Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Green Resolutions

Bibi van der Zee from the Guardian has made her 2009 pledges to be more 'green' which has encouraged me to look at ways in which I can be more green in the upcoming new year by making small changes to my household consumption.

1.) Waste - While I currently recycle most of the household waste that I can, the City of Vancouver currently does not offer an organic waste disposal means. So for the past year I have been talking about building my own worm farm or finding a way to donate my compost waste to my local neighborhood garden. So my waste resolution for 2009 is to accomplish one or both of those. Also, I resolve to consume less in general thus producing less waste overall.

2.) Water - Last year I installed water saving taps on all my sinks and the shower in my apartment and put in a water saving pouch in the cistern of my toilet so each flush uses less water; however technology is only half the solutions. Changing my water use habits is also an important step. Therefore my water reduction resolution for 2009 is to use less water when showering, turn off the tap more frequently when doing the dishes (and make greater use of the basin water) and check more frequently for leaks in our pipes.

3.) Electricity - All of my lights have been switched to CFLs, anything that goes to standby mode (except my microwave) gets unplugged, and I make sure to turn off lights that aren't being used (or other appliances like my computer) and use reusable batteries among other efforts. However, a couple of items in my apartment remain on when not necessary, like my modem, my wireless, and often my speakers. Therefore, my electricity resolution for 2009 is to turn off these items at night and when I'm not using them for long periods of time.

4.) Transport - I currently use the Vancouver public transport to get around to places that are too far to walk. On the weekend and when I do longer trips I use the car sharing company, Zipcar to get around. All of their vehicles are either hybrids or small, fuel efficient cars. I usually only take them out a couple of times a month. Last year I averaged about 100 kilometers a month with Zipcar. My major flying time in the past year was my trip to Australia. I took the train to get back for Christmas last month. My major transport resolution for 2009, other than to reduce travel overall, is to buy a bike. Yes, it's true, I do not yet have a bike, but would like one to get around to more places within the city without taking public transportation.

5.)Socially - I currently volunteer weekly with Oxfam Canada. My current 2009 resolution to be socially more sustainable is to continue to volunteer regularly and encourage others in my community to take their time to contribute to the community and the environment. For events around Vancouver, including volunteer activities, please visit my calendar or follow me on Twitter.

Those are my 'green' resolutions for 2009. Please feel free to comment or share yours.

Happy New Year!


pottygirl said...

Toilets account for approx. 30% of water used indoors. By installing a Dual Flush toilet you can save between 40% and 70% of drinking water being flushed down the toilet, depending how old the toilet is you are going to replace.
If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I would highly recommend a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. Caroma toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. On an average of 5 uses a day (4 liquid/ 1 solid) a Caroma Dual Flush toilet uses an average of 0.96 gallons per flush. The new Sydney Smart uses only 1.28 and 0.8 gpf, that is an average of 0.89 gallons per flush. This is the lowest water consumption of any toilet available in the US. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the nineteen eighties and has since perfected the technology. Also, with a full 3.5″ trapway, these toilets virtually never clog. All of Caroma’s toilets are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s and also qualify for several toilet rebate programs available in the US. Please visit my blog to learn more or go to to learn where you can find Caroma toilets locally. Visit to see how we flush potatoes with 0.8 gallons of water, meant for liquids only. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli

Nicole (可心) said...

Thanks for the tip! I agree that dual flush toilets are the best option for reducing water use. However, as I currently lease my apartment it is difficult for me to change major appliances without owner approval which is why I have installed a temporary fix with my toilet tank bag (also called a toilet tank bank. I will however bring this up the option of a dual flush toilet with my landlord.