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Eco Challenge

Posted on 21 March 2019

Here are all the Eco Challenges I've posted.  If you have done or are doing any of these please tag us on your social media & we'll repost you.  Tag @lemonberry_ca and #EcoChallengeXLB

I'd love to hear you comments. 

Leave them in the section below :)

Eco Challenge Day 1🌿 We’ll start off easy. The first challenge is reuse your bags and ditch the plastic. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment. As it breaks down, plastic particles contaminate soil and waterways and enter the food web when animals accidentally ingest them. ... Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle 🐢 and other marine animal deaths every year.
If you’re like me, you may have a bunch of reusable bags but often forget to bring them into the store. I’m #guilty of this. I’ve found that if I immediately hang them at my front door or, better yet, put them immediately in my trunk when I’m finished with them - my chances of bringing them with me when I shop greatly increases. It’s all about forming new effective habits. 
So today, I challenge you to consider your reusable bag use. If you don’t use them, please consider trying them. If you have some but don’t bring them with you, do you too have habits that hinder their use? Could you change them to increase their use? 
At Lemonberry, if you bring back our reusable bags...in picture above ⬆️...for your next purchase, we will give you $5off any purchase over $50 (before taxes & reg.priced goods).❤️

Eco Challenge Day 2🌿Today is to switch out your plastic toothbrushes for a biodegradable one.
Plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years to decompose! They settle into the landfill and release chemicals into the air. This results in even more damage to the environment. A lot of this plastic gets broken down into smaller pieces. These small pieces called micro plastics end up being ingested by nearby marine life. One could even end up in your meal. 
This challenge is a little more difficult because these brushes cost a little more (better if you buy in bulk) & it takes some getting use to using bamboo handle over plastic. I feel like it’s worth it because It helps reduce the plastic in landfills & helps the environment....plus your not putting plastic in your mouth. Is your toothbrush BPA free?
Lemonberry now carries @brushnaked brushes (click here $5.98) in the store....see picture above ⬆️ We also carry the the bamboo toothbrushes w charcoal bristles (click here $6.98). (Charcoal bristles are known to absorb chemicals such as chlorine from tap water. The charcoal works by acting like a magnet for plaque and tannins that may stain teeth.) We also have a bamboo toothbrush travel tube (click here $19.98). 

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 3🌿 today is to reuse your coffee ☕️or tea mugs/holders/cups.
This will be one of the most challenging eco challenges for me as I am a coffee lover & I have several cups a day. 😳 ☕️ I do use the throw away cups & after doing some research found out that those cups are not recyclable. I toss mine into my recycling bin but apparently the inside of the coffee cup has a wax or plastic liner to prevent leaking...that material prevents it from being recycled. The lid, if it’s white or any other colour than black, is recyclable. If the lid is black, it is not recyclable. I didn’t know that. Estimates suggest that Canadians use between 1.6 and 2 billion disposable coffee cups a year! That’s a lot of trash.
Today I brought my coffee mug to @starbucks and they used for my coffee order. You save 10¢ on your order. It’s not a lot but it’s something.

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Or places you reuse your coffee/tea mug? I would like to try to reuse my mug at Tim Hortons as well & see what they do. Has anyone tried that? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 4 🌿 is to use less water. 
Using water-saving techniques can save you money and diverts less water from our lakes, rivers or other water sources which will help keep the environment healthy. It reduces your carbon footprint as less energy is used to pump water which contributes to greenhouse gases, and leads to climate change.
Conserving water means using our water supply wisely and be responsible. Only 2% of the Earth's fresh supply of water is locked in ice caps and glaciers, while 97% of the earth's water is saltwater.
Here are some techniques:
- use water saving shower heads
- Take shorter showers 
- Take showers over baths which use more water (some say opposite- I guess depends the length of shower or how full the bathtubs is)
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth
- Use rain barrels
- Use eco setting on dishwasher.

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 5 🌿 is to reduce plastic packaging. This relates to buying items that are packaged in plastic or where you package sandwiches at home.
If you think about it, pretty much everything you buy is packaged in something. The packaging protects the items between processing and to the end use. Resources and energy are consumed and pollutants are released during production, transportation and disposals of packaging. About 1/3 of landfills is packaging. ‘The Canadian plastics industry aims to make all plastic packaging recyclable or "recoverable" by 2030, and actually entirely diverted from landfills by 2040.’ Emily Chung @cbc News. 
Here are some ideas on how to reduce:
-instead of plastic wrap- try containers or wax wraps. 
-bring containers to bulk places. bulk barn accepts that now & I use it often. 
-but things in bulk 
-don’t put anything with a peel you get at the grocery store in a plastic bag. 
-use containers instead of ziplock for sandwiches.

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 6🌿 is to eat local/seasonal food. This is a little difficult because we live in Canada and it’s hard to get anything local in the winter but in the warmer months there are lots of markets to attend as well as local farms.
When you buy local, it’s fresher and more nutritious. Fruits & vegetables lose there nutrients 24hours after being picked. Buying locally also supports local economy & reduces carbon footprint. When buying produce, check to see where it’s coming from (posted beside the price) Seasonal eating includes eating fresh fruits and vegetables that haven’t been processed or transported long distances. Processing foods includes things like tinning, blanching and dehydrating foods to enhance their life span.
Here is what’s in season for March: rutabagas, turnips, beets, carrots, cabbage,red onions, garlic, leeks, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes.
What markets do you attend during the year? We go to @aroundthebend a lot. Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️
📷: @dreamywhiteslifestyle 

Eco Challenge Day 7🌿 use reusable water bottles. 
80% of plastic water bottles end up in landfills. They leak harmful chemicals into the soil and harm marine life. 
Disposable water bottles are convenient but it comes with a cost. Plastic bottles contain harmful chemicals like BPA which is not good for your health. 90% of bottled water’s costs come from making the bottle. It requires 3 times the amount of water to make a water bottle than to fill it. Sounds silly. The pollution in making the bottle and transporting it also causes harm to the environment and create a big carbon footprint. Convenience seems to be the biggest issue. The best solution is just to get rid of them altogether but here are some suggestions to reduce water bottle use...
- have a water bottle ready every morning. 
- Have reusable water bottles for everyone in the family 
- Recycle ♻️ water bottles
- Support companies like @mattandnat who use 100% water bottles for their lining in their products. Approx. 21 plastic water bottles are recycled for every bag they produce.
- Get a water filter at home if you don’t like tap water.
Here is a cute glass water bottle by Matt & Nat in the picture above ⬆️. It has a 100% bamboo lid which is sustainable, it holds hot or cold drinks, filter for loose teas or to infuse fruit in water, BPA free and it comes with a sleeve for easy storage or to take on the go. Get it here.

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 8 🌿 mend or fix your garments.
If you don’t have the skills to fix an item you can go to a seamstress to fix a zipper or take in an inch. There are also many DIY Videos you can watch to fix a hole in a sock or reattach a strap. 
Buy things you love & take care of them❤️
It doesn’t only have to be garments. It could be small appliances, shoes or furniture. I love my boots but they’ve seen better days. I need to take them to a repair shop. Any ideas?

Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 9 🌿 Cook from scratch. 
When you buy ‘take out,’ many items come along with it - packaging, cups, utensils, napkins, etc. We use those items for 10mins and then they are thrown to the landfills. When we purchase ingredients from the grocery store it creates less waste than when eating out. 
Bonus: it’s costs less to cook from scratch & it’s healthier - maybe put the savings toward a night out at a nice restaurant.

Picture in post is a meal I made from the @ohsheglows everyday cookbook p.113 curried chickpea salad. I opted for the lettuce leaves instead of the pita.

Eco Challenge Day 10 🌿 Put plants for your home.
Indoor plants can purify the air in your home & can even remove toxins/pollutants. In a society that is spending more time indoors, adding some nature is beautiful but also healthy. 
Based on NASA research, these are the most effective houseplants for removing air pollutants.
- peace lily
- Florist chrysanthemum
- English ivy
- Snake plant
- Cornstalk dracaena
- Red-edge dracaena
- Broadleaf lady palm
- Flamingo lily
- devil’s ivy
- Lilyturf

What plants do you have in your home? Comment below.

Eco Challenge Day 11 🌿 Shop local 🛍

Shopping local reduces environment impact. Transportation is a big reason why. Local businesses make more local purchases so less transportation is needed. In total you would be contributing to less pollution, less traffic congestion, less habitual loss & resource depletion. In total it helps the environment but it also helps your economy. Your community, town, city, country becomes more self sufficient and less dependent on imports. Local businesses also creates more jobs and supports their communities. 

What are your favourite local shops (food,restaurants,clothing,shoes,grocery, etc.)? Let’s share the love ❤️ 
Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 12 🌿 Eco-Spring cleaning.

It’s that time of year where you’ll be spring cleaning & getting ready for the warmer weather.
Here are some great ideas to keep in mind when doing all your spring cleaning tasks.
- recycle when possible - donate unwanted clothes & furniture.
- Use cleaning products that are safer for you and your family and the environment - biodegradable, eco-friendly & non-toxic
- Hang your laundry outside to dry. Have you ever done that?...your clothes smell amazing! It’s so fresh ☀️
- Use rags instead of paper towels for cleaning. 
- Freshen up your carpets with a sprinkle of baking soda & vacuuming it up.

Do you have any other ideas for an eco-spring cleaning? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 14 🌿 Walk more.

In suburban areas, we are very car bound. If you are close enough to any destinations, try walking to them. You can also walk and drop off your kids to school every morning/afternoon if you can. I’ve enjoyed doing that and it’s a great start to my day.
Walking is not only very beneficial for our health and well being but it can also play an important role in improving our quality of life because it helps protect and improve the living environment as well as our natural resources. You will emit less pollution and reduce congestion. 
The time you may spend working out you could replaced with a simple walk outside for exercise - plus It’s free and you’re breathing fresh air and it reduces stress. 

Do you take walks or have any other ideas? Tag them below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 15 🌿 Take care of your jeans.

Double tap if you live in your jeans and have shed tears over having to toss out your favourite pair 💔. Here are some great tips on how to extend the life of your jeans - If you’re a jeans lover like me nothing would make you happier 👏🏻. Not only will you keep your fav. blues longer but you will keep them from the landfills and help minimize the impact on the environment. 
Here are our tips:
- wash your jeans as little as possible. If you can refrain from washing your jeans for at least 10 wears you will reduce water usage by 77% and will extend your denims life. You can do spot cleaning or hang outside to freshen up. 
- Washing your denim in cold water is a good idea because hot water may ruin the elastic/stretch in your denim. Washing in cold will also make the original colour last longer, reduces shrinkage, saves you money, saves energy and saves the environment.
- Do not put your jeans in the dryer. It ruins the stretch in your jeans & they don’t bounce back quite as well over time. Hang or lay flat to dry. Yes they will be stiff, but after a few mins your body heat molds them again. 
- Think of your jeans elasticity like that of an elastic band - when they dry up by heat, they just crumble, it’s the same with you jeans. Stay away from heat.
- Repair your holes or let them show - distressed denim is still in 
- Wash your jeans inside out to help reduce fading and colour loss

How do you take care of your jeans? Do you have any other ideas? Comment below ⬇️

Eco Challenge Day 16 🌿 Ditch plastic straws.

‘United Nations figures show nearly nine million tonnes of plastic — bottles, packaging and other waste — enter the ocean each year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain. Straws add up to about 2,000 tonnes. They also account for 4% of plastic pollution by pieces.’ Maham Abedi Global News.

That 4% might not seem like a large amount, but they are actually one of the easiest plastics to eliminate as it’s typically a single use item. Straws are one of the tops items found in beach clean ups. 

Replacements:
- Don’t use one
- Paper straws
- Stainless Steel straw (picture in post) click here.
- Glass straws
- Bamboo straws

What do you use ? Do you have any other ideas? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 17 🌿 Replace make-up remover wipes & single use rounds with reusable rounds & wash cloths.
I used to use single use cotton rounds to take off my make-up every night. Can you imagine the pile of wipes/single use rounds from every woman in just one night? Apparently makeup remover wipes take years to biodegrade (there may be a few types that biodegrade quicker however - read the materials).
I’ve recently started using these new reusable organic cotton rounds we just got in & although it takes a bit of getting use to (they have a different texture than the single use cotton wipes I’ve used) I now like them a lot & won’t go back. I was having difficulty finding these rounds for myself so I decided to put them in the store (click here) because I know they are not easy to find.

What do you use? Do you have any other ideas? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 18 🌿 Eat more veggies.

No matter what your diet is, eating more vegetables is just healthier. The Canadian food guide recently came out with a new food guide line. There is an emphasis on plant based proteins, increased fruit and vegetable intake, and a decrease in meat & dairy. 
By eating veggies you are lowering your carbon foot print. Animal agriculture contributes 14.5% to global greenhouse gas emissions, according to United Nations. They state ‘the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.’

Do you eat a lot of veggies? What are your favourite recipes? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 19 🌿 Go paperless.

A simple way to have a huge impact on the environment is through reducing paper consumption. A tree can only produce, on average, 17 reams of paper, and takes about 100 years to grow. By reducing paper usage, you can have a direct impact on reducing our carbon footprint - going paperless helps to reduce C02 (carbon dioxide) emissions. After all, turning a single tree into 17 reams of paper results in around 110 lbs of C02 being released into the atmosphere. 

Here are some ways to start reducing paper usage:
- pay bills electronically 
- Do banking online 
- Put a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on your mailbox
- Use an electronic calendar 
- Use apps for organizing like @evernote
- Scan documents 
- Opt out of catalogs/junk mail lists
- Decline receipts- @lemonberry can email your receipt to you 
- Use cell phone for notes
- Digitalize your signature- you can do it in PDF - I have! Super easy to sign documents now without printing & scanning.

Going paperless will clear up your home office, take away your filing cabinet (more space) and take away clutter. This is something I have started, but still need to really work on. 

Do you use any amazing organizational apps? Do you have any other ideas to go paperless? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 20 🌿 Grow your own food.
Have you ever taken a tomato 🍅 right off the vine and eaten it? Nothing tastes better! Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to plan a small garden. You don’t need a lot of space, a lot of ppl even garden in planters. 
Not only are you nourishing yourself with fresh delicious food, but you are helping the environment. Growing your own garden reduces your carbon footprint, connects you to nature, adds more oxygen to the air, and to top it all off you can make your own organic food with no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. 
Gardening is also a great place to include kids. They love all aspects of it and learn a lot - it’s a great way to connect them to nature. 
Finally, check out indoor garden towers for year round gardening (I am!). I’ll keep you posted on my finds:)
📷: @oprah 

Do you plant a garden? What plants do you grow? Any tips?Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 21 🌿 reduce plastic straws part 2 ✌🏻
A few challenges ago I posted about the harm of single use straws. I’m going to have to double down because we just got in an amazing alternative to plastic straws and I absolutely love them! I’m giving one to each of my kids as well as my husband and we are going to be using them from now on. It’s called the collapsible straw by Final Straw and you can carry it where ever you go. 
The inner elastic material is made from medical and food-grade silicone. The case is made out of recycled plastic. The straw is BPA & latex free. 
You can use it in hot liquids and it’s dishwasher safe (the case is not).
Each straw comes with a case (which you can attach to your keys to it so you never forget it), drying rack, and cleaning squeegee.

Do you use reusable straws? If you do, what kind? Comment below ⬇️ 
Eco Challenge Day 22 🌿 hang your clothes to dry ☀️
Hang or lay flat to dry in your home or outside. This uses less electricity, preserves the quality of your clothes, and they’ll smell fresh too. 
Do you prefer to hang to dry or just use the dryer? Comment below ⬇️ 
Eco Challenge Day 23 🌿 make eco choices day to day.

Small things add up - and today’s challenge is to just make small everyday choices that are ‘eco-oriented’.

Here are some ideas:
- ice cream in a cone instead of cup.
- Glass bottle drinks instead of plastic.
- Glass bottled milk instead of the containers or bags.
- Farmers market shopping 
- Reusable lunch containers
- Use recycled paper
- Use more eco friendly light bulbs

What are other eco replacements you do? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge Day 25 🌿 Reduce your in home coffee waste.

Life’s necessities: water, food, Lemonberry, shelter...... and coffee!☕️ 
I love coffee and have about 2 cups a day, but there are environmental concerns that come with this addiction. Hence, I’ve been investigating ways to reduce waste when making coffee at home.
Regarding Pods: In 2015, 9 billion k-cups were sold 🗑 - that’s a lot of waste. Consider a reusable pod, or a compostable one.
Grinds: put them in your garden, or at least the green bin.
Filters: use a compostable one or reusable one. You can also opt to use a French Press - that’s what I’ve been trying, and I really like it!

How do you brew your coffee? Comment below ⬇️
📷: @_kickscoffee
Eco Challenge Day 26 🌿 Use reusable utensils when out or for lunches.

“It is estimated that close to 40 billion individual plastic utensils are produced each year, and with such low rates of reuse and recycling, most of them end up in our landfills, beaches, and oceans. They are likely to remain there for hundreds of thousands of years.” Whole foods magazine
I try to carry straws & utensils with me - especially with my lunches. I also have an extra stash of utensils/straws in the car for impulse take out meals. We travel a lot too and it’s great to have on the road.

Unfortunately we are sold out of the bamboo utensils right now but we are getting more. Let me know if you want to be on the list 💕

Do you reuse your utensils? Comment below ⬇️
📷: @bohoandhobostudio @chimptreats 
Eco Challenge Day 27 🌿 reduce your use of plastic wrap.

You don’t have to use plastic wrap to store your food - there are other ways: containers, pots, beeswax wax paper, etc.
No need to always rely on plastic wrap. 
I often use an @abeego wrap when storing left overs. It is made with beeswax, tree resin, and organic jojoba oil infused into a hemp and organic cotton cloth. It molds to the item you are wrapping by the warmth of you hand. It seals very well and is reusable. If you are heading to the One Of A Kind show @ooak_toronto in Toronto this weekend (and you should - it’s a great show!) they’ll be there. The show runs March 27-31 and is worth the trip. I’ll be going for sure! 

What do you use to store food in the fridge? Comment below ⬇️
📷: @abeego 
Eco Challenge Day 28 🌿 use biodegradable floss.

Most dental floss is made out of nylon or teflon and the thread is coated with waxes. This super-strong thread won't decompose so it shouldn't be flushed down your toilet. The floss ‘pick’ actually has more plastic in it than floss, which takes about 30-50 years to decompose. 

Do you use floss? What kind? Would you consider switching to a more environmentally friendly version? Comment below ⬇️
Eco Challenge 29 🌿 Compost.

Making and using your own compost is actually very easy, and very beneficial. 
Benefits of composting: Recovering and recycling food waste diverts organic materials from landfills thus reducing these emissions; The use of recycled food waste as compost improves soil health and structure; it increases drought resistance; and it reduces the need for supplemental water, fertilizers, and pesticides. 

You can use compost for your flower OR vegetable garden (I believe gardens do not use meats in their compost). It’s a great way to dispose of your food wastes and your soil turns out amazing. Most importantly, you know what’s in it. When you buy soil - and even compost or fertilizer - you never really know what’s in it. The last batch of ‘weed free’ soil we purchased brought with it an epidemic of weeds that I’m endlessly trying to control. 

Do you compost? What type of outside container do you have? Any tips? Comment below ⬇️

📷: @the_mellow_window
Final Eco Challange 🌿 Celebrate Earth Hour 🌎@earthhourofficial #connect2earth
It is predicted that the oceans will be filled with more waste than fish by 2050. That is pretty disturbing and it is what we are leaving behind for our kids, and generations to come, to have to deal with. I personally would like to reduce that mess as much as possible and that’s what these eco challenges are all about. I am far from perfect, but I believe these small changes can help. 

Today, more than 8 million tones of plastic a year are released into the oceans - apparently, that’s the equivalent to a full garbage truck dumping its load into the oceans every minute, 24/7, 365 days a year!

As accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss threaten our planet, Earth Hour endeavours to spark never-before-had conversations on the loss of nature and the urgent need to protect it.

Double tap if you will be participating in Earth Hour? What are you planning on doing? Our town is celebrating Earth Hour at City Hall. Will you turn out your lights tonight? Comment below ⬇️

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Eco Challange🌿 

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