There’s a lot of pressure on big corporations and the government to respond to the climate emergency our planet is in. But you don’t have to wait for people in high places to make changes. There are many things you can do to make your home more eco-friendly and make a difference.
Read on to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Home energy monitors
In order to figure out how to make your home more energy efficient, you probably need to find out where you use the most power.
Home energy monitors range from simple to complex.
Some track one specific outlet, while others use a smart power meter to tell you how much energy you are using in each room and at what times of the day.
Vancouver-based Rainforest automation simply reads your hydro meter remotely and provides the information via a cloud-based website. Smapee can track water, gas and electricity usage and can calculate exact consumption of individual appliance.
This green technology is a smart way to figure out how you can tweak your habits for energy conservation.
Solar water heater
Traditional water heaters use natural gas or electricity to heat the water you use to wash clothes, take showers and so on. Energy (and money) literally go down the drain each time you use heated water.
On the other hand, a solar hot water heater mainly uses the sun to heat up your water tank. In Canada, depending on where you live, the sun can provide up to 60% of the heated water you use in your home. That means you’d be spending only about 40% of what you currently spend on your water heating bill. Keep in mind that solar heaters do have a higher installation cost though.
You might be surprised to learn that your toilet uses more water than any other fixture in your home, including the sink and shower. An energy-efficient dual-flush toilet is a great way to reduce your water usage. The two buttons let you choose how much water you need each time you flush.
Best of all, you don’t need to upgrade your plumbing to upgrade your toilets.
Smart power strips
Even when your devices are turned off, if they are plugged into the wall, they keep using energy because they actually go into standby mode and aren’t actually off. This phantom energy might be using as much as 10% of your total energy usage.
Yet, manually unplugging computers, video game devices and sound systems isn’t really practical. Smart power strips cut power to all your plugged-in devices when you turn off the control device. This is an inexpensive and simple way to use less energy and save money on your monthly electricity bill.
Other ways to be more eco-friendly
Single use plastic cups, water bottles, bags and cutlery are a big problem across our planet. There’s no need for them when there are so many reusable versions available on the market.
Invest in metal straws and keep some in your pantry, car and bag so you always have one ready. Get into the habit of keeping a water bottle, tumbler or reusable mug in your car. Then if you decide to go through the drive-through, you can have them fill up your own cup.
Instead of buying plastic zip-top bags for sandwiches, snacks and leftovers, use reusable options. Replace cling wrap with a beeswax version that is reusable.
Invest in a set of cloth napkins instead of using paper ones. The same goes for paper towels.
By eliminating disposable items from your home, you are making consistent, daily choices that are better for our planet.
What other eco-friendly products do you use? Let us know in the comments.
Graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA English Specialization and has completed several publishing courses at Ryerson University. She is a proofreader, editor, and content writer based in London, Ontario.