There are many benefits to going green. By choosing to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you can help minimize waste, preserve natural resources, support the local economy, and reduce your own cost of living. Here are three tips for going green in Calgary.

1. Opt for environmentally friendly transportation

Emissions from vehicles are one of the major contributors to air pollution, acid rain, and climate change.

When possible, choose an alternative mode of transportation, such as walking, biking, rollerblading, or taking the CTrain.

Not only are these choices eco-friendly, but they have the added benefits of being healthier and more cost-effective.

If driving is unavoidable, look for ways to increase your fuel economy. For instance, download The City of Calgary Roads mobile app to help you plan an efficient commute.

The app provides camera feeds of city traffic, as well as real-time updates on traffic incidents and detours. (There’s also an app for Calgary Transit users!)

To reduce even more gas, consolidate your weekly errands into one or two trips. And remember – nowadays, many errands, such as depositing money into your bank account, can be done online.

2. Recycle, or donate unwanted items to a local organization

It’s the time of the year for spring cleaning! But before you make that trip to the dump, check if there’s a better way to dispose of your unused items.

Many recyclers and other organizations offer pickup services, saving you the time and expense of driving out to the local landfill. Here’s where to recycle what in Calgary:

Gently used furniture and appliances

Instead of throwing away usable furniture, donate it to one of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations in north or south Calgary, or in Medicine Hat.

ReStores accept new or gently used appliances, furniture, and building materials from homes and businesses.

You can drop off your items yourself, or else request a free pickup. The proceeds from ReStore purchases go toward supporting local families through Habitat for Humanity’s affordable mortgage.

Gently used clothing, shoes, and blankets

By donating your gently used clothing items, you can contribute to a greener community while helping someone in need.

Several Calgary non-profits collect used clothing, shoes, blankets, and personal care items. For starters, check out The Mustard Seed, the Drop-In Centre, and the Women In Need Society.

Old or unusable electronics

Drop off your electronic gadgets – such as TVs, computers, printers, cables, and software – at a local electronics recycling depot.

These organizations reduce unnecessary landfill waste by recycling or otherwise repurposing used electronics. For a list of electronics recycling depots and their guidelines, visit the City of Calgary website

3. Shop at eco-friendly stores in Calgary

For every type of consumer purchase, there’s likely a green alternative.

Check out the following eco-friendly stores and markets in Calgary for everything from furniture and appliances to clothing and farm-fresh food.

Furniture, appliances, and building materials

Visit a Habitat ReStore in north or south Calgary to shop for tables, chairs, washers, dryers, stoves, fridges, couches, and even materials for renovating your home.

You won’t be charged any GST, and the proceeds go towards helping Albertan families through affordable homeownership

Clothing and shoes

By shopping at local thrift stores, you can save a ton of cash and reduce your consumption. Besides, it’s fun!

Calgary has a wide selection of thrift and consignment stores, such as WINS Thrift Store, Value Village, and Vespucci, that carry gently used clothing items at bargain prices.

Eco-friendly products

Shop online at Green Calgary’s EcoStore for environmentally friendly products such as composters, rain barrels, and reusable and compostable bags.

EcoStore products are recyclable or made from recycled materials, and proceeds go toward supporting local environmental programs.

Organic and locally sourced food

Locally sourced food products are transported a shorter distance, saving on fuel emissions.

Support the local economy and enjoy delicious fresh food from the Calgary Farmers’ Market, located off Blackfoot Trail and Heritage Drive.

Open Thursdays through Sundays, the market offers a diverse selection of fresh local produce and meat, international food, organic goods, art, and jewelry, as well as live music and recreational events for the family.

Calgary is a booming city with a lot of resources for those interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle. By continuing to support eco-friendly local organizations, you can save yourself some cash while contributing to a greener Calgary.

Author bio: Chloe Brittain is a born-and-raised Calgarian and the marketing manager for Not Just Paint, a Calgary cabinet refacing company. Our cabinet refinishing services include both classic and contemporary styles and an endless variety of colour choices. Save a local landfill – don’t tear out and replace your functional old kitchen cabinets when you can make them look beautiful again at a fraction of the cost! Contact us today for your free in-home consultation.