Being good to the planet is not only vital for the environment, you can save money too.
There are many environmentally friendly upgrades you can make to your home but most centre around energy efficiency. These modifications will not only lower the amount you spend on energy bills, but also add to the value of your property (sometimes by more than 100% of the original outlay).
Here are 10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home and also benefit from lower utility bills.
Plant a garden
Trees and plants are natural air purifiers, so having them around your home and garden will have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. Since gardening often involves hard digging and lifting, you can always consider hiring a HeyBryan Lawn Maintenance Expert to help you with planting, or even with a small-scale garden redesign.
Install low-flow faucets and fixtures
Low-flow faucets and fixtures require less water than traditional ones. For example, a 6-litre toilet requires about half the amount of water as a regular toilet. These fixtures come in a wide variety of designs, so it is easy to incorporate them into the current style of your home.
Mount solar panels on your roof
Rooftop panels can harness solar power and send it to your electrical panel for your home’s use, which saves you money by diminishing your need of hydro and gas. To find out more about best utilizing this free source of energy, why not check out our recent article on the six solar power ideas for your home here.
Choose non-toxic paint
Thinking about painting? Choose non-toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paint since some regular versions can give off gases and environmentally harmful fumes for weeks after use. Book a local HeyBryan Painting Expert for help with any painting project.
Insulate your attic
Space heaters and air-conditioners use substantial amounts of power. By putting more or better quality insulation in your attic, you’ll keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Doing so will result in less energy use to regulate the temperature in your home, and the financial savings can be substantial.
Select energy-efficient appliances
Today’s appliances are much more energy efficient compared 10 years ago, so make sure you choose appliances that have a good EnerGuide rating (the official mark of the Government of Canada for an appliance’s energy performance). Aside from the benefits to the environment, you’ll quickly save money on your hydro and gas bills too.
There are also ways you can cut your energy usage with the appliances you already have, such as turning down the temperature your water heater and washing clothes on a colder setting to save on hot water.
Choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood
For any project that requires wood such as decking or fencing, make sure to use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. It’s more expensive, but you can feel good about using wood that’s from a sustainably-managed forest. A HeyBryan Handyman will have knowledge of where to source such materials and can even help do the work!
Dry your clothes on a clothesline
Your electric dryer is a hydro guzzler. You’ll save money and help the environment by installing a clothesline to dry your laundry outside naturally.
Reduce your electricity use
Use energy-efficient LED bulbs instead of incandescent ones. LED consume far less energy (about 1/10 the wattage), while also lasting around 20 times longer, cutting down on both power and material consumption.
Also, ensure to unplug small appliances or electronic devices when not in use since they are still pulling a current even whenever they’re plugged in (known as vampire energy consumption).
Compost your waste
Food waste that goes to traditional landfills produces methane gas. This greenhouse gas is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By composting your organic waste and using it for soil mulch, you’ll be returning this food back to the earth in a more natural way.
It’s easy to reduce household energy consumption when you put systems in place and make it part of your daily habits. And remember, HeyBryan Experts are available anytime to help with projects like these or most small tasks around your home.
Visit Natural Resources Canada for many more ideas.