For regular readers of this blog you may be familiar with the concept of “Earth Day Resolutions”. But for those who are new, or have forgotten, here is a quick summary:

 

Last year the people at Earth Day Canada brought us the “Make it Count” campaign and this year it’s changed to “Earth Day, Every Day”. Either way the spirit is clear – a single hour for Earth isn’t enough. 

My 2014 Earth Day Resolution

The 2014 year was a major year of change in my personal life which meant I couldn’t adequately benchmark if I was making a dent in things like spending or electricity usage. However I did resolve to do something new: start a garden. 

 

 

Future tomato. #gardening

A photo posted by Victoria Pleavin (@vpleavin) on Jun 8, 2014 at 10:56am PDT

What’s more local than eating from your own garden? I grew tomatoes, lettuce, mint, and chives on my balcony, which: 

Saved money: I bought less items from the grocery store/farmers market [1],  

Made my diet healthier: there was no excuse not to eat the delicious food I had grown, and 

Reduced my environmental footprint: I was consuming fewer items that were trucked in from other parts of the world, particularly food from California. Most of Alberta's food is grown in California which is currently experiencing a severe drought. 

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day Canada has a new website out where you can track how you’ve helped reduce your carbon footprint. You can log in and “Do an Act”. 

Earth Day Every Day Acts
Example of some of the acts you can do

There are 24 actions you can complete, and you have the option to upload a photo of yourself caught in the act. 

My 2015 Resolution

In 2015 I’m going to work on reducing my monthly electricity consumption by a modest 5%. Of all my environmental vices I’d say this is my worst due to my many electronics that I leave plugged in much of the time. I’ll only have 6 months of data to compare (I moved to my current home in September of last year), but I think I’ll need a summer of getting into the habit of unplugging electronics in order to cut down on my standby power usage.

If you’d like to join in and set your own Earth Day resolution there are several ideas for resolutions in the blog post from last year.  Let us know in the comments if you pursued a goal last year or are planning to do one this year. Also if you have tips for new gardeners I’d be happy to hear them.

 

Victoria Pleavin is a Project Engineer at Alberta WaterSMART but is often seen out livetweeting events on behalf of the Alberta WaterPortal.

 


 

[1] In my first year I had to purchase containers, which meant that some of the money saved in reduced food costs was spent on items needed to establish my garden. But having made the initial investment, the activity will pay off in the long term.