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12 Steps to Green Living

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What on Earth...

Come on, get to it already! Are you walking the walk? Have you kept made your New Year's resolution? Good for you if you have. If you haven't, here are a few helpful tips to guide you.

1. Walk the walk!
Get moving already! Walking is great for you and the planet. With gas prices on the rise, it's a great way to save money. There are so many wonderful trails in Canada, pick a different one each week and start to explore your surroundings. Try to schedule a daily walk into your routine or make a date with friends and family and go hiking.

2. Talk the talk!
Talk to your kids, friends and family about books you read, films you watch and information you uncover on living a more sustainable life. Be a green ambassador. Organize a green fundraiser at your kids' school or host a movie night. Invite friends and family over, pick a great film (An Inconvenient Truth, Garbage the Revolution, etc.), then discuss the film after you have watched it.

3. Upcycle!
Got stuff? Not sure what to do with it? Share it with others. Clothes, shoes, food -- anything really! Give to those who need it the most. Find a local charity and donate your stuff.

4. You are what you eat!
Eat mindfully. Understand your impact. Do a one-day audit of what you eat, make a note of where that food came from and how it was produced. If you eat out, look for restaurants that source local foods and connect with your local farmers, too. Go veg for at least one day a week. Educate yourself about how the animals you eat are abused. Read your labels carefully and when it comes to fish, download this.

5. Get flowing!
Reduce your water bottle use and conserve where you can. Fresh water is at risk as we continue to deplete our natural resources. Respect it and cherish it. Watch Flow the film.

6. Peddle!
Get those cobwebs off your bike and start riding. It's a wonderful way to explore your city. It's the cheapest and fastest mode of transportation in a big city like Toronto, where we spend most of our time stuck in cars in traffic.

7. Add it up!
Find ways to reduce your water and electrical bills. Install a programmable thermostat. Have a light bulb moment by changing yours to LEDs. Unplug all your electronics when they are not in use.

8. Get growing!
Plant anything. As long as its legal, of course, and make sure it's native. Plants and trees sequester carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to breath. Take it one step further and plant things you can eat. You can join a community supported agriculture program or connect with a local farmers market.

9. Bag the bag!
Carry a reusable bag and buy products that have little to no packaging. Try to avoid products that come in plastic and paper packaging. Reduce and recycle your waste -- plastic, aluminum, glass, tin, etc.

10. Take a breath!
Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is a great way to calm the mind and the body. It's great for your overall health. Get active and if you live in a smoggy city like Toronto, write to your local politicians and demand they do better.

11. Be an activist!
Put your money where your mouth is! Sign up with a local organization like Greenpeace or WWF and take action.

12. Have Fun!

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