N the following mythbusters and newsletter inserts can be use to inspire others to commit to simple solutions. Cut and copy them to into emails, newsletters or correspondence

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The following mythbusters and newsletter inserts can be use to inspire others to commit to simple solutions. Cut and copy them to into emails, newsletters or correspondence. These inserts are divided into five sub categories—Transportation, Food and Drink, Purchasing, Building, Workspace & Home, and Events & Holidays. Check them out!
ewsletter Inserts and Mythbusters

Index (Ctrl + click the listing for more detail)

Transportation 3

Mythbusters 3

MYTHBUSTER: The Traffic Turtle and Hare 3

MYTHBUSTER: Idling Incentive 4

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts 4

Fewer Car Trips 4

Tire Pressure 5

Food & Drink 6

Mythbusters 6

MYTHBUSTER: Water Bottle Blues 6

MYTHBUSTER: Bamboozled by Bottled Water 6

MYTHBUSTER: The Dish on Dishwashers 7

MYTHBUSTER: The Whole Package on Lunch 7

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts 7

It’s all in the Worms—Vermicompost! 8

Waste Free Lunch 9

Purchasing 10

Mythbusters 11

MYTHBUSTER: The Butt Buster 11

MYTHBUSTER: The Dirt on Green Cleaners 11

Building, Workspace & Home 12


Mythbusters 13

MYTHBUSTER: CFLs—Health Hazard or Not? 13

MYTHBUSTER: Hey You! Turn it off! 13

MYTHBUSTER: Pretty Paper Perturbed 13

MYTHBUSTER: Drycleaners—is there a better choice? 14

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts 14

Go Green in Your Fall Routine 14

Staying Cool 15

Spring Cleaning Your Windows and Fridge


Events and Holidays 23

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts 23

Environment Week!




MYTHBUSTER: The Traffic Turtle and Hare

Myth:The amount of fuel my vehicle consumes has nothing to do with my driving habits.”
Buster: Driving habits have a huge impact on fuel consumption. Rapid acceleration and aggressive driving can use up to 40% more fuel than conservative driving. Slow and steady will save you money, still get you there and you’ll be more relaxed when you arrive.

MYTHBUSTER: Idling Incentive

Myth:Turning off my car too often hurts the starter, so it’s better to idle.”

Buster: According to Natural Resources Canada, frequently restarting a vehicle’s ignition has little impact on engine components. In addition to this not being harmful to vehicles’ starters, it also saves money because less fuel is burnt. In fact, ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting a vehicle! If Alberta’s 2.3 million registered vehicle owners reduced their idling time by five minutes per day, the province's greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 224 000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to heating over 28 000 Albertan homes.

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts

Fewer Car Trips

The One Simple Act says, “You can reduce your carbon footprint one step at a time.”

Did you know that every year the average Canadian takes approximately 2,000 car trips that are less than three kilometers long? On the average, Canadians produce half of their annual greenhouse gas emissions from driving.

Here’s an example about how those short car trips add up. One six-kilometer round trip emits 1.8 kg of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. If we reduce one six-kilometer trip a week, it eliminates 93.6 kilograms of emissions per year. That is equivalent to 3,744 blown-up party balloons filled with carbon dioxide, which is also equivalent to what is produced by one car trip between Edmonton and Calgary.

Take the first step. Decide to commit to one simple act and reduce your carbon footprint beginning this summer.
• Make one fewer car trip every week. Combine errands to reduce the number of car trips.
• Dust off the bicycle and take it for a spin. Cycling can be fun, save you money and it’s great for your health.
• Walk to replace those short car trips.
• Get to work by taking the bus, carpooling, riding a bike, walking or combining any of these methods.

Tire Pressure

Laura from Calgary says, "Check your tire pressure at least once a month!"
Did you know that 23 per cent of vehicles have at least one tire under-inflated by more than 20 per cent? Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 20 per cent (8 psi) can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 km and can increase fuel consumption by 4 per cent. Properly inflated tires provide you with a safer drive, extended tire life and fuel costs savings. It can also reduce emissions that contribute to climate change.

Measure your tires’ pressure at least once a month. To learn how to accomplish this one simple act, visit Be Tire Smart - Play Your PART (http://www.betiresmart.ca), a program of the Rubber Association of Canada.

Food & Drink


MYTHBUSTER: Water Bottle Blues

Myth:Water bottles are recyclable, so there is no harm in buying them.”
Buster: Although water bottles are a recyclable material, very few bottles end up being recycled. According to University Cornell, it is estimated that in 2005 alone approximately 30 billion plastic water bottles were purchased, with only about 12% recycled. The remaining 25 billion bottles were sent to the landfill, littered or incinerated.

MYTHBUSTER: Bamboozled by Bottled Water

Myth:Bottled water is much better for me than tap water.

Buster: As a food product, the quality of bottled water in Canada is regulated; however, Alberta’s tap water must meet even higher standards. Some bottled water comes from the same municipal sources that supply tap water! Drinking tap water is easy on your wallet and on the environment because it eliminates the need for wasteful plastic packaging that can end up in landfills.

MYTHBUSTER: The Dish on Dishwashers

Myth:It takes way less water to wash dishes by hand then it does to wash them in a dishwasher.”

Buster: The University of Bonn did extensive research that showed washing the same amount of dishes with a modern dishwasher will use half the energy, one-sixth the water and less soap than if hand-washed. But remember to only run the dishwasher when it is full and do not pre-rinse – that’s the machine’s job!

MYTHBUSTER: The Whole Package on Lunch

Myth: “The amount of waste created making my own lunch is the same as going to a restaurant for lunch.”
Buster: A disposable take-out lunch creates between four and eight ounces of garbage that can add up to as much as 100 pounds a year. Compare this to a lunch made at home that can be packed in reusable containers, which creates less packaging waste. In fast food restaurants, take out packaging and utensils account for 26 560 tonnes of waste in Canada per year.

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts

Solar Tea
One Simple Act says, “Celebrate Summer with a Cup of Solar Tea.”
Have you ever tried to save some electrical energy by using solar energy? Here’s a simple and interesting way to celebrate the summer and enjoy a delicious drink at the same time. It’s easy, fast and delicious.

Make solar tea. Solar tea? It’s nothing more than tea that has been steeped using the sun’s energy rather than using electrical energy to heat the water.

You’ll need:
• Large glass jar or jug container with a lid to keep the insects out
• 3-5 tea bags of your favourite tea
• A sunny spot

Fill the container with tap water. Place the number of tea bags equivalent to the volume of the jug. For example, one tea bag for every 300-500 ml. Gather the tea bag strings together and place under the lid to hold the tea bags in place. You can also use loose tea by putting the tea in cheesecloth and continue the same way. Steep in a sunny spot.

The longer the tea sits, the stronger the tea will taste. Take out the tea bags when it suits your taste. Drink now or chill for later. For ice tea, pour over ice and sweeten to taste. Add a lemon slice if you like. Another refreshing tea is with fresh mint leaves wrapped in cheesecloth and steeped.

Ahh, there’s nothing like solar-brewed tea!

It’s all in the Worms—Vermicompost!

Lindsey from Edmonton says, “Set up an indoor vermicompost!”

Did you know, almost one-third of our everyday waste is food scraps? Composting organic materials can save hundreds of kilograms of waste from landfills and create great soil material for next spring’s garden. A vermicompost is small, convenient, odor-free, and best of all, anyone can have one – regardless of whether you’re renting an apartment or living in your own home.

To get started you will need a bin, moist shredded paper, and peat moss, brown leaves or straw. You will also need some special red wiggler worms (not local earth worms). The worms eat food scraps (like apple cores and vegetable peelings) and produce great compost for your house plants, garden or flowerbeds.

Why not make your one simple act composting at home! Learn more by visiting the City of Edmonton’s worm composting webpage. http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/garbage_recycling/worm-composting.aspx

Winter Composting
Laura from Calgary says, “Composting is possible – even in winter!”

Up to 40 per cent municipal solid waste is food material. By composting organics we can create a major reduction in the amount of waste trucked to landfills. Although typically associated with summer and the growing season, composting activities can be carried out all winter in two ways:

Outdoor composting: Your composter’s activity will slow down in the winter but you can still add to the bin. If you run out of bin space, save your materials in a plastic container outside (low temperatures will cause it to freeze). Get a jump-start on the spring by starting your composter as winter arrives. Be sure to add ‘brown’ items such as newspaper, coffee filters and dried grass in the spring to balance the fruits and veggies you collected all winter.

Vermi-composting (or worm composting): This type of composting can occur year-round inside your home. It’s a great way for people in apartments or condos where outdoor composting is not an option. Kept in a plastic, sealable bin (in a closet or under the sink), the low-maintenance, odourless worms eat food scraps and make compost that is a perfect addition to your garden or houseplants in the spring.

The Clean Calgary Association offers a helpful outdoor compost guide at: http://www.greencalgary.org/resources/composting/

For more information on vermi-composting, visit Alberta Environment at: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/6188.pdf

Waste Free Lunch

Laura from Calgary says, "Pack a waste-free lunch!"

Convenience products and single-serving food items generate a lot of disposable packaging. The best way to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfill is to not create it in the first place. A waste-free lunch means you use no throwaway packaging. Pack your healthy food and drinks in reusable containers, add your own silverware, include a cloth napkin and enjoy! For more tips on waste-free lunch ideas, visit http://www.wastefreelunches.org.



MYTHBUSTER: The Butt Buster

Myth:Recycled toilet paper is too scratchy and rough to consider using.”
Buster: Toilet paper made from 100% recycled content that can be purchased today is just as soft as non-recycled brands, plus it is often cheaper too. The average person uses 100 rolls of toilet paper per year! Recycled toilet paper reduces the amount of virgin wood that is needed for manufacturing and also closes the recycling loop. If consumers do not purchase recycled products, manufacturers wouldn't have a use for the recycled materials and they would become trash, defeating the purpose of recycling.

MYTHBUSTER: The Dirt on Green Cleaners

Myth:Green cleaners don’t work as well as conventional multi-purpose cleaners.”
Buster: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the typical home is on average two to five times more polluted than the air just outside. This largely because of household cleaners and pesticides. Although green cleaners are not disinfectants, with a little effort they will clean as well or even better than conventional multi-purpose cleaners. Incorporating green cleaning products will reduce the number of contaminants in the workplace and homes, and it also reduces contaminants from entering natural water bodies through waste water.

Building, Workspace & Home


MYTHBUSTER: CFLs—Health Hazard or Not?

Myth:Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs) emits high intensity UV light that is harmful to humans.”

Buster: Recent research has suggested that some people who are sensitive can react to the higher UV light or electromagnetic currents that some CFLs emit. If you happen to be one of these individuals or if you sit within 30 cm of a CFL for more than one hour per day consider buying CFLs with a diffuser over the spirals and this will cut out the small amount of UV produced.

MYTHBUSTER: Hey You! Turn it off!

Myth:Turning your computer on and off wears it out.”
Buster: A decade or so ago this might have been true, but not anymore. Today’s computers are designed to handle 40 000 on/off cycles before a failure and that’s a number you are very unlikely to reach during computers five-to-seven year life span.

MYTHBUSTER: Pretty Paper Perturbed

Myth:We don’t really use a lot of paper, so what I print doesn’t really matter.

Buster: Actually, an average office employee uses 10 000 sheets of paper every year, so imagine what an entire office uses as a whole. According to Environment Canada, paper and paper products account for more than 1/3 of all of Canada’s waste. Reducing the use of paper will have a great impact on budget and the environment—so print double sided and think before you print!

MYTHBUSTER: Drycleaners—is there a better choice?

Myth:If my garment says ‘Dry Clean Only’ it must be taken to the cleaners.”
Buster: Most garments that say ‘Dry Clean Only’ can be hand-washed in cool water with gentle, natural soap—especially synthetics, blends and wool. This will not only save money, but also reduce the consumption of products that are harmful to the environment. Eighty percent of dry cleaners use a highly toxic chemical that is harmful to human health and is a major groundwater contaminant in some areas. Another alternative is to check out green drycleaners in your area.

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts

Go Green in Your Fall Routine

One Simple Act says, “You can Go Green Going Back to School and the Fall Work Routine.”

For most people, the fall usually means school and packing lunches and getting back into a routine. Want to know how to pack a lunch that’s more environmentally friendly? It’s easy with a few changes; just remember is to avoid the three Ps: prepared, processed and packaged. Here are some suggestions to go waste-free and healthy at the same time, plus you will save money.

  • Use a refillable bottle for your drink.

  • Eat fresh and you can avoid prepackaged fruits and vegetables. A healthy lunch has foods from all four food groups.

  • Buy local foods and buy in bulk.

  • Use refillable containers for sandwiches, yogurt and other fresh foods.

  • Consider a thermos for cold and hot foods.

  • If you want to keep something cold, include a freezer pack.

  • Remember a cloth napkin and silverware.

  • Pack all the pieces into a reusable lunch bag.

Ta daaa, it’s that easy!

Did you know that a school-age child with a disposable lunch generates approximately 30 kilograms of waste every year?

Staying Cool

One Simple Act says, “There are ways to stay cool when it’s hot.”

Did you know that heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home? Keep your cool this summer and save money by saving energy.

Use these cool simple acts to reduce your energy consumption by 10 to 20 per cent during the summer:

•Keep the house cool by closing curtains and blinds or opening awnings on windows. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat. Here are some tips to stay cool:
• Stay cool by using the microwave, a slow cooker or barbecue instead of the stove.
• If you have central air conditioner, keep the temperature between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius. Install a programmable thermostat with a built-in timer. You can set it to turn off when you leave for the day and turn back on when you return.
• Put a timer on room air conditioners if no one is home during the day.
• Use a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner to help circulate cooler air.
• Refrigerators are one of the largest energy users in the home. Grab what you want from the fridge and shut the door to keep the cold air in.
• Dust interferes with the cooling efficiency of your refrigerator so vacuum the coils at the back or bottom of the fridge regularly.
• Energy creates heat. Turn off your home computer.
• Plant trees strategically to shade your home for future cooling and energy savings.

Saving Water and Dollars

The One Simple Act asks, “How’s your water use at home?”

Did you know that most of the water we use goes down the drain? Understanding where and how much water you use will help you focus on water conservation activities with the most impact. The bathroom accounts for most of the water used in an average home. Showers and baths account for about 34 per cent of our water use and flushing toilets about 29 per cent. Water use increases in the summer due to watering lawns and gardens.

Did you know that electrical energy is required to treat, deliver and remove waste water from our homes? By conserving water you will also reduce your energy consumption.

Use these simple acts to reduce your water consumption by 10 to 20 per cent.

• Turn off the tap when brushing teeth and shaving.
• Take a shorter shower, try three minutes shorter.
• Place a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for a cold drink.
• Install rain barrels to capture rain and use it for outside watering.
• Water the lawn in the early morning; a deep watering of 2.5 cm/1” every seven to 10 days is all your lawn needs.

Save Dollars by Spring Cleaning

Gary Wagner from the Town of Cochrane says, “Spring clean for energy savings!”
- Vacuum all the bathroom, kitchen, and range hood vents so the fan motor does not have to work so hard to move air, and excess moisture, out of your home.
- Check your clothes dryer lint trap and outside vent to ensure no lint has built up and blocked the exit.
- Ensure there is no snow and / or ice build-up on any outside vents, including those on the roof and around any direct vents, like on your fireplace or water heater.
- Examine the weather-stripping around all doors, including your patio door, garage doors, and around all windows. Replace weather-stripping that is no longer working properly.
- Check all caulking and replace any dried, shrunken, or broken beads.
- Check window wells for flooding.

Spring Cleaning Your Light Bulbs & Air Conditioner

The One Simple Act says, “Spring into action!”

After a long winter, for many Albertans spring is the time for cleaning the house. One Simple Act is reminding Albertans that spring is the perfect time to make some changes around the house that improves our environment.

Dust or wipe your light bulbs.
Clean bulbs provide more light for the money. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs in high-use areas with compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures. Compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last longer.

Examine your air conditioner.

Ready yourself for the hot months ahead. If you have an old window air conditioner and it’s in poor working order, consider replacing it with an Energy Star-rated model. They use 10 per cent less energy than conventional models. Clean the air conditioner’s filters regularly too.

Spring Cleaning Your Windows and Fridge

One Simple Act says, “Add energy efficiency to your spring cleaning!”

After a long winter, spring for many Albertans means cleaning the house. One Simple Act is reminding Albertans that spring is the perfect time to make some changes around the house that will help you save money and improve your energy efficiency while saying goodbye to winter.

When cleaning windows, check to see if they are in good condition.
Loose, leaky or single-paned windows allow air to escape, taking your heating or cooling dollars with it. Repair existing windows or consider replacing them with Energy Star-rated windows. They can help reduce your energy costs by 2-12 per cent, reduce or eliminate cold drafts, collect less condensation and reduce noise from the outside. Learn more by visiting Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency website: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca

Remember to clean behind the fridge.
The refrigerator is one of your kitchen’s highest energy consumers. When vacuuming and dusting, remember to clean under the fridge and the condenser coils behind the fridge. Dust can easily build up in hard-to-reach areas causing the motor to run harder and use more energy. If your fridge isn’t working well, consider buying a new one. Today’s models are about 40 per cent more efficient than conventional refrigerators built before 2001. Learn more about refrigerators and products that minimize environmental impacts by visiting Consumer Reports Greener Choices website: http://www.greenerchoices.org.

Stop the Cold Draft—Switches and Fans

One Simple Act says, “Keep the heat in and the cold out!”

Draftproof switches and power outlets on external wall.

It’s amazing how much outside air comes in around openings in your home, especially switches and power outlets located on outside walls. There is a quick fix. Install foam precut pads in behind the plates that cover your outlets. Most home building centers and hardware stores carry them.

Operate exhaust fans only when necessary.
Ventilating fans in the bathroom and kitchen can empty a house full of warmed air in just one hour. Fans serve a very useful purpose so be sure they are on long enough to address the purpose they are serving (e.g., removing excessive moisture buildup) and turn them off when they've completed the job.

Stop the Drafts—Door and Widow Caulking

One Simple Act says “Stop the drafts and let the sun shine in!”
Join One Simple Act by adopting one or more energy-saving tips this winter. We’ll make it easy for you! Our next series of newsletters will share twelve things that you can do to make a positive change on your power bill, and your pocketbook.

Be a draft detective and find your energy bandits.
For about $30 you can stop drafts near windows and doors by sealing them with caulk or weather stripping. With this low-cost solution, you could recover your costs through a reduced heating bill in one month! To see this act in action, check out Good Housekeeping’s Youtube video “Get the Drafts Out of Your Home”. Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXU9KQsst8E&feature=related

Take advantage of heat from the sun - let the sun shine in.
The sun provides natural light and warmth. Open your curtains to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Tips for Green Fireplaces

One Simple Act says, “Make wise use of your fireplace.”

Join One Simple Act by adopting one or more energy-saving tips this winter. We’ll make it easy for you!

Take advantage of opportunities to efficiently distribute heat.
A ceiling fan near a gas fireplace will push valuable hot air down into the whole living area. Also, did you know there are fans available that don’t use electricity? Heat-activated fans improve the efficiency of wood stoves and pellet stoves. They use heat from your stove, instead of electricity, to move air around a room.

Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going.

Open your damper when you have a fire, and be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter. It allows warm air to go right up the chimney. About 15 per cent of a home’s heat loss can happen through an open fireplace damper. Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

Maintaining Your Furnace Filter

The One Simple Act says, “Replace or clean furnace filters once a month.”

Join One Simple Act by adopting one or more energy-saving tips this winter. We’ll make it easy for you! Our next series of newsletters will share twelve things that you can do to make a positive change on your power bill, and your pocketbook.

Replace disposable fiberglass filters once a month.
Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Cleaning or replacing your furnace filter allows your heating system to deliver cleaner air and operate at peak efficiency. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy and last longer as a result. Cleaner air also means less dusting, easier vacuuming, and less time needed to keep your house clean. Consider replacing your disposable fiberglass filter with a reusable electrostatic furnace filter.

Clean electrostatic furnace filters once a month.
Electrostatic filters never have to be replaced. While they cost more to install initially, you’ll save money and achieve one simple act that is friendlier to the environment. Alberta’s landfills will thank you.

Clean your electrostatic filter once a month to help your filter deliver cleaner air and help your furnace operate at peak efficiency. Simply vacuum the heaviest buildup off the filter’s surface, then lay your filter flat and spray with detergent on both sides. Spray the filter with water, turn it over, and repeat until the water isn’t dirty anymore. Just let your electrostatic furnace filter drip dry, and put it back in your heating and cooling system to continue providing you with clean, high quality air.

Chemical Fertilizer Alternatives

Cory from Edmonton says, “I use an organic fertilizer in the fall!”
Did you know that fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn? There are alternatives to chemical fertilizers that are friendly to your pets, children and the environment. Garden supply stores are getting in on the act by carrying organic fertilizers. Try looking for more natural ways to take care of your lawn.

Electronic Billing

Joanne from Edmonton says, "I pay my bills online and by telephone!"

Did you know that eliminating paper waste by banking and paying bills online does more than save trees? Not only is it convenient, I’m also helping reduce the greenhouse gas emissions released by the trucks and planes that transport bills and cheques. Ask your employer to directly deposit your pay cheque to save more emissions. You’ll get your money faster that way too!

Many organizations allow you to opt into electronic billing and paying bills online. Canada Post offers a free service for viewing, paying and managing over 200 types of bills and financial documents. Privacy and security is addressed through an electronic postmark. To learn more visit epost at: http://www.epost.ca

Preview Before you Print

Melanie from Edmonton says, "Use the print preview function. Double-side your documents when printing!" By using the print preview function you will confirm that you are printing only the information you need. By double-siding documents, you will reduce the amount of paper used by 50 per cent.

Watering your Lawn

Kat from Edmonton says, "Water your lawn with a Frisbee!"

Did you know your lawn only needs about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water a week to stay healthy? Put a Frisbee out in the path of your sprinkler and stop watering when it is full. Frisbees are generally 1 inch deep! The bonus? When the watering is done, you can join your friends in a quick round of fun!

Long Grass—Why?

Trina from Edmonton says, "Keep your lawn long!"
Set your mower blades to a higher position. The minimum height for grass is about 6 centimeters. Anything shorter is hard to maintain, encourages weeds and disease and requires more intervention. Longer grass helps protect the roots, creates more shade and reduces water lost to evaporation. Learn more about summer lawn care from Strathcona County (http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/Strathcona/Departments/Recreation+Parks+and+Culture/Parks+Trails+and+Sports+Venues/Good+Growing+Neighbours/Summer+Lawn+Care+Tips.htm)

Events and Holidays

One Simple Act Newsletter Inserts

Greening Canada Day

One Simple Act says, “Celebrate Canada Day with red, white and green!”

Be green while you wear red and white to celebrate Canada Day. Whether you go to the cottage, take a road trip or have a picnic to celebrate our nation’s birthday, there are many ways to be environmentally friendly.

At the cottage. If you are near a lake some ‘low impact’ ideas include: maintaining a natural buffer of three metres along the shoreline and planting native vegetation; using phosphate-free and biodegradable products for washing clothes and dishes; refueling your boat by using spillage control devices; checking or upgrading your sewage holding tank; or building a low impact dock and sharing it with your neighbours.

On a road trip. Plan for a safe and more fuel efficient trip by: checking your vehicle’s tire pressure and ensuring they are up to standard; servicing your vehicle before you go; driving the speed limit; reducing your idling; walking into restaurants instead of using the drive-thru; and on short drives, leaving your windows open instead of using the air conditioner.

Have a picnic. Adopt a new family picnic golden rule: “Take nothing but pictures and memories and leave nothing but footprints.” Reusables are the key. Fill your picnic basket with reuseable items like: cutlery, cloth napkins, and reusable plates and glasses. Save your organic waste for your home compost bin and recycle whatever is left.

Environment Week!

One Simple Act says, “Celebrate Environment Week INSERT DATE!”

Your action counts! The choices you make - big and small - really do make a difference. Environment Week provides us a chance to celebrate these choices. Participating in Environment Week events is also a great way to discover new things you can do for the environment. Let’s celebrate together.

Visit a Green Stop. From Athabasca, to Peace River, to Lethbridge, dozens of communities are delivering Environment Week events hosted by local organizations and community groups.

Participate in Clean Air Day on June X. It's a great opportunity to make your commitment to improving air quality in your community.

Join Alberta Water Quality Awareness Day on June X. Get outside and learn about the water quality of any lake, stream, wetland or other surface water body in your area through free, hands-one water quality testing.

Environment Week is a great time to commit to One Simple Act. Do your part to reduce waste, conserve water and reduce energy consumption and then tell everyone about your One Simple Act commitment by adding your voice to our website!

To learn more about these and other events visit Alberta Environment’s Environment Week website: http://www.environment.gov.ab.ca/edu/eweek/

Greening Mother’s Day

The One Simple Act says, “Green your gifts this Mother’s Day!”

Mothers are special to each and every one of us. Mom will appreciate the thoughtfulness shown by her loved ones for both herself and the environment when you honour her with a green gift this year.

1. Buy local flowers
Try to buy flowers grown locally. Consider giving potted flowers or decorative plants that can be planted in the garden and enjoyed throughout the summer season.

2. Green gift certificates
With a gift certificate Mom can buy what she truly needs. Consider buying a certificate for stores that sell eco-friendly products.

3. Share an experience
Share your valuable time and experience something new with your Mom. Go to a local play. Visit a provincial park. Plant a tree to celebrate Alberta Forest Week. Take a trip together to one of Alberta’s many festivals.

4. Capture old memories
Meaningful gifts don’t need to cost a lot. All it takes is a bit of time and creativity. Create a digital scrapbook. Build an online slide show using your mom’s favourite music.

5. Be an eco-friendly helper
Clean the house for mom, with natural cleaning products of course. Put on your toolbelt and do some quick and easy fixes to help mom reduce energy consumption, conserve water and save money. Caulk windows, fix water leaks, install taps aerators, get motion sensors for outdoor lights or connect up a rain barrel.

Green Hotels

Emily from Grande Prairie says, “I use green hotels whenever possible!”
Did you know hotels can help save the planet? The Hotel Association of Canada created the Green Key Eco Rating Program to recognize hotels, motels and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performance. Green Key locations use resources efficiently and reduce excess waste.

Lower your environmental footprint by staying at a Green Key rated hotel, motel or resort. To find hotels in your area visit: http://www.hacgreenhotels.com/ECOmmodation/find_ecommodation.asp

Earth Day Everyday!

One Simple Act says, “Reduce your impact on the environment this Earth Day and everyday!”

Earth Day is on April XX, 20XX. It is seen by many as a day to renew your personal commitment to the environment. One Simple Act supports Earth Day by encouraging Albertans to reduce waste, conserve water and improve energy efficiency.

Reduce your impact on the environment this Earth Day and everyday! Make your commitment to environmental action and then add your voice to One Simple Act. Learn more about events planned in your community by visiting Earth Day Canada’s website.

To help you live more responsibly consider adopting one or more of Earth Day Canada's "Top 10 Actions for Earth Day 2009."

1. Smart Shopping
- “Buy what you need, not what you want”
- Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed
- Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores

2. Simple Savers
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
- Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
- Weatherstrip windows and doors

3. Transportation Alternatives
- Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
- When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
- Consider car sharing programs or renting

4. Food Choices
- Choose local and organic foods that are in season, and support local food producers
- Eat less meat

5. Washing and Drying
- Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry

6. Heating and Cooling
- In the summer, set your thermostat to 24 or 25 degrees Celsius
- In the winter, set your thermostat to 19 or 20 degrees Celsius
- Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats

7. Close to Home
- Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible

8. Bathroom Basics
- Take short showers instead of baths
- Close water taps while brushing your teeth

9. Careful Cleaning
- Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
- Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

10. Don’t Discard
- Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
- Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers

Greening Easter

One Simple Act says, “Make it an eco-friendly Easter.”

Easter is on its way! With Easter Sunday a week away, it’s a good time to incorporate your new environmental awareness into your holiday plans. Consider adopting one or more of these tips from One Simple Act to make your Easter eco-friendly.

Send Easter party invitations via email.
Free and simple, email can save you time and money.

Use food or natural products to decorate your table.

Create an artistic display by layering pieces of organic fruits and vegetables on skewers and arranging them in wide glass vases. Twigs or spring flowers like tulips and daffodils (especially potted plants that can be replanted outside) are also great decorating solutions.

Choose local foods.

Alberta has many local foods to offer for you Easter dinner. Look for foods grown by local farmers, including turkey, lamb, ham, eggs, carrots, or potatoes.

Buy items with minimal packaging.

You can reduce your carbon footprint by buying items with the least amount of packaging. Consider buying bulk and storing any extra food in old glass jars.

A Green New Year’s Resolution to Keep!

One Simple Act says, “Make a green New Year’s resolution!”

Do you have a hard time even thinking of a New Year’s resolution? Making a grocery list of resolutions isn’t necessary. Maintaining one very good resolution is enough. How about making an environmentally-friendly goal this year? Here are a few common resolutions people make and ways to make them green.

Resolution: Lose some weight
You have resolved to lose the holiday weight and get into better shape. Why not build exercise into your daily routine by walking or biking to work or school? Consider adding fresh fruit and vegetables sourced from a local farmer’s market to your diet. You’ll improve your cardio, support local farmers and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions at the same time.

Resolution: Complete some home improvements
It’s time act on creative ideas by painting or renovating your home. Use non-VOC (volatile organic compound paint) paint and remember to return your un-used paint to your retailer or eco-station. Recycle or donate your old cabinets, doors and other excess supplies. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore accepts most of the items you would generally remove from your home during a renovation and resells them to the general public. Reduce your impact by buying used or recycled materials. Replace your old appliances with energy-efficient ones to save on your post-reno energy bill.

Resolution: Get organized
Getting organized is a popular New Year’s resolution. Use your post-holiday time to sort through closets, collections and cabinets. De-clutter to make room for your new Christmas gifts and to learn what would be useful to pick up at bargain prices in the New Year’s sales. Sort through clothing, shoes, and accessories putting aside any items that no longer fit or are no longer worn. Unwanted items can resold at consignment shops or donated to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or other local charities. Sort through unwanted books, CDs or movie DVDs. Donate them to a local library, sell them through an online auction, or give them to other fans through Freecycle.

Resolution: Volunteer
You resolved to give back because during the holiday season you realized how fortunate we are. Environmental organizations welcome people with a passion for the environment. Take part in a community clean-up or join a local stewardship group. Visit the Alberta Stewardship Network’s website or phone them toll-free (1-877-7-ASK-ASN) to learn about opportunities in your area. You don’t have to join an organization to make a difference. Take direct action by volunteering to organize a green team in your office. Tell others what you’re doing by talking it up on the One Simple Act Facebook site and registering your acts with CBC’s One Million Acts of Green initiative

Greening your Holidays

Heather from Tofield says, “Go green for the holidays!”

Celebrate the holidays and the environment by taking an earth-friendly approach. Commit one simple act for the environment—holiday style!

Entertaining. Celebrate the season by planning a festive gathering that is environmentally friendly. Use cloth napkins, real plates and cutlery. Have your caterers use locally sourced foods.

Grow environmental awareness in your circle of friends. Green gifts can be Fairtrade, organic, re-gifted, reused or recycled items. Wrap presents in cloth bags, tea towels, old posters or colourful magazine pages. A great green gift is a backyard composter or you can donate money to an environmental group. Consider giving your time for charitable events. And instead of giving “stuff”, think outside the wrapped box; give theatre tickets or a month of snow shoveling.

Be a cool neighbour. Make a commitment to change out your old light bulbs for energy efficient compact fluorescents and watch your electricity bill drop. Turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees before a houseful of guests arrives - many bodies will warm up your space. Make it a habit to replace dated furnace filters the first day of every month. Use solar-powered outdoor LED strings for decorating your yard.

Make a New Year’s resolution. Promise yourself that you will change one habit to be even greener than before. Set an example for young people and show your friends how easy it is to be green.

Talk it up! Visit our Facebook site and share your green holiday tips with others. Talk it up when you are having coffee with a friend (in your reusable mug of course).

Greening the Christmas Season

Glenn from Spruce Grove says, “Go green for the holidays!”
Celebrate the holidays and the environment by taking an earth-friendly approach. Commit one simple act for the environment—holiday style!

Make your own decorations. Making your own decorations is not only eco-friendly, but also great fun. Festoon the tree with popcorn garland; hang it in your yard for birds to enjoy after the holidays. Get creative by making simple ornaments with coloured paper, costume jewellery, old magazines and ribbons. If you must buy decorations, get sturdy ones that can be re-used year after year, or buy used ones.

Buy eco-friendly gifts. There are many websites dedicated to selling eco-friendly products and gifts. These make great presents and also save you a chaotic trip to the mall. Select presents made from sustainable or recycled materials. Avoid products with excess packaging.

Save your cards. Reuse them as gift tags or tree decorations next year.

Buy LED lights. They will last many more years than standard lights and they use less energy. Also, if one LED light goes out, the rest of the string will stay lit.

Go rechargeable. Wind-up toys and solar-power gifts are great options. If you must have batteries, go for rechargeables. Treat your household to a better charger – preferably one that charges NiMH batteries which are least damaging to the environment and rechargeable 1000 times.

Greening Father’s Day

One Simple Act says, “Give green this Father’s Day!”

Dads come in all shapes, sizes and shades of green. Inspire your Dad with an eco-gift this Father’s Day. Here are some ideas to spark your thinking. If you have other ideas share them with us on Facebook!

Make your own card. Reuse newspapers, gift wrap and magazines to build your own unique Father’s Day creation.

Dine local. Take Dad out to dinner in a new way. Check out the 2009 Dine Alberta website (http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/apa11388) for an up-to-date listing of Alberta restaurants serving regional cuisine food using fresh, local ingredients.

Give an experience. Think of something different that Dad hasn’t done before and then make it happen. Find a green experience that generates no clutter, nothing to store, and nothing to send to the landfill. Has he ever visited a local provincial park? Gone rafting? Bungee jumped? Seen a play outdoors?

Green your gadgets. Help your Dad impress his friends with green gadgets like a solar powered clock, a self-powered emergency flashlight and radio, or an outdoor water timer.

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