When I read that a local school (Sussex High School) won a $25,000 technology grant for their sustainability initiatives I was inspired.
The school was awarded the prize in the Staples Superpower Your School contest in recognition for all sorts of in-school eco projects. They grow a school garden (and donate the produce to community groups), students completed an energy and environmental impact audit and developed recommendations for improvements based on their findings, and they have substantially reduced students’ consumption of bottled water. These students and staff are what Earth Day Canada calls VGPs – very green people.
It’s inspiring because they’re making environmental initiatives part of their everyday school life and they’re teaching the community that’s it’s all very doable.
With Earth Day around the corner can we follow the lead of Sussex High students in our everyday lives, and try to live like it is Earth Day every day?
This year’s Earth Day Canada challenge is to clean our commute, to work and school. (Almost half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US come from the energy we use to power our homes and our cars. Greening your commute can have a big impact on the environment.)
Here are seven ideas from Earth Day Canada to reduce the environmental impact of your daily commute:
Drive better. If driving is your only option practice driving better. Driving the speed limit can reduce fuel consumption by 10% and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t idle. On average Canadians idle their vehicles five to 10 minutes a day. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 emissions than restarting your engine. If Canadians reduced their idling time by just three minutes a day the environmental impact (reduction in CO2 emissions) would be equal to saving 630 million litres of fuel, and taking 320,000 cars off of the road for the entire year.
Service Your Vehicle Regularly.Keeping the car in good working condition reduces gas consumption by up to 10%.
Properly inflate your tires.Tires not properly inflated can increase fuel consumption by 6%. Under inflated tires wear out much faster than properly inflated tires.
Consider buying a hybrid vehicle when it’s time to replace your car. As of 2014 there were over 30 hybrid car models to choose from in Canada.
Carpool or take the bus. One bus, on average, takes 57 cars off the road.
Walk more. Join the Walking Wednesday initiative and walk to school (or someplace your normally drive) every Wednesday. You’ll get exercise and save on greenhouse gas emissions.
On Earth Day, get inspired. Take the lead from Sussex High School and make sustainability part of your every day life.
During the month of April, NB Power is offering rebates on select single and multipack LED bulbs and water-efficient showerheads. Until March 31, 2016, there are also Smart Habits mail-in rebates on select energy-efficient appliances are also available (clothes washer, refrigerator)..
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