Most people are becoming more interested in living greener, using eco-friendly products that consume less energy, which can help to conserve the environment and save money. There are many ways to reduce the number of products and resources that you use every day so you can live greener.
Here are several ways to reduce your energy consumption, save money on shopping, and lower the cost of larger purchases like appliances and home renovations.
1- Reduce and Reuse
Reduce or eliminate plastic shopping bags to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Some biodegradable bags are recyclable and can be used again to pack groceries or for household waste. For grocery shopping, cloth bags or reusable fabric bags are an eco-friendly choice. To keep your reusable cloth bags or fabric bags clean, wash them after each use.
A grocery list will help you keep track of your shopping trips, prevent you from forgetting items, and avoid overspending. In addition, you will save energy by planning your shopping trips and reducing the time you spend driving to and from the supermarket.
Consider sharing large outdoor equipment such as a snowblower or lawnmower with your neighbors or family members or donating old equipment in good working order.
Many paper products can be recycled and reused. For example, you can reuse scrap printer paper for note pads or cardboard boxes. Be creative to live greener.
Old electronics should be disposed of responsibly, as many come with materials that could cause harm to the environment. You can buy a secondhand or sell your old electronic device instead of disposing of it. After wearing them enough, you can use many cloth items as rags. Donate gently used clothing to charities and non-profits. You can also buy clothing and textiles secondhand to reduce costs.
2 – Monitor Your Water Consumption
You can save money and reduce water consumption in your home. You can reduce water consumption by doing daily chores.
Showers account for 35% of household water consumption. Therefore, it is good to install low-flow showerheads. Also, try to limit how long you spend in your shower, at most 5 minutes if possible.
Laundry accounts for 20% of household water use. Reduce water consumption by only running the dishwasher or laundry machine when there is a full load.
3- Take Small Steps To Make A Difference
Reduced electricity consumption has many benefits for the environment and lowers monthly bills. You can reduce electricity use by unplugging small appliances and larger appliances such as TVs and personal computers when you’re away from home. It will also help you save money on your monthly bills. Consider putting outdoor lights on a timer and turning off lights that aren’t in use in rooms. While raising the temperature in refrigerators and freezers may save you money, ensuring perishable foods are not spoilt is important.
For every 1 degree Celsius that you reduce in your thermostat overnight, you can save 2 percent on your energy bills. A programmable thermostat can help control the temperature in your home all year and help you save on cooling and heating costs.
It takes a lot of energy to wash and dry clothes. Drying your clothes on a clothesline can help you save energy and maintain the quality of your clothes. You can also reduce your energy consumption and costs by using the cold water cycle on your washing machine. See to live greener is not that difficult.
Many detergents are available for cold water washing. You can ensure that your dryer runs efficiently by regularly emptying the lint trap. When buying new appliances, make sure to look out for energy efficiency labels such as EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR.
You can use the Energy Savings Calculator for Lighting Products to determine which light bulb will provide you with the greatest savings over time.
Although plastic water bottles can seem attractive, they can quickly accumulate in landfills and cause environmental damage. It might be more economical to buy a reusable water container that you can carry with you. To keep the containers clean, wash them regularly.
VOCs are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in paint products such as latex, oil spray paint, varnish, stain, varnish, and lacquer. VOCs, benzene or toluene that can be toxic in large quantities, are composed of chemicals. Many paint products are low in VOCs or have no VOCs. Therefore, you should ensure that the paint you use contains VOCs is properly ventilated and that the materials are disposed of safely.
Your vehicle’s fuel consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, depending on where, when, and how you drive. Five basic fuel-efficient driving strategies can help you save hundreds of dollars per year on fuel and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than a thousand kilograms
- Accelerate slowly
- Maintain a steady pace
- Anticipate traffic
- Coast to decelerate,
- Avoid speeding.
To save even more, plan your routes and calculate your fuel consumption.
4 – Pay Attention to Packaging
Look at the packaging before you buy. Many products come in plastic and paper packaging that can be reused, recycled, or composted. Biodegradable packaging will naturally dissolve in the earth over time with help from animals, insects, microorganisms, and other organisms.
However, some materials may take many years to break down completely. In addition, many plastics are not recyclable or compostable. So be aware of what products you are buying and how they will dispose of. To reduce waste, you might consider buying products that have minimal packaging.
5 – Planning for Larger Purchases
Home is a complex system where everything is connected. Therefore, smart decisions require that you consider the entire house’s impact before making any decision.
Energy efficiency is a key consideration when buying a home. This will allow you to get the most value for your investment. Also, you have the option to purchase new R-2000 and ENERGY STAR homes, which can reduce your energy consumption and help you save money on your monthly energy bills.
A trusted and internationally acknowledged ENERGY STAR brand will ensure that your home is 20% more efficient than a standard home. R-2000 certified new homes are the most energy-efficient in their class and are up to 50% more efficient than standard homes. In addition, these homes often have efficient heating and cooling systems, high insulation levels for walls, ceilings, basements, and windows, as well as whole-house mechanical ventilation. These features result in energy savings, greater comfort, and a healthier home environment.
Start with an EnerGuide home assessment if you’re thinking about major renovations or investments in your home. An energy assessment service by professionals is the best way to assess a home’s potential energy improvements. A professional energy advisor will evaluate your home from the attic to the foundation. This eliminates the guesswork of deciding which improvements would be most beneficial for you. You will receive personalized information about your home’s energy performance. The report will also identify key energy waste areas such as heat loss or air leakage.
You will also get a plan of action to help you make the best home renovation decisions and maximize your return on investment. To book a home assessment with a licensed service provider who works with local energy advisors, visit nrcan.gc.ca/homes.
Before you buy new household appliances, there are some things you should consider. Research is important before buying. Some appliances are more efficient than others. ENERGY STAR in Canada is the symbol for high-efficiency products. It is easy to identify high-performance energy products by using the familiar symbol.
ENERGY STAR certified products are tested and certified to meet stringent technical specifications. They are energy-efficient and do not compromise performance. ENERGY STAR-qualified products are typically in the top 15-30 percent of their energy performance class. As a result, you can save money on energy and have a smaller impact on the environment. The EnerGuide label can show you how much energy your product uses and how it compares to other models.
Consider energy efficiency when purchasing a vehicle. There are many options available that will reduce fuel consumption and emissions, no matter what your needs. Natural Resources Canada has a complete list of fuel consumption ratings for each vehicle year, make, and model. Some provinces and territories offer incentives for drivers who buy hybrids, plug-in hybrid electrics, or battery-electric cars. Transport Canada offers an Electric Vehicle Primer, which explains the differences and estimates the savings.
6 – Consider Your Energy Solutions
Canada’s total energy consumption was 16 percent in 2010. Even though energy sources can vary across the country, you can still choose green energy options that are more environmentally friendly and will help reduce your heating bills over the long term.
To determine the energy efficiency of heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment, look for EnerGuide labels. There are many ways to reduce space heating and cooling costs. These include installing more efficient equipment, particularly ENERGY STAR(r-qualified models), improving the performance of existing equipment, better managing humidity levels, or using programmable thermostats.
The label price is the first price tag for a heating system. However, smart consumers also think about the “second price tag,” which is the cost of operating the heating system over its life. Long-term operating costs may be more expensive than the purchase and installation costs. Natural Resources Canada offers an online tool to help you determine the cost of heating your home with electricity, natural gas, or oil.
Here are some technology tips.
Canada’s most popular central heating system is the forced-air furnace. Modern furnaces are more efficient than ever. Manufacturers are now producing furnaces with fuel efficiency ratings as high as 90 percent. A furnace that has a high-efficiency motor is also an option. A brushless DC furnace motor is a great option if you use your furnace fan to circulate air constantly. It can save up to 70% on annual electricity consumption compared to a regular model. Canada has three types of furnaces:
- Are regulated to meet minimum energy performance standards
- You may be eligible for an EnerGuide label.
- ENERGY STAR-qualified heating equipment may be available (when installed correctly, ENERGY STAR heating equipment can help you save more money each year on your heating bills than standard models).
Electric baseboard heaters are used in many Canadian homes, particularly in certain areas. This is because there is no central forced-air system. Baseboard heaters can be controlled individually by thermostats. This allows you to turn down the heat in areas not in use for a prolonged time during the day or at night.
If you add up all of the cracks, gaps, and other openings in the house, chances are it has an air leakage area about the size of a beach ball. The heat loss from your house can be as high as 25% through doors and windows. You can improve the energy efficiency of your windows by following a few simple steps. First, you can repair windows by replacing hardware like latches, cranks, locks, and knobs.
If your windows and doors are in poor condition, it is possible to replace them with high-performance ENERGY STAR (r) certified inserts or windows. You can save as much as 7% by replacing older windows and doors with more energy-efficient models. In addition, increased insulation in basements, walls, and ceilings can increase comfort and help you save money on heating or cooling. It can also reduce air leakage. Controlling air leakage is the most critical retrofit activity and should be considered a priority in any retrofit plan.
Renewable energy sources like sun and wind power may be an option. People can use these resources to generate electricity using a photovoltaic panel or wind turbine, or heat with solar collectors. Again, this option is possible with professional assistance.
7 – Day to Day Living
There are many ways to reduce food waste and cut down on food costs. For example, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables at home or join a community garden to help control some of your food expenses.
Planning your meals will ensure that you only buy what you need. In addition, you can reduce the amount of food waste by saving leftovers and composting your scraps.
Consider eating locally grown food if you are concerned about the distance that food travels before reaching your plate. To determine the origin of the food, check the labels and signage at the grocery store. You might consider buying at a local farmer’s market. Apply the same principles to dining at a restaurant. Local restaurants often use local products, so be sure to ask.
Some household cleaners can cause harm to animals and people if they don’t use them correctly. There are many options available to clean certain items and rooms. However, these products can be expensive and difficult to dispose of. Instead, you should look for all-purpose cleaners with low cost and eco-friendly ingredients that help clean multiple surfaces. For a complete list of ingredients, check the labels on eco-friendly products.
8 – Take Care of Your Household Waste
If possible, recycle or make use of alternative waste options such as compost and green bin. Most households can put waste in the garbage if your municipality has a recycling or compost bin program. They collect waste on a weekly, biweekly basis. The list of included items should be available from your municipality. A personal compost bin may be an option. The contents of the compost bin are usable and can help to fertilize plants and other outdoor gardens. It is an eco-friendly method of disposing of various types of yard and food waste. The Consumer Handbook has more information about how to reduce household waste.
9 – Take Into Consideration Your Transportation Options
Public Transit: Public transport is a green option for transportation. There are many options available for getting around, depending on where you live. Some cities offer park-and-ride services.
Car-Pooling is a way to save gas, reduce congestion in cities and help with air pollution. High-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) are used in many cities to accommodate two or more persons using a car. These lanes can be less congested than those that are not high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and may offer a faster route for commuting.
Car Sharing: Drivers can share a vehicle with others when they need it and without buying or maintaining a car. This is a more eco-friendly option and is a good choice for those who don’t drive often. Visit the Car Sharing Association’s site at http://carsharing.org for more information about car sharing. The CSA is a group of car-sharing organizations (CSOs) interested in increasing the credibility, quality, and public awareness of the car-sharing industry.
Walking and Cycling: If you are traveling shorter distances, cycling or walking may be your preferred mode of transport. It will save you money on fuel and parking, and it’s a great way to get some exercise. Also, many Canadian cities have bike lanes and bike paths on major roads. This will make it easier for those who want to use bicycles as a mode of transportation and recreation.
Travel: Consider how you will get there and what the impact might be on the environment. Book a direct flight instead of a route with stopovers if you are concerned about the impact on the environment. Carpooling to travel long distances by car will save you both fuel and energy.
Below are ten fun facts about Canada’s commitment to creating a more sustainable, greener country for its citizens.
- Canada is clean. Canada has a clean environment. Seventy-nine percent of its electricity comes from non-greenhouse gas-emitting, eco-friendly sources, so in Canada, you can live greener.
- Canada has installed more wind energy generators in the past five years than any other form of electricity.
- To increase cooperation between the two countries on clean energy technology development, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and combating climate change, Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined President Barack Obama in the United States-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue.
- Canadians are increasingly walking to work. In 2006, 5.7% of Canadians walked to work. In 2011, 6.3% walked.
- The government enacted the regulations in 2014 to limit the emissions of small trucks and cars built after 2016. As a result, vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles will fall half off by 2025, compared to 2008.
- Vancouver is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. Vancouver, a leader in hydropower usage worldwide, plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 33% over the next five years.
- Montreal Tourism Board offers visitors a map of the city to create their eco-friendly itineraries. This can include visiting sites related to sustainable development, festivals, and urban agriculture.
- Calgary established a program that reduced per capita water consumption by 30% over 30 years more than ten years ago. The 30-in-30 policy requires water meters to be installed and reduces household water consumption by approximately 60 percent.
- Montreal is a city where one man’s trash can be another man’s art. So two environmental-minded organizations created an online database of trash. The goods can be viewed online by artists to help them find the right materials for their next creation.
- In 1971, Canada’s Ministry of the Environment (Environment Canada) was founded. Canada is one of few countries worldwide that has this type of government entity. Environment Canada is responsible for monitoring, assessing, and protecting the environment. It also provides meteorological and weather information to keep Canadians safe and informed.