very cool...that's my next project then for sure
very cool...that's my next project then for sure
We have a small compost heap here - we have a very tiny yard, but I go through the stuff pretty quickly when I pot houseplants as well as in the garden.
Toronto now has "green bin" collection too, which I'm really happy about - they will take anything compostable, and they even go beyond to anything biodegradable that you probably wouldn't put in your compost. They should have started the program years ago, but at least it's a step in the right direction; practically everyone seems to use them too, which was a pleasant surprise to me. It makes it really easy for more people to do right by the environment when the city works with you.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
- Kahlil Gibran
I have mostly changed to the new squigley flurescent lightbulbs to replace regular ones. They are really expensive so first I got some in 2005 Novenber & put in two lamps in my living room. One died Dec 2006 after NEVER ONCE being turned off! That was my test. The other one is still going! So, for Christmas I surprised myself with a bunch (on sale) and replaced closets,lamps and 2 ceiling light fixtures!
They are nice & bright, don't heat things up (a problem here) and screw right in like the old kind!
I realize other countries are ahead of is in having to save on gasoline
for cars & would like to hear what steps you all take?
I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West
I read in this article that Canadian gvt gives you a tax cut or some kinda exemption if you buy a hybrid. I'm gonna try and find that article, it was about how to conserve energy and the environment etc. BRB.
K, I couldn't find it but I remember it said something like you get $2000 back from the gvt.
Anyways, here's a similar article.
Guide to greener living
30/03/2007 12:00:01 AM• Replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Even though they may initially cost more, fluorescent bulbs pay off by using 75 per cent less electricity, which means lower hydro bills, and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
by Leigh Blenkhorn, Jo Calvert, Kathryn Dorrell, Laurie Mackenzie, Jennifer Melo, Danielle Ng-See-Quan, Miriam Osborne, Sarah Jane Silva, and Jessica Ungerman (canadianliving.com)
• You can improve your furnace's energy efficiency by up to 50 per cent by simply cleaning or replacing its filter every two months.
• For every degree Celsius you lower your thermostat, you save up to three per cent on your heating bill. Keeping the temperature at 18 C (64.5 F) instead of the standard 21 C (70 F) saves you 14 per cent.
Tip: Install a programmable thermostat, then set it to lower your home's temperature at bedtime and kick in before the alarm goes off in the morning. If no one is home during the day, drop the temperature during that time, too.
• If your electric water heater is more than seven years old, wrap it with a fibreglass blanket to help it retain heat. If you're thinking of replacing it, go tankless with on-demand hot water that heats as you go. This can cut up to 50 per cent off your water-heating costs and is better for the environment.
• To cool your home, close the drapes and blinds during the day and use a ceiling fan. If you need air conditioning, use it sparingly. Keep it at 24 C (75 F). Raise the setting when you go out or set your programmable thermostat to do so.
Tip: Switch five of your most used lights to Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent bulbs and save more than $30 per year.
• Think about installing automatic timers for your outdoor lighting or using motion detectors.
• Adopt a lights-out policy. Turn out all lights when you leave a room and double-check that everything is off before leaving the house.
• Spot and fix energy leaks in your home to keep hydro costs down.
Check it out:
• Visit www.wrwcanada.com/02wasteauditI.htm for a list of companies that offer home-energy audits.
• If your fridge is more than 10 years old, it uses 60 per cent more energy than new models. Maximize its energy efficiency by keeping the temperature at 3 C (37 F) and the freezer at -18 C (0 F). Your food will be perfectly chilled, without using excess energy.
• Make your fridge and freezer run at their energy-efficient best and prolong their lives by cleaning the condenser once or twice a year so their motors don't have to run as long or often.
• Use your microwave whenever you can. It uses 75 per cent less energy than a conventional oven.
• Compare energy-efficiency ratings on EnerGuide labels. A pilotless gas oven can cook a casserole for an hour at less than half the cost of an electric one. Gas ranges are well insulated and typically cook food faster, so they don't have to be powered for as long.
• When you put the kettle on for tea, plug it in. An electric kettle takes half as much energy to boil water than it does to use a stove-top kettle.
• Save energy by steaming veggies in a countertop double-decker steamer. It uses less water and power and cooks food faster than a stove-top model.
• Make sure your dishwasher carries a full load before switching it on. It will be more energy and water efficient and -- bonus -- your dishes come out cleaner, too. Skip the dry cycle and let your dishes air-dry, or opt for the cool-dry rather than the heat-dry setting to cut energy use by 15 to 50 per cent.
Check it out:
• www.consumerreports.org offers expert, independent ratings on everything from appliances to electronics.
• http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/index.cfm has tips on energy-efficient appliances.
• www.powerwise.ca and www.greenerchoices.org have more clever ways to cut your energy use at home.
• Find out how eco-friendly your diet is with the Eating Green calculator by the U.S. Center for Science and Public Interest. The Eating Green calculator shows how small dietary changes, such as replacing daily servings of meat and dairy products with fruit, vegetables and whole grains, can affect the health of our planet.
In the kitchen
• Educate yourself about what you are eating. The Endangered Fish Alliance lists four items on the endangered list that we should avoid: swordfish, Chilean sea bass, orange roughy and certain types of caviar. Visit www.mbayaq.org for a printable guide.
• Buy organic when you can. Organic farming causes less pollution from pesticides and produces less carbon dioxide, which is a major greenhouse gas. Not sure where to buy organic? Visit the Canadian Organic Growers for a list of where to buy organics across the country.
• When buying groceries, consider the four "N" philosophy: natural (no pesticides and as little processing as possible), naked (minimal packaging), nutritious and now (in season).
• Try buying local food whenever possible. You're supporting the local economy, the produce is more likely to be fresh (most will have been picked within 24 hours) and you can ask about the grower's farming practices, such as pesticide use. Another bonus: Local produce isn't transported long distances, so the environment also benefits from reduced fuel usage and emissions.
• Consider going veggie at least two or three times a week. It takes up to 5,000 gallons of water to raise one pound of meat; one pound of wheat takes 25 gallons.
• Rinse fruit and vegetables before and after peeling instead of continuously under running water.
• Scrape appropriate food residue into a compost bin instead of rinsing it down the drain -- it's easier on our water-treatment systems.
• Use no more than the recommended amount of detergent when washing up.
• Pack lunches in reusable containers and opt for dining in rather than taking out to avoid disposable packaging.
In the living room
• An open gas fireplace wastes up to 85 per cent of the gas it uses because, like a wood-burning fireplace, the fire sucks heat from inside and sends it out through the chimney. Direct-vent gas fireplaces burn more efficiently and deliver more heat to your room. A direct-vent gas fireplace can also save you up to $80 a year in heating costs.
• Turn your home's thermostat down when the fire is on, keep the glass doors clean and closed so they transmit heat more efficiently, and make sure the damper is closed and properly sealed when the flames die. With a gas fireplace, be sure to turn it off.
Tip: You can save 40 to 50 per cent of the total gas your fireplace uses each year by turning off its pilot light in the summer.
• Your computer, TV, VCR, DVD player and other electronics sip on power even when they're turned off. Unplug electronics when you won't be using them for a day or longer. Remember to pull the plugs on these items at the cottage, too.
Did you know... Having plants around your house can cut indoor air pollutants by more than half? English ivy and peace lilies absorb toxic gases such as formaldehyde and benzene. Plants can also help keep your home cool in the summer and insulated in the winter.
In the bathroom
• Do you have a cabinet full of expired medications? Don't flush them away. Most pharmacies and/or municipalities will take your old medications and dispose of them in a safe and secure manner.
• Change your bathing routine by switching from baths to showers. A bath uses more than 80 litres of water; a shower uses less than 38 litres every five minutes.
• If you prefer taking a shower to soaking in a bath, shorten your time; 10 minutes is too long. Also, a low-flow showerhead and faucet will save as much as 50 per cent of the water you use each time.
• Low-flush toilets conserve water and reduce the greenhouse gases produced in the water-purification process.
• Newer toilet tanks use about six litres of water -- about two-thirds less than old models. If you don't want to buy a new toilet, place a one-litre capped plastic water bottle in the tank to replace some of the water so less is used for each flush.
Did you know... Faucets run seven to 11 litres of water each minute. Turn off taps when you aren't using them.
Check it out:
Looking for eco-friendly home furnishing and decor products? Try the following:
• Habitat for Humanity ReStore
• Home Again Recycling
• Green Home Centre
• Forest Stewardship Council
Page 1 of 3
Further in this article
2. Green guide: Cleaning, waste and on the road
3. Green guide: Recreation, in the garden, and at the cottage
- Top eco-friendly makeup companies
- Is Canada eco-friendly?
Guide to greener living : Body & Mind : Lifestyle : Sympatico / MSN
Last edited by moomies; April 6th, 2007 at 03:20 PM.
If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.
Great guide, Mooms. I've been doing some of those things for years. I'm always amazed by how feel people feel the need to recycle even easy things like newspapes, bottles etc. Our downstairs neighbours for one.
It really doesn't take much effort once it becomes a habit.
awesome post moomies, a lot of great tips...one day i want to have a hybrid car, live in a solar-panel house, buy only organic ethical food, etc...one day when i can afford all that lol..right now all i can do is recycle
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