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How to Be Environmentally Friendly in Your Home

Home Insurance

By Anne Valentino | September 27, 2017

Taking steps to safeguard our environment and to ensure that we provide a safe and clean world for generations to come isn’t just good in theory it is absolutely necessary. It really does start at home.

There are things we can all do – though might seem small on their own they can have a major impact if enough people do them.

Here are some things that you can do to be environmentally friendly in your home:

  • Conserve water
  • Save energy
  • Reduce consumption
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

Below are a few ideas of how you can make a difference for our environment:

Conserve Water

Conserving water isn’t just about taking shorter showers. There are many ways you can reduce your water consumption especially during dry conditions including:

  • Don’t leave the water running during tasks
  • Take shorter showers
  • Reduce or eliminate the amount of baths you take
  • Check for leaky faucets or a leaky toilet and repair it
  • Fit aerators on your faucets
  • Put a float booster in our toilet tank
  • Install low-flow showerheads
  • Always water plants at night or in the very early morning to minimize evaporation
  • Collect rainwater with rain barrels and use it
  • Don’t over-water your lawn or garden
  • Don’t buy bottled water (unless it is necessary due to failed water sanitation)
  • Only wash clothes if there is a full load
  • Choose high-efficiency toilets dishwashers and washing machines

Save Energy

Here are a few ways you can save energy in your home to be more environmentally friendly:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Turn off electronics (like the TV) when you’re not using them – or even better unplug them (or use power bars and turn them off when they’re not in use)
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Minimize your use of air condition and heating – set it at a reasonable temperature and avoid cranking it
  • Implement wind or solar power for your home – you may even be able to sell excess energy to the grid
  • Take shorter or cooler showers (hot showers are expensive)
  • Choose window covering that promote airflow and block afternoon sun
  • Close the blinds when it is hot
  • Avoid using the oven in the summer
  • Use microwaves and toasters before the oven if you can
  • Wash your laundry in cold water
  • Hang dry your laundry
  • Don’t use the heat dry function on your dishwasher
  • Only wash full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher
  • Don’t block radiators if you have them
  • Insulate heating ducts water heater and hot water pipes
  • Seal air leaks (especially around windows and doors)
  • Install energy efficient windows
  • Ensure your home is well insulated

Reduce Consumption

Reducing consumption is key into being more environmentally friendly in your home. Here are a few ways you can reduce consumption:

  • Buy less new things and only what you need
  • Choose products with less or environmentally friendly packaging
  • Buy recycled paper or products
  • Bring your own water bottle or to-go cup
  • Work on reducing your water and energy consumption
  • Print on both sides of the page
  • Try to walk or bike or take public transit when you can
  • Choose digital communication over paper communications
  • Store food in reusable containers – no foil or plastic wrap
  • Reuse things when you can

Recycle

Recycling has varying degrees of effectiveness depending on what’s being recycled. Here are some ways to recycle:

  • Compost organics
  • Participate in local recycling programs or take your recyclables to a recycling centre
  • Follow local bylaws for recycling electronics batteries et cetera
  • Don’t put recyclables in a plastic bag (unless it’s shredded paper)
  • Clean out all plastic metal and glass containers
  • Lids are often not able to be recycled
  • Check the local guidelines for recycling – not everything can be recycled
  • Consider donating things like clothing and household items if they’re in good condition

Being more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul in terms of the way you live. Just a few small things and being conscientious about the environment can help. Plus many of these tactics can save you money! Don’t forget to check out local programs such as Alberta’s Energy Saving Program. Take advantage of these publicly-funded initiatives to make your home greener.

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