Super Sprout’s New Year’s Resolutions

Join or Start a Green Team
The best way to make change is to join forces. There are green teams at RUH, SCH, SPH, PRC, one for PHS and at Sturdy Stone. Contact Jocelyn at 655-0676 for meeting times or for more information on how to start your own team.

Save fuel, save money
How about giving the car a holiday once or twice a week? Taking a walk or riding a bicycle whenever possible helps save fuel and reduces emissions. Other ideas to minimize car usage are riding the shuttle, car pools, car sharing and using public transport. Here is how Saskatoon Health Region is promoting alternative transportation: http://infonet.sktnhr.ca/sustainability/Pages/ProgramsServices.aspx.

Plant a garden
Instead of putting all your time and energy into a lawn, why not plant a garden if you have the space? Fresh produce from your back yard has virtually zero environmental impact and is super-nutritious and tasty!

Go veggie
Going vegetarian, besides being healthy, is good for the environment. Livestock production is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so avoiding meat, at least once a week, is a small but important step.

Use LED bulbs
Consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs or fluorescent bulbs that are more energy-efficient and last longer. When they do finally burn out, make sure you recycle them at places like Home Depot.

Avoid plastic water bottles
Bottled water may have its benefits, but it contributes to plastic waste in quantities that recycling cannot keep up with. It may be simpler and safer to carry water in a steel water container or at least minimize the use of plastic water bottles.

Print less; use double-sided paper
Using less paper in the office achieves two ends – it saves trees and reduces paper waste. You can default your printer to double side and print multiple images per page. Better yet, keep your files neatly organized electronically and don’t print them at all!

Energy saving appliances
Old electrical appliances can be a drain on electricity. Switching to newer, energy-saving appliances that are Energy Star-certified can help save on electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions. To learn more about energy conservation at work and home, book a short training session through the Sustainability Department at 655-0676.

Buy local and organic products
The benefits are two-fold. Organic food products are healthier, and with locally produced grocery, transportation costs (and emissions) can be avoided. Local products can be easily purchased at local grocery stores.

Use eco-friendly shopping bags
This is probably the easiest green resolution to make. All one needs to do is carry along biodegradable or reusable bags when shopping. Cloth, knit or crochet bags, old rucksacks or backpacks will all do nicely to replace plastic bags. Select lightweight bags that can be folded, carried easily or stashed in the car.

Calculate your Carbon Footprint
They say you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so calculate your carbon footprint to see where your biggest impact is. Visit http://www.fightglobalwarming.com/carboncalculator.cfm.

Let’s all pledge to reduce our impact on the environment this new year. All it takes is a bit of resolve and a willingness to change.

Conservation Corner is a regular feature of The Region Reporter written by Jocelyn Orb, Saskatoon Health Region’s Sustainability Coordinator.