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YWCA Moncton has made the conscientious decision to adopt an environmental lens to guide our work. We are committed to creating and supporting initiatives that strengthen the conservation and protection of the environment. By embracing local recycling solutions highlighted by our Youth Council, committing to paperless administrative goals, having a plant-based menu at our Early Learning and Childcare Centre, composting, and collecting rainwater for our gardens, among various initiatives, we partake in a global effort to reduce the environmental effects of climate change.

Small changes in our daily lives can make a big difference in reducing our environmental impact. Here are ten easy tips for living a more sustainable and eco-friendly life:

Tip #1 Recycle wherever you can

Recycling is one of the easiest, most tangible ways of taking action for the planet. Recycling saves energy and water, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improves air and water quality, preserves landfill space and conserves natural resources. It is also a feel-good activity that sets a positive example for children, families, and communities. Pro Tip: Buy Recycled! At YWCA Moncton, we love our sustainable laptops made from post-consumer recycled materials.

Tip #2 Save water

The average Canadian uses about 335 litres of water a day. Little lifestyle tweaks like taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth, and only running the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re full can go a long way in reducing your water consumption - and making sure we've got enough for the future. At YWCA Moncton, we have installed water-efficient faucets and toilets and collect rainwater to water our gardens.

Tip #3 Use non-toxic cleaners

Unlike conventional cleaning products, green cleaning products are made up of safe, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients. Making the switch to green cleaning products will significantly improve the air quality of your home - and you can (literally) breathe easier knowing you made the safest choice for your family. Canadian company Tru Earth has an entire range of eco-friendly laundry and cleaning supplies. When you shop Tru Earth products through our fundraising store, YWCA Moncton will get 20% on every purchase made!  

Tip #4 Choose plant-based foods more often

If you want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, try eating more plant-based foods. This means choosing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts instead of animal products like meat and dairy. Going plant-based can help reduce your impact on the environment by using fewer resources and creating less pollution. Plus, it's good for your health! Plant-based foods are packed with nutrients that can help you feel better and stay healthy. Did you know that the children in our daycare and after-school program eat plant-based meals and snacks that are freshly prepared on site every day?

Tip #5 Ditch disposable plastic

Plastic waste has become a major environmental challenge of our time, as millions of plastic bottles, bags, and other single-use items are discarded every day. Plastic takes more than 500 years to decompose, and during that time, it pollutes our oceans and harms wildlife. It is also a threat to our health, as chemicals from plastic can enter our food and water supply. Choosing reusable alternatives such as cloth bags, refillable water bottles, and food containers can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable world. At YWCA Moncton, we are taking several steps to decrease plastic consumption such as choosing products with minimal packaging, using eco-friendly materials, and implementing proper recycling practices.

Tip #6 Grow your own garden

This is our favourite tip because it means truly connecting to the earth! Growing your own garden is a great way to reduce your ecological footprint and enjoy fresh, healthy food at home. No yard? Grow indoors – or better yet, create a community garden with your neighbours and friends. Gardening is also good for the soul. Taking care of plants and watching them grow can be therapeutic and calming, reducing stress and anxiety. Did you know that the children in our daycare and after-school program help us grow vegetables, fruits and herbs in raised garden beds and that most of our offices have an indoor hydroponic garden?

Tip #7 Drive greener

By driving more sustainably, you can significantly reduce your ecological footprint and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world. Not only is it a win for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run. Why not opt for a fuel-efficient vehicle or drive slower and smoother to cut down on fuel costs? You can also choose eco-friendly transportation options like walking, biking, taking public transportation, or carpooling to reduce your impact on the planet.

Tip #8 Go paperless

Another small change that can have a significant impact is to reduce paper usage. By switching to digital documents, using electronic billing, and printing double-sided or better yet not hitting that print button at all, you can save trees, conserve water, and reduce carbon emissions. At YWCA Moncton, we moved to a paperless office system by eliminating paper-based processes, adopting new digital tools, and getting team buy-in!

Tip #9 Save energy

Making simple changes in your daily routine can help you save energy and reduce your ecological footprint: turn off lights when you leave a room, unplug appliances when they're not in use, adjust your thermostat to a more energy-efficient temperature, and use natural light instead of artificial light whenever possible. You can also save energy by washing your clothes in cold water, taking shorter showers, and using a programmable thermostat. These small changes can go a long way in saving energy and fighting climate change. Plus, they can also help you save money on your monthly bills!

Tip #10 Help clean up your neighborhood

Why not participate in a neighborhood clean-up event… or consider organizing your own clean-up? You'll not only help make our community a cleaner and safer place to live, but you'll also be doing your part to protect the planet we call home. Cleaning up our streets, parks, and waterways is a simple yet effective way to reduce waste, prevent pollution, and preserve our natural resources. Plus, it's a great way to connect with your neighbors and make new friends while working towards a common goal!

We hope that these tips inspire you to make sustainable choices and join us in the effort to protect our planet. Together, we can create a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

Do you have a tip you would like to share with us? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram!

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