Eco-friendly updates for your home

Eco-friendly updates for your home

  • Kate Vanderburgh
  • 05/13/24

Eco-conscious living is a trend that’s here to stay. The term ‘eco-conscious’ refers to having an awareness and consideration of how personal actions and lifestyle can impact the environment, with the goal of minimizing any negative effects we may create.

The eco-conscious mindset has expanded far past the individual, with large corporations and governments getting involved to make changes that will create a more sustainable future for our planet. There are even monetary incentives available from the federal government for adding eco-friendly upgrades to your home.

Here are four simple eco-friendly updates you can easily implement in your home:

1. Heating and cooling your home
Investing in a smart thermostat will reduce both your carbon footprint and your monthly energy bill by optimizing energy efficiency. A smart thermostat can be controlled remotely, learn your temperature preferences, and automatically adjust settings to improve energy efficiency based on your habits and local weather conditions. To make this upgrade even more effective, replace old windows and add new insulation to prevent heat from escaping your home

2. Rainwater harvesting
This eco-friendly addition to your home is a sustainable way to care for the landscaping on your property. Harvesting rainwater can also conserve energy, reduce strain on the municipal water system and save you money. There are many methods of collecting rain, from simply catching the droplets in a large container or a DIY rain barrel, to affordable, ready-to-use options and elaborate systems with filtration and pumps.

3. Energy-efficient systems
Technology is constantly evolving, and great advancements have been made in the way our homes run. From your HVAC system, to your fridge and stove, to LED light bulbs, investing in energy-efficient upgrades is worthwhile. These systems utilize advanced technologies to perform tasks more efficiently, reducing electricity and water consumption, and lowering both your energy bill and your carbon footprint. Be sure to check for energy efficiency certifications when making a new purchase.

4. Eliminate single-use plastics
The federal government has implemented policies aimed at reducing single-use plastics to address environmental concerns, banning items like straws, cutlery, stir sticks, and certain types of plastic bags. The goal is to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030, which is a big leap considering Canadians throw away over three million tonnes of plastic waste every year.

Here are six manageable ways to reduce the use of plastics in your home:

  • Replacing plastics with reusable alternatives, like glass or metal straws, stainless steel water bottles and travel mugs, and beeswax wraps or silicone food storage bags
  • Look for products with minimal or eco-friendly packaging
  • Buy supplies in bulk to eliminate use of packaging
  • Choose cleaning products, personal care and food items with refillable options Compost organic waste to avoid using garbage bags
  • Check if something can be repurposed or repaired before throwing it away

BONUS TIP: Choosing to live sustainably also includes mindful consumerism. Opting for second-hand shopping, or selling and donating your own unwanted items, has a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste in landfills. This also decreases the environmental footprint associated with manufacturing processes. And, it can save you thousands of dollars!

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