More and more people are going green not only to help save the environment but also in an attempt to save money. In many places, the inspiration for green living is also driven by the rich natural beauty and vast landscapes throughout the land. However, it can be hard to decipher how you can go green in a country with as varied a climate and geography as Canada. In many regions, winter is harsher than in much of the world meaning the majority of a household’s energy is used to heat their homes through these cold months. This is of course also the case in workplaces.
Although Canada only makes up less than .05% of the world’s population, it is one of the top producers of greenhouse gases in the world. With the varied climate and high greenhouse gas emissions, the environmental impact in Canada may result in rapid climate change and greater air pollution. With room for improvement, many people in Canada are eager to create change and adapt to a greener lifestyle. Since the largest contributor to the average Canadian’s home carbon footprint is energy, home is a great place to start living greener.
Tips on Green Changes You Can Make To Your Home
Whether you are open to or actively seeking ways to reduce your carbon footprint, there are simple changes you can make to have a greener home. Going green does not require you to purchase entirely new appliances and use all non-toxic products (though it sure does help!). It is important to make the changes that work best for you over time. Here are a few tips you can use to start out.
Check your own carbon footprint
To start, you can check and monitor your own carbon footprint using the National Geographic’s green calculator. To some this result might give them the shock they need to fully commit to a new, greener way of life.
Reducing electricity use
Reducing your electricity use will help save the environment and save you money at the same time. A couple ideas to reduce your electricity use are: put sticky notes on your light switches to remind yourself to turn lights off when you leave a room, unplug devices and chargers when they are not in use, turn off your home computer during the night, use a washing-line instead of a clothes dryer and only run a dishwasher when it is completely full. If you’re updating or renovating your home you can also try to select low voltage, reliable and efficient products and electrical switches to take you one step further in reducing your electricity use at home.
A common mantra used in green and sustainable living is Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. For waste reduction, focus on the ‘reduce’ part of this. However there are many steps you can take to reduce your waste count. To do so, simplify as much as possible. Some ideas include: bring an environmentally friendly water bottle and reusable mug with you everywhere (you can even get discounts at some cafes for doing so!), reduce your purchases and bring your own shopping bags to get groceries.
Non-toxic paints improve your indoor air quality and green options are becoming more widely available. You can now find solvent-free and water-based paints on the market. It is also helpful to choose light colors in warm climates and dark colors in cold climates.
Garden plans to attract wildlife/bees
As Brian Campbell, master beekeeper at Vancouver’s Blessed Bee Community Apiary and Bee School, said, “”We need bees more than bees need us,” he says. “They connect plants to plants, plants to animals — and they create beauty and bounty.” If you choose the right plants for your garden according to the season to attract wildlife and bees, your home and garden will be greener in both senses. A bee-friendly plant for spring is thrift, for summer is rose, for fall is Helen’s flower and for winter is Christmas rose. You can find more tips on the right kind of plants here.
Each step you take to living a greener lifestyle makes a difference. And it makes a difference for you, the environment and the world.