswater® which is an environmentally friendly process that is 100% chemical free and produces delicious coffee.

At OneCoffee everything they do they consider the impact it has on the environment. To find out more about OneCoffee and where to buy it, please visit their website at www.onecoffee.com. 

 

How to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide a person or place releases into the atmosphere. The amount that we produce is a huge environmental concern. Even though it is a big issue we still can make an impact by reducing our individual impact.

Some of the many ways we can reduce our carbon footprint is to:

  • Take public transit, walk, or bike, public transit produces less emissions than your car and walking or biking produces no carbon emissions
  • The next car you purchase consider it to be an electric car
  • Regularly maintain your car, keeping your car maintained will improve your fuel efficiency
  • Shop for locally grown goods and products, when you buy local you are reducing the travel time, fuel consumption used to get the products to the market
  • Buy energy efficient appliances, windows, and light bulbs
  • Reduce the amount of water you use, take shorter showers and only fun the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load
  • Buy a reusable water bottle and use reusable containers
  • Recycle and use recyclable trash bags
  • Unplug any devices and appliances when not in use
  • Go paperless

Keep the conversation going with your friends and community and get involved in community event to support environmental issues.

Shop Local, Eat Local

Shop and eat local means that you are supporting food and products and are grown and produced locally.

Instead of shopping and eating at chain store and restaurants where food is shipped in on trucks we are shopping at local farmers markets, mom and pop restaurants who buy food locally. This means you are helping your local economy buy keeping the money in your community.

Did you know that local business will:

  • Will put 3x more than big chains back into your local community
  • Create local jobs and sometimes even better wages
  • Offer local, one-of-a-kind products and the food is fresher as it is generally picked the day of delivery

Because local shops will make or buy their products using locally grown product they don not need to transport good in, this cuts down on air pollution and has less impact on the environment.

You will also receive more personal, friendly service when buying from a local business, this is their lively hood and they know about the products they are selling.

Overall, local business not only give more back to the community and local charities, they are better for the health and sustainability of their local community.

Living A Sustainable Lifestyle

When we are attempting to reduce our carbon footprint and by altering the way we live and the products and services we use, we are working to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ways we can live more sustainably and changes we can make in our daily living habits are:

  • Turn off / unplug appliances that you are not using
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances
  • Hang clothes to dry instead of using a dryer
  • Use a programable thermostat and set it to a lower temperature when are not home
  • Recycle and donate
  • Shop local, this reduces the amount of transportation costs and effect on the environment while supporting local businesses
  • Walk, bike, or take transit whenever possible
  • Grow your own produce or become a member of a community garden

These are some simple steps you can take to start to change the way you live and the environmental impact you have on your earth. We need to protect or earth, not only for our future generations but for us as well.

London Drugs – “What’s the Green Deal” Program

London Drugs has clear signs to point out products that they feel have some real environmental benefits. Products from recycled content to certified organic production and more. They want to make your shopping a little greener (and cheaper) without having to go to a specialty store to purchase green, environmentally friendly products.

The program was started in 2008 and the list of ‘What’s the Green Deal’ products has grown tremendously as shoppers demand more sustainable options.

Some of the benefits London Drugs uses to consider if a product is green are:

  • Third-party certification
  • Reduced packaging
  • Reduced energy use
  • Recyclable packaging or content
  • Products are degradable or compostable
  • Reduced synthetic chemicals / toxins
  • Local production
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Logical environmental advantages (ie: rechargeable batteries)
  • Self-declared environmental claims
  • Corporate Responsibility

How does a product qualify for a ‘What’s the Green Deal’ sign at London Drugs?

  • The best way is for it to have a third-party certification such as BC Certified Organic. Transfair, or Energy Star. Self-declared products may be accepted as well if the product packaging or website offer reasonable transparency and support for the claim, London Drugs may contact the company with questions.
  • Corporate Behaviour has a big roll as well, if the manufactured is working towards reducing their carbon footprint and also contributes to environmental or social causes these will be considered.
  • There is no such thing as a ‘zero-footprint’ product therefore; what is considered a green product is ultimately your decision, London Drugs just wants to help make your decision a little bit easier.

Organic Pet Food

Pets have become more than just a pet to many of us, they are a member of the family. This has pet owner looking for quality, healthy, organic pet food which is more expensive. Many may ask, is the price worth it? How is it better for my dog?

We believe it is, below are some quality benefits to why we believe making the switch to organic, holistic pet food:

  • No animal by-products are used – when you read the labels of regular pet food you will see some of the products used to make it are: chicken by-product meal, ground corn and corn gluten, would you eat this?  Although not all organic, green products use the best choice of ingredients so it is important to read labels and research the ingredients or look for products without preservatives, artificial flavoring, or by-products, look for ingredients such as all-natural, high quality foods like chicken, fish and eggs.
  • Your pets will be healthier – Nutrition is an important part of our health so by feeding your pet a health, holistic, organic pet food you are improving their overall health, and helping keep their skin and coat healthy, increasing their energy, and helping maintain a healthy weight.
  • Helps reduce pet’s allergies – if you pet suffers from allergies they could be from the artificial products in pet food, organic food does not have any of these products and can alleviate the symptoms of allergies for you pets.
  • Higher nutrition value – although organic food is more expensive they have a higher nutritional value which means you pet will not need as much food per meal.
  • Longer Life expectancy – organic, holistic food can extend your pets health and quality of life because of the healthier, higher nutritional food products.
  • Easier to digest – due to the lack of chemicals and artificial substances in dog food it causes pets to have gas, bloating, and vomiting, organic foods are easier to digest because they are made form natural products.

Since our pets are more like a member of our family now and not just a pet why not make the switch and see if you notice a difference in your pet’s overall health. We have directory of retailers who supply organic pet products listed, look for a retailer in your area by searching our business directory.

Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference 2017

Wikipedia defines Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills or incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.

Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health

The city of Vancouver wants to keep the conversation going about zero waste, for the past 7 years they have been hosting a Zero Waste Conference. This year’s Metro Vancouver’s 2017 Zero Waste Conference will be held on November 1, 2017

The conference will highlight on a local and global scale how we can:

  • reimagine linear systems of production and consumption with waste prevention and the circular economy in mind
  • advance organizational change and collaborate across sectors to develop new solutions and approaches
  • embrace new ways of thinking, innovation, and disruption to address barriers and intractable problems
  • benefit from this emerging opportunity – whether you are a business, government, or community sector leader

 

Keep checking the website, Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference for more information and updates.

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are used to collect rain water, they are typically set up to collect the water runoff from the roof. They are placed under the downspout of the gutter and have a large opening on the top for the water run into.

They come in a variety of sizes, anywhere rom 30 to 100 gallons and are made from wood or plastic. The cost to purchase a rain barrel starts at $80 upwards to hundreds of dollars depending on what size and type you buy.

Rainwater is naturally soft so using it for washing your car or watering plants, gardens and lawns is better than using drinking water from or taps. You can also use it to water your indoor plants, and composting (water is needed for natural decomposition of your compost). You can set up outdoor water features with a rainwater filtration system or you can fill ponds and pools with rainwater.

They have many benefits including:

Saving you money – using water from a rain barrel will cut your water bill cost down

Because water is collected in a barrel it will reduce the chances of flooding in your basement or yard

It will also will reduce the amount of pollutants and sediment that are usually washed away with rain water into our storm drains and local streams

Because it is slowly released into the ground it soaks in and slowly will supply water to the local streams between storms.

During summer months, many cities and municipalities have water restrictions, by collecting rainwater we can still keep our plants and lawns looking healthy. Collecting rainwater is an great way to conserve this water which is a precious natural resource that we take for granted. With many of us becoming more environmentally aware of issues, this is a great way to make a difference.