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5 easy ways to be a greener cottager

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the words sustainable, eco-friendly, and green. We all want to do our part to help the planet and reduce our impact, but how? There are a few easy options for you to start your quest to be greener and they can start right at your cottage.

1. Put away the Styrofoam, paper and plastic dinnerware. Disposable dinnerware is such a timesaver when you have a crowd of people over and you don’t want to deal with clean-up. But the impact of those traditional disposable options is huge. A few companies are offering great alternatives that include recycled materials and renewable resources, and they are durable so you won’t end up wearing your potato salad. Look for sugarcane plates, plant starch cutlery made of 70 per cent renewable materials, and even bamboo.

2. Look under your sink. One way to be more eco-friendly at your cottage can be with the products you use to keep it clean. A lot of the conventional cleaners we use contain toxins that can hurt the ecosystems around us. Most of grocery stores carry green cleaners now such as Method, Mrs. Meyers, and Seventh Generation. But if you really want to commit to being eco-friendly consider making your own household cleaners by using items commonly found in our cupboard like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and citrus fruits like lime, lemon, and grapefruit.

3. Shed new light on your outdoor lighting options. When the nights start getting warmer, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with family and friends. But outdoor lighting controlled by inside switches can often suck up a lot of energy, and with dry fields and forests candles and tiki torches can be a concern. There are a lot of green alternatives for your outdoor lighting that will create some great ambiance and help the planet. Consider solar powered lanterns and lighting that uses LED bulbs. You can even get creative with boring old strings of LED lights by creating shades that cover the bare bulbs.

4. Make your own ice. Ice is a hot commodity on summer days, and as much as many of us love refrigerators with built in ice makers, this convenient feature can be an energy drain and are prone to breakdowns. Cold air can also be lost through because of poor seals.

5. Recycle your stovetop kettle. Even though there is something comforting and familiar about the whistle of a kettle, electric kettles boil water in less time and more efficiently than the stovetop version.