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10 ways to go green at home – plus, share your tips for a chance to win!

Going Green

 

“Going green” has been a popular buzzword for the past couple of years, as businesses and households all over the world make changes to benefit the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. While living an eco-friendly lifestyle might sound like a massive undertaking, making gradual changes to your day-to-day routine can be quite simple, and can potentially have an enormous impact.

 

Here are our top 10 tips for going green at home!

 

1. Use energy star products

ENERGY STAR® products meet strict technical specifications for energy performance, and are typically in the top 15 to 30% of their class. Because they use less energy, these products also lessen greenhouse gas emissions, helping to reduce the impact on the environment

 

2. Change lightbulbs

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs could potentially last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, while consuming about 75% less energy. Unlike incandescent bulbs, CFLs convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat. However, incandescent light bulbs must be recycled properly. On a landfill they are potentially bad to the environment because they contain mercury.
LED lightning doesn’t contain mercury; it lasts up to 25 times longer and uses up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent lightning. In Ontario, you can even get incentives if you change to LED lightning, have a look at saveonenergy.ca.

 

3. Reusable products

Many of the products we use every day go to waste, when we can be using reusable products instead. For starters, eliminating the use of plastic water bottles or disposable bags in favor of reusable bottles and bags can potentially make a big difference to your ecological footprint.

 

4. Pay bills online

Using less paper is getting easier with the amount of information we have available on our computers and smartphones. File your taxes electronically to cut back on paper usage and, where possible, request to receive and pay your bills online instead of through the mail. Consider canceling your newspaper or magazine subscription and reading the news online instead.

 

5. Schedule a home energy audit

An energy assessment or a home energy audit will provide you with information on where you can save money on your energy bills. This service will let you know if your energy dollars are leaking through the windows, or even out your front door. A whole house energy assessment can give you all these answers and more.

 

6. Fix leaky faucets

Household water consumption is on the rise, while concerns about water shortages in the near future continue to circulate. Stemming the flow of water is as easy as fixing a leaky faucet or toilet. A dripping faucet could potentially waste more than 250 liters of water per day, and a leaky toilet more than 700 liters per day. You can also save money by fixing leaks, as a leak of one drip per second could potentially cost as much as $1 per month.

 

7. Make use of windows and skylights

Instead of opening windows here and there, have windows open on both sides of your home, including the side that’s receiving wind that day. Setting a fan in the downwind windows to draw out warm air faster also boosts airflow and cooling.

 

8. Turn off standby power

Eliminate lost power by identifying which appliances and electronics are using power when in the off positions, and putting them on a power strip with an off button. You can also purchase a “smart power strip”, which work to reduce your power usage by automatically shutting down power to products that go into standby mode.

 

9. Use ceiling fans

The energy used to operate a ceiling fan is equivalent to that of a 60 watt light bulb even when running on high. Compare that to the 3,500 watts of energy that a typical central air conditioning unit uses when running, and the energy savings and environmental benefits are obvious.

 

10. Upgrade your insulation

Adding insulation to prevent leaky, windows, and doors can potentially improve your home’s energy draw significantly. If redoing your insulation isn’t in your budget, try thermal shades, which can block the sun in the summer and retain heat in the winter, or even something as low tech as a draft guard on your outside doors.

 


 

Now it’s your turn: Share the steps you are taking to go green at home in the comments section below and you could win a $100.00 3V VISA Prepaid Voucher.

Read the official contest rules here.

 

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • julia g September 21, 2015, 4:16 am

    Use the water you usually waste heating up the shower to water the plants or wash the floor. Just keep a bucket nearby.

  • Darlene Bertin September 19, 2015, 3:39 pm

    I reuse my bottle water bottles I wash them out and refill them with tap water for 2 days and I take them to work with me I also reuse my plastic bags at the grocery stores and I also use my big bags that have on hand I give my empty pop cans to a neighbour he takes them to get recycled and receives a little bit of money for them

  • Alison K September 18, 2015, 7:43 pm

    Sometimes it’s the little things we do that make the biggest impact – buy less packaging & take your own items to the store so 1 time use cups, bags & takeout containers are reduced. Please don’t use straws, “500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone.” http://saveourshores.org/what-we-do/ban-plastic-straws/

  • Jo Ann DeGagne September 18, 2015, 5:36 pm

    remove screens from windows as this will let in more sunlight.

  • mary dolph September 18, 2015, 5:10 pm

    I follow about 7 of the 10 steps. I made a NY resolution several years ago to go green and I get any bills I can through epost. There are just two of us at home now, we only do dishes every other day. I dry most of my clothes on a line in my laundry room then just put them in the dryer for 10 minutes to finish drying and remove wrinkles/lint etc.

    • Rich Massingham October 1, 2015, 1:05 pm

      Congratulations Mary! You have been selected as winner of this month’s $100 3V VISA voucher. Please contact me at rmassingham@reliancecomfort.com to claim your prize. Thanks for participating! ~ RM

  • Adina H. September 18, 2015, 3:23 pm

    I follow most of your ten tips above, and I also do things like compost all of my kitchen scraps. I sometimes reuse cooking water to water my trees, too. I need to invest in a rain barrel for next year.

  • Louise Watts September 18, 2015, 11:38 am

    I recycle and use compost as much as possible, use re-usable bags, turn off lights and extra appliances when not needed and do all my washing after 7pm. I don’t use air conditioning at home just close up all the blinds during the day and open up the windows at night and it works great to keep our house cool.

  • Dalyce McCue September 18, 2015, 11:31 am

    All of my entertainment appliances are on a power bar to prevent stand-by hydro usage. I also only turn on my air conditioner when the temperature becomes severely uncomfortable. Also, I use child-safety socket covers on exterior walls to prevent cold air coming through in the winter time. Since I don’t do a lot of stovetop cooking, I also seal off my rangehood vent in the winter to prevent cold-air flowing in.

  • Ashu Faruki September 18, 2015, 11:05 am

    In the summer, when the evening promises to be cooler I ensure that upstairs windows and doors are open on opposite sides of the house to leverage the cross-breeze.

  • Ashley Pomery September 18, 2015, 10:55 am

    I live a fairly green lifestyle. It’s not hard if you make it routine. I take steps like recycling as much as possible & composting my food scraps. I use items until then end of their lifespan & then re-purpose or donate items when I am done with them. Every little bit helps!

  • Josee Blagdon September 18, 2015, 10:05 am

    My appliances are Energy Star certified and all the lightbulbs in my home are compact fluorescent bulbs, I always pay my bills online and unless we are having a horrible heat wave, I will open windows and use my ceiling fans instead of the air conditioning

  • Jo-Anne pfoh September 18, 2015, 9:12 am

    Unplug all non essential electronics etc especially chargers and never let any device go on standby as this uses More electricity

  • Ehab Jaber September 17, 2015, 11:20 pm

    I drive a hybrid car, and even when I use it, I accelerate gradually, and I try to combine as many errands as possible to minimize time on road and number of trips. I also use a great app called Waze which gives me the best routes taking traffic, construction, road closures, and instant feedback from other drivers using the app.

  • Margaret Foley September 17, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I change my furnace filters on regular basis.
    In the cool weather I wear a sweater rather than turning up the thermostat
    Set my thermostat lower and time change to be after 7pm when power costs are lowest for cooler weather

  • Aran Minogue September 17, 2015, 8:14 pm

    As for saving energy, we continue to work on lessening our carbon footprint. This summer we installed two clothes lines. We still wash clothes at night (after 7pm) and hang them out first thing in the morning. We have energy efficient appliances. We leave our blinds closed during hot days and only really ran the air conditioner maybe five days all summer! A pitcher of water in the fridge all ready cold helped too! We look for ways to improve and go back to older ways of living!

  • Nadia Worthington September 17, 2015, 6:59 pm

    We purchase environmentally friendly products (e.g. cleaning, programmable thermostat) and reduce our consumption is all categories (e.g. up-cycling). We’ve also update all toilets to dual-flush, and installed a friendlier AC unit!

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