Healthy Kids Healthy Planet

Become a healthy kid and help the planet from the comfort of home. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020, we have compiled a list of ways that you can help our planet. Discover our helpful tips below on how you can reduce your waste and greenhouse gas emissions and be #HealthyKidsAtHome.

Be sure to follow the City’s Facebook page for weekly Healthy Kids Healthy Planet Social Media Challenges. Each week, we will be announcing a new challenge for kids to do at home. When you complete a challenge, take a picture and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #HealthyKidsAtHome to be entered in our weekly prize draw. Kids of all ages are welcome to participate.

Local Food

Growing your own food is great way to keep you and the planet healthy. Did you know that some of the food we eat comes from all over the world and creates a lot of emissions on its journey to your local grocery store? Try eating more locally grown food to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You can also start a garden. Plants clean the air, and when you grow your own food, it tastes even better!

You can grow food at home by:

  • Planting seeds and seedlings anywhere, such as an outdoor garden bed, containers on your deck/balcony, or in a sunny window in your house. 
  • Seeds can be found all over your house. Look for seeds in the things you have at home and see what grows. Try dried beans, or seeds from veggies you have in the fridge, like green peppers, cucumbers, or tomatoes. 

Waste Reduction

You may have noticed an increase in your household garbage since being at home. This is a great time to consider what happens to that garbage once the collection crew picks it up from your house. If it’s in a garbage bag, it goes straight to the landfill in Brantford. Did you realize that takes up space on the earth and some of that garbage will never decompose? It will last there for hundreds or thousands of years. Garbage also creates a greenhouse gas called methane as it decomposes, mostly due to biodegradable waste like food and paper products. 

You can reduce waste at home by:

  • Creating a backyard compost to dispose of your food waste.
  • Reducing your waste by purchasing products that don’t have packaging or growing food yourself.
  • Reusing anything you can! Reuse plastic containers (like yogurt or sour cream tubs) for food storage. Try using egg cartons and aluminum cans for crafts or storage.
  • Recycling properly – visit Brantford’s Recycle Coach to find out the proper place for each item, i.e. container recycling, fiber recycling, or garbage?
  • Remembering all those cleaning wipes we are using these days go in the garbage and not the toilet!

Energy Reduction

Your home is probably using a lot more energy lately now that you are staying home. The energy you use in your home is mostly produced from electricity and natural gas. Electricity powers lights, the refrigerator, microwave, TV, air conditioner, and many other things in your home. Natural gas is used in your furnace or boiler to heat your home and in some cases, your stove or barbecue for cooking.  Both of these sources of energy create greenhouse gas emissions, although, in Ontario, natural gas produces more emissions than electricity.

You can reduce energy use at home by:                                                                                

  • Taking a survey of your house and counting how many things use electricity and figure out how many of them can be turned off. Turning off lights, computers, and TVs when not in use is a great way to lower electricity use. 
  • Turning the heat in your home down by a degree or two to save energy from natural gas usage.
  • Trying a low energy night at home by using as little energy as possible, such as having a cold meal for dinner and playing a board game instead of watching TV.  

Water Reduction

Did you know that the water we drink comes directly from the Grand River? It needs to be treated and pumped before it gets to your house. That process uses energy, but if you reduce the amount of water you use, it will reduce energy use. 

You can save water at home by:

  • Turning off the water while brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands.
  • Taking shorter showers or using less water in your bath.
  • Using a bucket and sponge for washing cars, bikes, and other outdoor things instead of the hose.
  • Connecting a rain barrel to your downspouts and using that water for watering your garden or washing your car.