Tips for Living Sustainably and Fighting Climate Change

Are you concerned about climate change and wondering what you can do at home to help reduce emissions and adapt? Here are lots of suggestions and please check back often as we keep adding to the list.

  • Be an energy saver at home:
    • Draft-proof your house and seal air leaks
    • Add insulation
    • Install energy retrofits like LED light bulbs, high efficiency shower heads, and hot water pipe wrap, etc.
    • Buy energy star appliances when you need to replace one
    • If your home is energy efficient, then consider going solar and install solar photovoltaic panels to power your home
    • Build your own rain barrel to help conserve water and energy, use it to water flower gardens, clean your car, etc.
    • Conserve water by turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, take shorter showers
    • Turn the lights off when not in use
If your home is energy efficient, consider going solar
  • Be a waste warrior:
    • Build your own compost bin
    • Get some composting worms for a kitchen compost bin
    • Eat less meat and dairy, try out some meatless Monday recipes
    • Buy less packaged foods and items
    • Choose plastic free items whenever possible
    • When you are ready for new toothbrush, choose a bamboo one
    • Grow your own veggies
    • Make your own household cleaning products
    • By used clothing
    • Host a clothing swap with friends
    • Support the second hand market, shop online for used items or check out local tool lending libraries
    • Shop local and support local farmers and crafters to cut down on wasteful transportation of goods
    • Pack a lunch using reusable containers and cloth baggies
    • Bring your own water bottle, travel mug, metal or plastic straws and containers when you go to get take out meals
    • Use reusable bags and mesh produce bags when grocery shopping
    • Use reusable beeswax food wrap instead of plastic wrap
    • Use cloth and cloth bags to wrap gifts (pillow cases and cloth ribbons work great and look fancy!)
    • Start a plastic bag ban petition
    • Don’t pollute
    • Keep waterways and coasts clean
    • Organize a beach clean up
    • Maintain your septic system
Use reusable containers and reduce single use plastics
  • Be a green driver or passenger:
    • Bike, walk, take the bus or carpool
    • Join or start a ride share or car share program
    • If you need a car, buy the smallest one for your needs with the best fuel efficiency, buy a hybrid, or an electric vehicle
Ride a bike, carpool, take a bus whenever possible
  • Be adaptable to climate change and be prepared and safer during severe weather events (blizzards, floods, forest fires, etc):
    • Plant a rain garden to help collect rain water and reduce localized flooding
    • Dig up pavement and replace with permeable pavement, gravel, paving stones, etc.
    • Plant more trees and perennials
    • Seal cracks in your foundation
    • Ensure proper grading around your home (have the land slope away)
    • Keep eaves, storm drains and culverts clear of debris
    • Extend downspouts at least 6ft from your foundation
    • Seal leaks around windows
    • Clear snow away from foundation in winter
    • Separate storm and sewer drains
    • Install a backflow valve and or sump pump if appropriate for your home
    • Store important and hazardous items up high
    • Elevate electrical panels, hot water heaters, furnaces, etc.
    • Anchor fuel tanks and make sure vents and fill lines are above flood levels
    • Install a water alarm that will let you know if water is in your basement
    • Have someone check your house when you are away
    • Create a family flood plan (include where you will meet up if you get separated, how will you communicate, where will you stay, what will you do with pets and livestock, what emergency numbers will you need, how will seniors will be taken care of, etc.)
    • Have a 72 hour emergency kit and fill it with canned and dried foods, water, cash, prescriptions, insurance documents, identification, a crank flashlight and radio, candles, tools, toilet paper, toiletries, first aid kit, camping supplies, and more
    • Also have a “go kit” ready for times when you need to evacuate quickly like during a forest fire or storm surge
    • If building or buying a new home or place of business, don’t locate in a flood zone (eg. low-lying river or coastal locations), also explore erosion rates for coastal areas
    • Consider purchasing flood insurance including sewer backup and overland flood coverage if available
Make sure you have an emergency kit and can fend for yourself for 72 hours during a storm or other emergency
  • Be resilient:
    • Caring about climate change and the future of the planet can be scary and stressful but we can’t give up!
    • Take time to appreciate your efforts and don’t take responsibility for things outside your control
    • Take a break from the news and social media
    • Focus on positive changes
    • Find ways to relax like spending time in nature, yoga, dance, gardening, sports, etc.
    • Then, when you are ready, continue to take more of the actions listed here and influence others to do the same.
Combat climate stress and eco anxiety by taking a break from the news and social media
  • Be political, get involved and help change the system:
    • Vote for municipal, provincial and federal candidates that share your values
    • Or run for election yourself!
    • Write letters and contact your government representatives to explain the changes you want to see and offer suggestions for how they could make it happen
    • Start a petition
    • Start or join a march to raise awareness
    • Join an environmental organization and volunteer, sit on the board, join a committee, etc.
    • Make donations to environmental non-profits and charities, give donations as gifts
Join a march, write a letter, vote for candidates that share your values
  • Be the change you want to see:
    • Start a committee or environmental group
    • Start an education campaign
    • Start a bulk purchase of Red Cross emergency kits or solar panels
    • Start a solar co-op
    • Write articles for your local paper
    • Volunteer in schools
    • Start a bulk food/packaging free store
    • Start a car share program
    • Run for election or help on a campaign
    • Organize climate change week in your community
Be the change you want to see