Stirling Eco Justice is a small group of people from teens to seniors in the Stirling-Rawdon area. As Stirling Eco Justice will no longer have a website, Council have approved posting some of their valuable information to our Stirling-Rawdon website as follows:
“The mission of Stirling Eco Justice is to provide information, inspiration and opportunities to challenge all residents of Stirling-Rawdon to participate in fighting climate change, and to work together with other climate change workers on common visions for our community.”
Take a Hike
and walking provide you with energy instead of taking carbon-producing energy
sources from the earth. Your energy is
measured in calories so when you use your own energy you use calories which are
stored as body fat so walking and biking can help you lose weight and fat. Using your body also strengthens muscles,
improves your lungs, lifts your mood, helps fight chronic diseases and moves
you to new places you may never have explored before. That’s a whole lot of free perks and
lots of fun, too. As you
explore the many things that Stirling has to offer, smile at the folks passing
by. That’s the friendly small-town way around here.
hikes were submitted by a number of residents of the Stirling area. Enjoy!
The Amish folks in Stirling area use ecologically friendly transportation. You may meet their horses and wagons when you are walking or bike riding in town, or in parking lots around town. Please remember that their horses are working animals. When you meet one on a roadway, please move to the side to allow them to pass safely. If you are walking with a dog, please hold the dog tightly and close to you. Please do not try to pat the horses. Thanks for respecting our Amish friends.
#1: A short, family-friendly walk in
town with lots of treats.
A river, a playground, a covered bridge and creamery. On to enjoy ice cream and a story at the library. Fun for the entire family.
If you came by car, park in the paved Henry St. parking lot across the road from the park entrance. Walk the short distance along Henry to the bridge and pause here. Admire the view toward the west of the bridge.The Rawdon Creek meanders along, with trees overhanging at this point. Cross Henry St. to the park and enjoy the basketball or tennis courts and the grassy field. Perhaps you will watch a bit of a baseball game while the children explore the playground equipment. Washrooms are in the brick building near the ball field.
When you have finished trying out all that the park has to offer, exit the park through the east gate and onto John St. Turn left here and walk to the end of the road.Carefully cross Front St. to savour the views from the bridge (often large fish visible under it) and admire the surrounding flower beds courtesy of the Horticultural Society. Be sure to come back at Christmas time, too, and be amazed at the beauty of the lights in the Covered Bridge area and Mill St. shops.
From the Covered bridge cross back over to the other side of Front St. and head east. Very shortly you will come to the Creamery. There is a picture window through which you can see the machines which churn the cream into butter. If you are in luck, there will be a batch of butter in production for you to observe.
Continue westward along Front St., Jimmy’s is a good place to stop for a meal if it is time to refuel your body. The Beautiful Things shop offers gently used items, including housewares, clothes, and games and toys at very reasonable prices. If you enjoyed the flower display at the covered bridge, stop in at Blooms Flower shop. Inhale the scents and take home some fresh flowers to remind you of your trip. Further along Front St. you will find the Stirling General Mercantile, a wonderful old store full of memories. Do you remember penny candy? Rediscover some old favourite toys or games. Don’t forget to have an ice cream cone. They come in a delicious array of flavours. Another seasonal ice cream booth on Front St. also has a cool selection of treats. Our public library ranks among the most creative in its programs. There are toys for the young ones, computers and a printer and photocopier. The art gallery resides within the library as does the Musical Instrument Lending Library. Don’t pass by without checking them all out.
When you have spent all of your energy, schedule another day in Stirling, then head for your vehicle in the Henry St. parking lot.
#2: This short walk leads along the old
rail bed, through a wooded area to a charming bridge and beyond to farm fields.
If you are from out of town you can park at the Grand Trunk Railway Station at 122 North St. This is a good place to explore after your hike, or on another visit. On North St. turn right (to the south) and near the LCBO you will find an entrance to the old railway trail. It is now a ski-do and pedestrian path which you will recognize by a small “stop” sign at the right height to be seen by ski-do riders. Head east along the trail, crossing Edward, Baker, and William Streets. Follow the trail as it eventually crosses the Ridge Road. There’s a bridge in a picturesque area there, still on the trail, and it’s a neat place to explore. This is a scenic walk, and we burned 115 calories. Bonus! Probably a 2 km hike.
Route #3: Try this scenic hike or bike ride for an energizing dose of exercise. A brisk walk around this route will strengthen your heart, lungs and legs as well as burn calories. Great views, too.
Tuftsville Rd.-Gallivan Rd.-Eggleton Rd.
6.7 km 207 meters elevation
If you are from out of town, park on Elaine St. along the side of the road. If you need drinks for the trip, stop in at Home Hardware to fill up on cold drinks from their cooler. At the end of Elaine St. near the entrance to the plaza you will find Tuftsville Rd. Curve right onto Tuftsville Rd. and prepare yourself for some scenic views and invigorating hills.
First you will be greeted by the sight of a flat stretch of country road with a steep hill in a short distance. This hill is the most strenuous part of the trip. Take it slowly if you like, enjoying the sights along the roadsides. The rolling hills and fields surrounding you change colour with the seasons, and they are beautiful at all times.
In the spring you can see marsh marigolds in the ditch on the right side of the road. In the woods further up the hill on the left (around house #353) the ground is covered with white trilliums around Mothers day or shortly afterward. Abundant wild flowers line the roadsides throughout the summer. Coloured leaves grace the fall trees. Wild turkeys and various other birds and small animals inhabit the woods around you. You may see chipmunks, foxes, deer, squirrels, snakes, turtles and more.
When you arrive at Gallivan Road turn to the right.
Some of the Amish population live in this area and you may see them getting their exercise and producing fresh food for us by hand and with horse-drawn implements. You may also meet them along the roads driving their horse drawn carriages. See the note at the bottom of this sheet for etiquette when meeting a working horse.
Walk along Gallivan Road. Wooded land mixes with farm land along here. In the woods on your right you will sometimes see red trilliums in early spring. The sumac in the fall are stunning. White birch trees stand tall on the left side of the road. Soon you will come to Eggleton Rd. on your right. At this corner you may see horses in the field on the corner of Gallivan Rd. and Eggleton Rd. Turn right onto Eggleton Rd. This is the downhill part of the route. Farms along this road raise cattle, chickens, roosters and sometimes donkeys.
The roadsides are again decorated with wild flowers, especially in the summer. Keep stopping along here to look at the view over town to your right. The view changes frequently depending on your location. Fields of corn, beans, wheat and other crops are producing more good food for us and for the livestock. Admire some of the old farm houses as well as more modern homes along this stretch of road. At the bottom of the hill turn right toward town. Watch carefully while you walk along the roadside, as cars come quickly down the Oak Hills. You are almost back to your vehicle. Keep going along the roadside until your see the Shell Station.
If you are hungry from your trip, you may want to drop in to the Shell station to refill your drinks or to pick up a pizza from the Pizza Pizza which is located inside the Shell station. From here you will be at your vehicle in a few short minutes. If you prefer to eat your pizza in a park you will find one near the mailboxes on Rodgers Dr. which you passed on your left just before the Shell Station.
Route #4: Country Roads or through the woods. It’s your choice in this route.
Tuftsville Rd.-Goods Rd.-Ridge Rd. About 7 km.
If you are from out of town, park your car on Elaine Street and put on your walking shoes. This walk involves walking up the Tuftsville Road hill to start, and takes 1 to 1 and ½ hours. You’ll be walking about 6.8 kilometers (4.2 miles), but take time to catch your breath and enjoy some lovely views and roadside flowers.
Walk along Elaine St to Tuftsville Rd. (toward the Home Hardware plaza) then turn right and head up hill. Along the way see farms and woods, with springtime flowers like trilliums, blossoming fruit trees and ferns, and fields planted for fall crops. Both the roadsides and long views are pretty now, and ever changing. In about 5,300 steps (aren’t cellphones wonderful?) you’ll reach Goods Road. Turn left and head along Goods (it’s downhill from here) and look out across the woods and some beautiful vistas of Stirling’s farmland. Careful! – watch for a few electrified fences.
About 250 steps from the intersection of Tuftsville, look left at a storybook dirt laneway, curving through the trees heading for a rooftop in the woods. (We’re sure there’s a house under that roof.) Do the 7 dwarves live there? Looks like it.
Continue along Goods Road to a 4-way stop where you’ll come to Stirling Surplus at the intersection with Evergreen Road. Stop in for a drink and a browse. And bonus – there’s a portable toilet outside if you feel the need. Then continue left on Evergreen with some pretty woods and farms, until you get to Ridge Road. If you’d rather get off the beaten path, once you turn onto Evergreen, immediately veer further left onto the gravel trail and walk the trail through the woods for a while. It will get you to Ridge Road nearer Stirling village.
Whichever way you walk (road or trail) turn left on Ridge Road when you reach it and continue on into Stirling. Some shops are open now, so browse your way back to Henry Street Park.
Route #5: A scenic bike ride through town and along the river.
Front St. to Rosebush Rd. to lift lock.
18 km. Mostly flat terrain.
4 KM – Starting at Stirling’s Front St. (and only lights), travel West up Main Street past the many small shops including restaurants, a charity shop, The Stirling Mercantile (every kids favorite), a wine making store and ice cream stand. Continue and you will make a left turn at the first street just past the Stirling Arena onto Fairground Rd. Continue on Fairground Rd passing several farms and open spaces (take note of the lone tree in the middle of a farm field on the left – I call it the “Tree Of Forgiveness” after the late great John Prine singer songwriter as it resembles the tree emblematic on his Canadian tour in 2018.
2 KM – Fairground Rd road comes to an end at the junction of Utman Rd, with a beef cattle farm on the right. Hang a left on this short road and at the stop sign turn left onto Rosebush Rd, traveling along the curves and then a long stretch of produce farmland, all the way to the eastern end of Rosebush which ends at Frankford – Stirling Rd. Along the way you’ll start to see glimpses of the Trent – Severn Waterway on the right. When the road straightens out take note of an Osprey nest way up on a pole on the left hand side. (If it is Springtime you’ll be fortunate to see a family of Osprey with babies who return each year to nest and raise their new brood).
4.2 KM – At this juncture turn around and return back down Rosebush Rd. past Utman Rd. Rosebush continues all the way to Glen Ross where you’ll turn left at Glen Ross Rd. Along this most scenic 3 km part of the ride you’ll be following the Trent River on your left, along the winding and somewhat narrow Rosebush Rd. After turning onto Glen Ross Rd. you’ll immediately cross the Trent-Severn Waterway Lock 7 swing bridge. Stop at the lift lock on your left for a picnic under the large old trees. Tables and washrooms are provided so you can sit, relax and watch the boats go through the lock system before returning along Rosebush/Utman/Fairgrounds; Front Street roads to your original starting point at Stirling’s only traffic lights (hard to miss). Your eighteen kilometer journey should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes minus any stops along the way.
#6: A North walk with a food twist. And maybe buffalo! This is a lovely walk/ride for burning carbs
on a not-too-hot day. Open views allow
for some nice breezes.
8 to 14 km bike ride with gently rolling farmland and 1 or 2 moderate hills. North St.-Stirling Marmora Rd.
Park your car in the village at the covered bridge on County Rd. 14 and then head north on North Street, the one that passes the grocery store. On your right, take a look at St. John’s Anglican, a little gem of a church whose records date from 1859. A fire in 1847 destroyed all the older records. On your left you’ll pass the old Grand Trunk Railway station, which was in operation for 80 years, until 1962. Now it’s the Stirling Rotary’s meeting room and sometimes collectibles shop. A farmers’ market is under consideration for the future. In less than a kilometer you’ll see Jessie’s Jams, where produce is sourced locally (mostly) and you can buy irresistible jam, jelly, salsa and garden ornaments. Jessie’s only sells in Ontario and their products are in local grocery stores, but you can stop at the shop yourself for even more varieties. Call ahead for hours.
Then just keep walking north and enjoy the views. One little ‘sighting’ we found rather charming – at about 2955 Stirling-Marmora Rd., on the left, two farms are connected by a little footbridge across a stream, with a lovely weeping willow shading it. Nice photo op. Further north, on your right, you’ll see a prosperous Amish farm selling home-grown pork sausage, bacon etc, and sometimes chicken and eggs. No Sunday sales, as is customary with the Amish.
If you’re really energetic, keep going till you reach 3346 Stirling-Marmora Rd. It’s about 12 kilometres from the village traffic lights, so may be better suited for people doing the route by bicycle. This will get you to the Ontario Water Buffalo Company. The farm is home to 600 water buffalo and in the summer you can see them grazing and enjoying the ponds. The farm has the first milking herd of water buffalo in Ontario, and sends its milk to Vaughan, Ontario to be turned into mozzarella, ricotta and other cheeses. It also sells its meat products. Until Covid-19 shuttered some activities, you could call ahead for a guided, or a self-guided, tour. These will start up again once we get the all-clear. There’s also a shop where you can buy, among other things, water buffalo gelato. The shop hours are 11 to 4; right now only 2 customers are allowed in at a time. Go to their website to check status if you’re thinking of indulging.
Route #7: Easy walking on sidewalks and gravel trail. No hills.
Front St. to Business Centre, returning along hiking trail. About 3 km.
Park on Front St. just west of the traffic lights at the centre of town. If parking is unavailable here, you can use the St. Paul’s Church parking lot a short block right from West Front St. on Station St. Station St. is almost directly across the road from The Towers Retirement Home on West Front St.
Walk west along West Front St. taking time to pick up a drink if needed at one of the shops. There are a variety of interesting shops between the traffic lights and Station St. You can find anything from wine making supplies, art and framing, gently used goods and an old fashioned candy shop called The Mercantile.
When you are prepared with drinks and snacks, proceed west along West Front St. enjoying the architecture of the old homes along with their shady trees and flower gardens. On the north side of the road, watch for a miniature railway in a front garden. Continue along West Front Street until you come to the Business plaza in which a variety of businesses make their home. Rona, Stirling Carpet, the Post Office are recognized easily as landmarks at this point. You can check out some of the interesting businesses as you walk up the first driveway to this plaza. You will know you are on the correct driveway if you see the Post Office on your right. Continue walking to the end of this driveway and you will find the gravel trail going to the east and west. This was an old rail bed. Turn right onto the trial, heading east. You will see a few fields growing crops along here, reminding you that Stirling was a hub of a farming area. As you come back into town, you will see a couple of opportunities to turn right and return to West Front St. if you prefer. An interesting alternative is to remain on the trail until you come to the old Railway Station. This building now houses a railway museum, an antique store and the Rotary Club hall. Outdoors on the property the Rotary Club is constructing a small park.
On the trail there is a large sign describing the history of the railway. The trail continues out to North Street. Here you will find the LCBO where you can pick up a bottle of wine for a picnic in one of the local parks. Subway restaurant is next door to supply your meal. Or you can continue to the right along North St. to Foodland and pick up whatever you wish to create your own picnic. A short distance past Foodland you will be back to West Front St. where you can turn right return to your vehicle or spend more time exploring the shops.
If you prefer another short walk and a scenic place for a picnic, you can turn left at the traffic lights onto East Front St. and walk a short distance to the Covered Bridge. A picnic area is there along with a lovely floral display provided by the Horticultural Society. It’s a beautiful spot to rest and refresh yourself after your walk.
Route #8: Town and Country. Flat route along town streets and winding country roads.
Front St. to Campbellford Rd. to Lake St. then North St. about 5 km.
the Covered Bridge on East Front St., or park on West Front for a shorter walk.
Proceed west along Front Street admiring the variety of businesses and further
along the stately old homes and gardens. Keep going until you reach Campbellford Road. Turn right onto Campbellford Rd. and head
north, passing from the town toward the farm country. Depending on the season, you will see fields
sprouting crops or the wind rippling through tall corn stalks. You will see barns and farms in about 1 km. When you arrive at the corner of Lake St.,
turn right and continue along Lake St. to see beef cattle, crops and country
homes. Inhale the fresh air and consider
what you could grow on your own property. How would it feel to work on a farm and feed
your neighbours near and farther afield? Lake St. ends at North St. Turn right here,
heading back into town. On the way you will pass the Municipal Building and
Fire Station. Further along Jessica’s
Jams offers home made spreads made on the premises. There are also concrete lawn ornaments sold
here. You will soon come to a small
plaza where Subway and the LCBO are located, along with a hair salon. Further along is Foodland grocery store and,
near the corner of Front St., Allure Day Spa. Jimmy’s Special Pizza offers great pizza on
the corner of North St. and West Front St. Jimmy’s also has many other items on the menu.You can pick up a picnic or a take-out
meal at any of the restaurants to replenish your energy after your walk, or
stop in for a pedicure at the spa. What a refreshing way to get healthier and
explore the Stirling area.
Route #9: A gorgeous all-season route to walk, cycle or cross-country ski.
A walk through mature woods with streams, bridges, and a few fields of crops or cattle. 9.2 km or less, depending on your wishes.
Park at the Stirling Surplus Store side parking lot. Go into the store to pick up some snacks and drinks for the hike, and let them know that your car is parked while you use the trail.
Note: There are two entrances to the trail near this corner. Do not take the trail right beside the store building. Start across Goods road, heading east. The route is simple: just follow the trail as far as you wish then return by the same route. If you go about 5 km you will come to Tuftsville Road and may take this for the return trip but it is less interesting and does not decrease the time very much.
Along the way you will find many lovely views of mature trees, both deciduous and coniferous. In the spring there are wildflowers along the sides of the path and lilac bushes near the junction just before you reach Tuftsville Rd. In summer you may see cattle grazing and bales of hay in fields just beyond the trees. The coloured leaves in fall and the snow in winter change the scenery for additional reasons to try this trail in every season. There are streams and ponds along the way, with sturdy bridges over the water. Stop and savour the views up and down stream. Enjoy the dappled sunlight through the trees and the gentle breezes and shade on a hot summer day. This is a trail to make you think you are on holiday away from town which you can reach within minutes of driving.
If you are feeling very energetic you can start and end this trail at the trail entrance at the Mill Street entrance in Stirling, just east of the corner of Sutherland Rd.
Route #10: Historic, scenic and a hill for an extra dose of exercise all in one walk.
A 2 k.m. walk with a lovely view from the top of the hill. Lots of history to learn about along the way.
Start at the covered bridge on East Front St. (The water level here fluctuates with the seasons. You can come in the spring to experience a faster flowing creek on which you can canoe or kayak downstream. Be sure to take your time and watch for obstacles overhead and in the water.) Enjoy looking at the water today and hearing it flow over the dam. Then proceed onto Mill St. If you are hungry and need some fuel for your walk, stop in at Jenny’s Country Kitchen for a snack or a meal. There are a number of interesting old buildings along Mill St. As you start your walk heading east along Mill St. you will come to the corner of St. James St. You will immediately notice the Feed Store by its distinctive country aroma. It still provides seed for crops, for birds to eat and lots more. If you are lucky you will witness a farm truck beside the store and be able to watch the chutes in action. At one time this building was used as a theatre. The Stirling-Rawdon Public Library is a great resource for the history of some of Stirling’s old buildings. The building that housed the mill is across the street from the Feed Store. Continue walking East along Mill St. until you come to Baker St. Turn left onto Baker and walk up the tree lined street. At the end of Baker there is a foot path up to a cemetery. Look around in the cemetery at some of the dates on the stones. You will see many names of the builders of the community which are still familiar family names today in the area. Walk west along the paths among the stones and stop near the center of the cemetery to admire the scene of the farm land not far away. Can you see the large bright orange barn? Follow the paths to the west and emerge from the cemetery onto Edward St. Cross Edward St. and head to the left. You will very soon come to a driveway north of the Catholic Church. The driveway leads to the Stirling Legion building. Follow that driveway and pass the Legion building to emerge onto North St. Turn left on North St. and walk along until you come to the old Train Station. There is an information board there with a brief history of the railway in this area. There’s lots more to learn inside the Railway Museum, so come on in. There is also an antique store in the building where you can find some interesting treasures. The Rotary Hall is in the back of the building. The Rotary Club is building a park area beside the Train Station, where you can sit and enjoy the shade. When you are informed about railway history, refreshed at the park and ready to continue your walk, continue south on North St. If you are hungry after your walk or want a quick picnic lunch, Subway Restaurant will be coming up soon. Proceed along North St. to Front St. and turn left. You will soon be back at the covered bridge again, healthier and better informed than when you started. Congratulations!
It’s not just carbon from cars, plastics, cattle.
We have to look at how things are manufactured to see how simple steps can reduce the carbon being released.
For instance, water. Canadians love our lakes and rivers, and we know that we have the most fresh water in the world. But fresh does not mean drinkable. Every liter of water we use in cooking, drinking, washing cars, showering, goes through a lengthy cleaning and sanitizing process. This means that electricity is used for each liter, not to mention the chemicals etc. that go into purifying water.
So every liter of water that we don’t use saves electricity.
But thinking back even further, consider this. In order to get our water to – and from – our homes, pumps and turbines are needed. What are they made of? Metals. Where do they come from? Mines. And what do mines need to function? Machines. Machines built from minerals that are, themselves, mined and smelted. Many mining machines are fueled by carbon heavy fossil fuels. Most machines have to be transported from the manufacturing facility to the mine sites. Again, on trains and trucks using fossil fuels.
All of this is a wordy way of saying that everything we use and consume every day needs to be viewed as its life cycle, not just as what ends up in our homes.
So every liter of water we don’t use saves electricity, reduces the need for chemicals, reduces the mining of ores and minerals to build new machinery, reduces the transportation of these machines…and all of these things reduce carbon emissions.
Life cycle thinking can be applied to so many things we use, so being conscious of how we get them is a powerful tool against climate change – give it a try!
How much do you pay
Have you ever counted how much you spend on garbage each year? I don’t mean how many bag tags you buy to have garbage collection from your house. Let’s look at the whole cost: the cost to you financially and the cost to the environment of the purchases we make.
If you bought your child a gift for a special occasion, you paid the sticker price for the gift. You also paid for all of the packaging, often many layers of plastic, paper, tape and staples. You paid for the disposal of the wrapping and also the disposal of the item itself, whether through trash collection or recycling. If you bought a poor quality item or an item which is used for a short time because the child is no longer interested in it, or because it is out of style, you may have replaced it with yet another item which cost you more dollars. You may have also paid with your health. Everything you buy has an impact on the environment and the deterioration of the environment leads to decline in the health of all life on the planet, human life included.
The environment has also paid with its health. Everything you purchase, from a head of lettuce wrapped in plastic to a new vehicle impacts the environment. The mining to obtain minerals to make metal, the cutting of trees to make paper, the drilling for oil to make plastics all pollute the air and water. The manufacture of the items further produces toxic pollutants. The transportation of the raw and finished materials cost the environment even more.
It is not possible to live in Canada without purchasing things we need to eat, wear, and move about. We don’t have much choice about that. We can, however, decide to consume what we need rather than everything we might want. When we do purchase items we need, we can choose to consider the environmental cost rather than just the financial cost. We can refuse over-wrapped items and items which are soon discarded to make way for more items. We can refuse to buy garbage.
Around the House
- Consider trying Tru Earth products which can be found on-line. They have no plastic packaging and are environmentally responsible.
- pass along outgrown clothes
- trade clothes, games, toys with friends or family for variety
- fill a spray bottle with water and 2 tbsp of vinegar to clean windows and mirrors
- Baking soda and vinegar removes clogs from drains. Put 2 tbsp baking soda into the drain. Follow this by 1 cup of vinegar. After 15 minutes, pour a kettle full of boiling hot water into the drain. Do this if the drain is slow. Also do it once per month to keep drain clear.
- Baking soda removes stains from counter tops, both aluminum and ceramic sinks, tea stains in cups and much more.
- Vinegar removes plaque build-up in kettles or pots. Just soak overnight.
- Washing soda also cleans sinks, laundry. Mix with equal parts borax for extra whitening.
- Wax paper is compostable. Try it in place of plastic bags.
- Use real dishes, not disposable.
Decrease Food Waste
waste is a huge problem in developed countries.
the average Canadian household food waste amounts to 140 kilograms
of wasted food per year – at a cost of more than $1,100 per
year! For Canada as a whole,
that amounts to almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food wasted each
year, costing Canadians in excess of $17 billion! For more information and tips see:
- Share leftovers in single meal portions for single neighbour or friend
- Buy just what you need or can store safely until used
- Make soups or casseroles from leftovers in the fridge
- Eat leftovers for breakfast or snacks
- Make soup or casseroles from leftover food, or share it with a neighbour who cannot cook for himself.
- Compost scraps
- Share rides
- enjoy the outdoors on foot, canoe, ski, snowshoe, bike
- walk rather than drive short distances. Vary your route.
- plan errands to use the car effectively
- offer someone a ride when you go for groceries
- Plan your outings to do many errands in one trip, rather than driving multiple times. Take public transit if possible to decrease the frustration of finding a parking spot, slipping on icy roads and idling in traffic.
- Carpool. When attending a concert, or church, or other event, or doing your shopping, take a friend or neighbour. It’s a great way to share time with someone else, and decrease the cars on the road.
Do it yourself
- plant a garden; even indoor potted cherry tomato to decrease food transportation distances
- plant a tree in your yard; fruit tree or bush
- borrow a book on organic gardening
- As a family, decorate a tree for the birds with edible decorations. This keep the birds healthy and can be done in your own yard or neighbourhood, no transportation required.
- Have a games night at home, or watch a seasonal movie at home.
- Decorate with natural items instead of plastic ornaments.
- Go for a hike, or walk around your neighbourhood instead of driving a distance for expensive entertainment. Look for Christmas displays or create a scavenger hunt for small groups to do together.
- Farmers market for fresh food and to help build your community.
- Buy local products whenever possible. You support your neighbours and transportation of goods over long distances is avoided.
Live your values
- decide what you really “need” and what you just “want”
- borrow or rent or share items which you seldom use e.g. roto tiller,
- refuse to purchase over-packaged products; inform manufacturer of your reason for not using their product
- Start slowly. Try one new environmentally sustainable tip per month
- research your choices to be sure they really are environmentally friendly; don’t rely on advertisers’ marketing
- When giving gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or other special occasions, give gifts of relationship rather than consumer items.
- Buy food from ethical, sustainable sources to support workers and the environment.
- Tip: The first “R” stands for “Refuse. Refuse to purchase any item that you will use only once or twice and then throw away. Refuse any item that is poorly constructed and will last only a short time before you discard it. Refuse to use disposable wrappings.
- Refuse to purchase any item that you will use only once or twice and then throw away.
- Refuse any item that is poorly constructed and will last only a short time before you discard it.
- Refuse to use disposable wrappings. Try newspaper with a red bow, re-used wrapping paper, gift bags, or a useful wrapper such as a dish towel to wrap a kitchen item.
- If you use the advice, “Get rid of one thing for every new thing you buy” in order to avoid a clutter of “stuff” in your home, donate the used items to thrift shops or to someone who could use them.
- Send photos or e-cards instead of paper cards.
- Use real dishes, not disposable.
- Choose gifts made of natural materials such as cotton, wood, silk or other biodegradable, renewable resource.
- Share or borrow items that you may use only once such as a large coffee maker, punch bowl or extra silverware.
Saving Non-renewable Energy
- use a clothes line
- Wash only full loads of dishes or laundry and do it at a time when electricity is less expensive.
- wear a sweater rather than heating entire home
- close heating vents and doors in rooms that are not used daily
- turn down your water heater
- sailors shower
- Think about where your savings are invested. Consider divesting from funds which support the oil industry or other carbon emitters. Invest in renewable energy sources.
- Bake when electricity is not in great demand, that is when rates are less expensive. Freeze your baking and it is ready when guests arrive.
- Use LED lights and put all lights on timers so they automatically are turned off after a given time.