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The Best Green Products
For the home: cleaning and laundry supplies, furniture, linens For renovations: flooring, paint, insulation, carpets, cabinetry For the kitchen: cookware, appliances For your body: cool clothes, jewellery, shoes, beauty care For baby: toys, cribs, organic food, diapers For the garden: fertilizer, pest control, patio furniture For the office: supplies, equipment, energy savings For your pet: natural food, flea control, litter solutions For the fun of it: sporting goods, camping equipment, holidays
The Most Current Information
Avoiding toxins in the home Buying pesticide-free food Sustainable seafood, meat and veggie choices Reducing energy and water use Greening your love life Eco-tourism Keeping your home and garden pest-free without harmful chemicals Green gift-giving and ethical investing Choosing an environmentally friendly career The big issues facing Canada and how to get involved
The Most Helpful Services
Electronics and computer recyclers Alternative energy suppliers Green general stores Local organic food delivery Incentives and rebates for greening your home Local and national environmental groups Household hazardous waste disposal
Also includes a city-by-city guide:
Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Then, sometime in the last year or two, someone somewhere pulled out the defibrillators and called “clear.” Was it the spike in the price of oil, forcing us to reconsider the value of spending 80 bucks a tank just to drive ourselves to the corner store? Was it the increased alarm-ringing of climate change scientists? The drowning polar bears? The breaking levies? The freak storms? The reports that DDT is still swimming in our children’s bloodstreams decades after it was banned or that non-stick chemicals are sticking to bald eagles and floating in breast milk? Maybe, as my local souvlaki guy noted, it was the realization that ever-climbing hydro bills could be tackled only with conservation and sharp questions about why our government isn’t more aggressively subsidizing solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. More realistically, it was all of the above: a perfect storm of factors that made us sit up and say, Holy Toledo, Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
But what’s exciting about this surge, this outpouring of interest in all things green, is that everyone, from the trucker up the street to the CEO of Wal-Mart, is taking notice. And whether you’re expressing your concern for the planet by reaching for organic milk, turning off the taps as you brush, driving a little less or not driving at all, it all adds up to a movement.
Sure, sticking to a five-minute shower rule may seem fruitless in the face of a melting planet and relentless emissions from the coal plant two towns down. But are we to throw our hands in the air and bury our heads in the sand as our federal government has? Every drop of water you conserve, each watt of power you save, every green pepper you purchase from a local organic grower sends a message. To paraphrase hockey dads everywhere, if you want to be on a winning team, you have to think like a winner. And sometimes, when that team is slacking, you’ve gotta step up and take the lead. You don’t have to start a march on Parliament Hill to make a statement (though, hey, if you’re itching to try out a megaphone, go ahead). Start small. Start by leading by example. Get your workplace to turn the lights off at night and the thermostat down. Tell your grocery manager you don’t need California mushrooms vacuum-packed on polysterene when he should be pushing local ones, loose. Tell your brother idling is just burning up gas (not to mention the planet) and tell your minister of Parliament you want real action on greenhouse gas emissions for once.
The tough part is that figuring out what’s green and what’s greenwash, what’s eco-friendly and what’s ozone-deadly can be downright dizzying. This is where knowledge comes in to play. The more you know, the more effective your choices, actions and movements can be. And if GI Joe was right that knowing is half the battle, just buying this book (and reading it cover to cover, of course) should turn you a finely trained eco-warrior, or at least make it easier for you to decide what cleaning products to buy. Don’t worry: you don’t have to give up shaving and chain yourself to a tree to be green. Just do what you can, one step at time–until you’re a full-blown ecoholic.