Monday, January 19

Here are 10 ways you can be greener every day.

Some of the following information has been adapted from reputable sources, including Environment Canada

1. Avoid idling vehicles for more than one minute.
Instead of letting your car idle, turn off the ignition. It uses less gas and emits less CO2 to stop and restart your car than to let it run. In fact, idling uses wice as much gas as driving!

2. Walk, bike, or take the bus.
Bike racks are also available on buses. More people taking the bus means less cars on the road, and that’s good for everyone.

3. Maintain your vehicle
Keeping your vehicle in top shape will save fuel and help the environment. Keep tires inflated: Just one tire under inflated by six psi can increase fuel consumption by three per cent and wear up to 40 percent faster.

Replace the plastic cap on the tire’s air valve with a steel cap, which seals much better than the standard issue cap. This is the best tool to keep your tires inflated and generally costs less than one dollar.

Align tires: A misaligned tire will use around two percent more fuel and cause remature tire wear. Use appropriate fuel: Read your owner’s manual before heading to the pumps and use the recommended type of fuel. Using supreme or premium fuels in cars designed forregular fuel is paying a premium price for something that will not work as well. It is a waste of money and fuel, could hurt the engine, and will harm the environment.

Keep tank full in winter: Keeping your gas tank full can end up saving you big. When the gas tank isn’t full, the moist air in the gas tank condenses against the inside wall of the tank. This water affects the quality of the fuel, causing starting problems, fuel not being burned efficiently, engine misfiring, and adding strain to the engine.

4. Conserve Energy
Use fluorescent bulbs: Changing just one traditional incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb results in savings of over $45 during its lifetime. Each bulb uses one fourth of the energy of an incandescent bulb, lasts up to 10 times longer and the energy saved keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Lights out: It’s obvious, but turning off lights at night can save you, and the environment, big. A computer left on to run 24 hours a day can increase the electricity bill by $75 to $120 yearly. By putting the computer into standby mode, this amount is reduced to only $15 per year.

Wash clothes in cold water: Over 90 per cent of energy used by a washing machine comes from water heating. Save on your bill by washing clothes in cold water, with special cold-water detergent.

Lower the thermostats: Lower the thermostat by three degrees in winter and you can save up to 10 per cent on your heating bill. Wearing that sweater never felt so smart! Choose energy efficient appliances. Dishwashers today are nearly 95 percent moreenergy-efficient than those bought in 1972.

Have an energy audit done on your home and retrofit your home to make it energy efficient.

5. Conserve Water
Most common water wasting culprits: Leaking toilets are the most common cause of a high water bill. View our tips on preventing a leaky toilet. server water

Toilet flushing is the largest single use of water in a home, followed by showering and bathing. New low-flush toilets use six litres per flush compared to 22 litres with older toilets, lowering your water bill by approximately $65 a year. Low-flow showerheads save eight litres of water each minute.

Do not leave water hoses running unnecessarily.

Never leave the tap running when washing vegetables or dishes, shaving, or brushing your teeth.

Repair leaks immediately, as a small drip quickly amounts to litres of water wasted. Water meters can help detect a leak.

Use water-efficient fixtures in the home, as showers/baths account for about 30 per cent of indoor water use and toilets account for about 35 percent. Run the dishwasher and clothes washing machine only with full loads.

Shorter length showers help conserve water, and filling the bath only half full saves 80 litres or more per bath. You could save hundreds of dollars each year! Keep water in the fridge instead of running tap water and waiting for it to get cold enough to drink. Dispose of kitchen and dry waste in the garbage instead of flushing down the garbage disposal. Use a bucket and sponge for washing the car instead of running water.

Use a barrel to collect rainwater from your downspouts. Collected rainwater can be used for garden and lawn watering.

Lawn watering tips:
Deep, infrequent watering promotes deep, strong roots and will make your lawn healthier. Watering too often may cause disease by starving the soil of oxygen. Apply 2.5 cm (one inch) of water once a week, only if watering is needed. Water early in the morning or late in the evening. Some experts say lawns don’t need watering at all, since grass will go “dormant” during extended periods of dry weather, and will return to normal once dry weather stops.

6. Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce

BYOB ( Bring your own bag!): Re-usable grocery bags greatly reduce the amount of plastic bags going into landfills, and are easily available in most stores. Use them for all your shopping needs!

Enviro-friendly take-out: Bring your own reusable containers when ordering take-out. This saves tons of styrofoam, plastic wrap, aluminum foil and cardboard from ending up in landfills. Just let the restaurant know you'll be bringing in your own dishes, and make sure to have enough dishes!

Rinse recyclables: Though some of the materials recycled in our wet waste are used for compost, help maximize the amount of material recycled. Rinse out cans, bottles, and other recyclable materials and place them Recycle bin.

7. Compost at home
You can further reduce materials going into landfills by composting at home. For more information on backyard composting, visit the Composting Council of Canada’s website .

8. Plant a tree
Plant a tree. Having trees on your property also provides shade and shelter for birds and small animals, keeping our ecosystem healthy and diverse.

9. Buy locally
Support the local economy and enjoy fresh local food when possible. Visit the 100-Mile Diet website for more information on how eating locally helps the environment, the economy.

10. Use pesticides less often.

Related Posts by Categories


Post a Comment