We have decided to share all of our secrets with you. Okay, they aren’t really secrets, but Green Action staff came together to create this special list of the Top 10 things we do to keep up our eco-friendly (and fun) lifestyles during the winter months.
1. Tobogga-riffic Travel
Need a hand getting through that uneven snow?
Make your trip easy and fun by using a toboggan to haul your groceries, kids or whatever around town.
You are also ready to go if you happen to stumble upon a great toboggan hill on your journey!
2. Don’t Let Jack Frost Stop you from Composting
One way to keep your waste low in the winter is to simply continue composting!
Some people get leery of going out to their backyard bin in chilly weather and end up putting compostable items in their regular trash. That’s a lot of organics you can keep from the landfill over 6 months, so keep it up!
Green Action tip: One way you can keep composting AND stay warm is to store your weekly compost in a 5L pail outside your backdoor. The compost will stay frozen (so it won’t smell) and you can keep your toes toasty until the pail is full!
If you are interested, check out more of our winter composting tips here.
3. Keep Temperature down, but turn the heat up!
Finding your home a bit chilly? We know your first thought might be to turn up the temperature …but this choice can use up a lot of energy (and cost you some big bucks).
Before you turn up the heat, try putting on some extra clothes. You can also keep cozy by snuggling under a blanket with your partner (or your cat or dog!)
4. There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!
It’s true. If you are dressed poorly in this kind of weather, you won’t be able to think about anything else besides getting back indoors!
Be sure to dress appropriately so you can embrace the winter season and continue to be active! Bundle up and try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, or winter cycling to get around or just for fun! Alternatively, you might consider joining a winter sports team, like curling or hockey.
There are plenty of beautiful trails and parks in Manitoba for you to explore and enjoy this winter – now suit up!
Tempted to turn into a snowbird and head to Texas this winter? Hopping on a plane uses A LOT of greenhouse gas emissions and greatly increases your personal carbon footprint. Instead of flying south this season, enjoy a stay-cation! There are plenty of options in Manitoba from yurting and cross-country skiing to a fancy hotel spa vacation. You can also sign up for our Jack Frost Challenge and make your way over to Festival du Voyageur while you’re at it!
6. Drink up, stay warm!
Nothing beats holding a warm mug in your hands, and feeling that warm deliciousness as it coats your throat and stomach on the way down.
Try making some yummy hot chocolate with fair trade organic cocoa and sugar, or try making some eggnog from scratch with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
7. Borrow some space in Mother Nature’s Freezer
The next time you go to put your leftovers in the deep freeze, take a moment to consider the benefits of storing some things outside. Deep freezers eat up an average of 750 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. For 4-6 months of the year, its usually colder outside, and the energy draw is zero. Try making use of a cooler outdoors or in your garage to save energy.
8. Be a snow angel
Don’t you love when you go for a walk after a heavy snowfall and all the sidewalks are clear? Shovel to keep fit and keep your sidewalks clear for pedestrians, mail carriers, neighbours and visitors. Be a snow angel and help shovel for those who are unable (or let’s face it, unwilling) to do so!
9. don’t Idle
Did you know it only takes 30 seconds to warm up your engine when driving in the winter? It’s true! In modern fuel injected engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on cold winter days before driving away. Be sure to drive gently for the first few kilometres to allow your vehicle to warm up. Once your temperature gauge starts to move upward, you can start driving normally. We explain how this works on our drive it to warm it page!
10. Snowblowers BLOW
Snowblowers and other small engine devices used around your home are responsible for 5 percent of North America’s air pollution! These small engines emit a disproportionate amount of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxide because they have no emission controls. The exhaust from the gas you burn goes straight into the air that you are breathing.
Making the choice to use a snowblower also means you are losing out on some valuable exercise. So break out those shovels, folks, and remember to stretch and pace yourself!
Need more information to help you decide? Click here for more information on whether to throw snow or blow?