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As much as I adore travelling, I love living in Toronto. And I love living green. That’s why I like Live Green Toronto, a program launched in 2007 as part of the city’s Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan to encourage Torontonians to live green and reduce energy use at home, at work and on the go. The website shares energy- and water-saving resources, rebates and incentives, plus tips to help residents and businesses reduce emissions and green their lives. It’s chock full of gardening info, from maintaining a low-water lawn to backyard composting and container gardening for balconies. There’s even advice on eating local, such as growing your own food, finding farmers’ markets and sourcing restaurants that serve local food. And the On The Go section is has info on cycling, bikes routes and the city’s newest bikeshare program, Bixi Toronto. (One caveat: the site fails to mention Zipcar and AutoShare, which are excellent autoshare programs for urbanites who go carless day to day but need a vehicle for day-long or weekend trips.)

And if you like to shop (who doesn’t?), it pays to get a free Live Green Toronto Membership card. It’s easy to sign up online, and members get discounts and exclusive offers on eco-friendly products and services from 336 (and growing!) local businesses. I reap membership rewards at restos like Fresh, a vegan hotspot with three locations, but you can also get discounts on home and garden items, clothes, health and beauty products, even exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum! I never leave home without my card. Neither should you!


P.S. Recently received an e about a sweet new deal from Evergreen Brick Works: until Dec. 23, Live Green Toronto members get 10% off sustainably harvested, local Christmas trees, gift baskets of local food treats, and clean-air plants. Plus, members get 2-for-1 skate rentals at the Brick Works ice rink, starting Dec. 17!