Canada’s Environmental Performance Can Be Improved with these 15 Energy Efficient Tips for the Home!
The Conference Board of Canada is an independent, evidence-based, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. They put out loads of free research reports every month that you can read to stay on top of our nation’s trends.
Last month, the organization released a report that graded 16 nation’s environmental performance.
Canada’s Environmental Performance came in near the bottom when compared to other 16 nations, at 14th, only beating the United States and Australia.
According to the report, which evaluated the countries on nine indicators that included air pollution, freshwater management, and climate change, it was only enough to earn Canada a D.
Some things are going well. For example, Canada earned an “A” for our low-emitting electricity generation. In that category we were only beat out by Norway, Switzerland, France, and Sweden!
But, that still leaves a lot of room for improvement. So how can you help the country improve its environmental grade?
We’ve created a list of 15 Energy Efficient Tips to Improve Canada’s Environmental Performance -that you can start doing today and save you some cash anyway- and we’ve organized them into the well-known categories of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Get a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats like Nest will automatically adapt to your habits and the seasons to keep your house warm or cool as efficiently as possible.
They’ve even released a whitepaper outlining the potential savings. According to their studies, users of their thermostat can reduce their heating costs by 10-12%. That reduces energy consumption and increases efficiency.
- Install low flow toilets and shower heads
The humble toilet is the biggest water drain In your average North American household. They tend to use about 30% of your total water consumption.
Older model toilets use between 11 to 19 litres per flush, while newer low flow models can get that number down to 4.8 liters.
Over the course of a year, for a family of four, you could reduce your consumption by over 40,000 liters! That’s enough to fill a small pool.
- Switch your incandescent lights for LEDs
Electric lighting typically burns up to 25% of a household’s electricity budget, but with LEDs you can reduce that amount by up to 90%!
LEDs consume less, last up to 10 times as long, and are easy to install. If you’re interested in making the switch for your own home or business, you can see what we offer on our products page or ask for more information here.
- Bike to work
Biking to work will significantly reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also boost your quality of life. With the added exercise, lack of gridlock, and never having to worry about finding a parking spot, you’ll find that taking your bike is as good for you as it is for the environment.
- Stop wasting food
Here are some numbers that might make you think twice about loading up your plate at the buffet. In a 2010 study researchers estimated the energy intensity of food production from agriculture, transportation, processing, food sales, storage, and preparation for 2007 was 8080 ± 760 trillion BTU.
In 1995 approximately 27% of edible food was wasted.
That wasted energy could power nearly 21 million north american homes for a year!
- Unplug appliances to reduce phantom draw
Any of your appliances that have an indicator light that’s always on are drawing power even when the appliance is turned off. This is called phantom draw.
In order to reduce the amount of energy these appliances use, consider purchasing power bars with on/off switches that can be turned off to stop the energy draw when the appliance is not in use. We cannot stress this enough, it’s so simple and helps so much. If you’re looking for the easiest way to improve Canada’s Environmental Performance – heck anywhere-in-the-world environmental performance, UNPLUG YOUR CHARGERS! Unplug those appliances that leave that little stand by mode light on, you’ll notice the incremental savings over time as well!
- Reuse your plastic grocery bags.
Recycled plastic grocery bags are actually quite efficient to make, and there’s absolutely no reason to throw them out after a single use.
Instead of tossing them in the garbage after you’ve unloaded your groceries, ball them up and bring them back to the store the next time you go!
- Get a reusable cup to fuel your caffeine addiction
It’s been estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are deposited in landfills every year. That’s way too much!
Buying a reusable cup and bringing it with you the next time you go to your favourite coffee spot can offset the cost of it’s production after just 15-20 refills.
- Use plastic containers instead of throw-away zip-lock bags
There’s so many options out there these days for inexpensive plastic containers. Just make sure you don’t start treating these as disposable, too!
Instead of packing your lunch with plastic bags and then throwing them out after one use, start using, and reusing, plastic or glass containers.
- Cut down on paper towel use
Sometimes paper towels are the right choice. Their one-use, throw away economics are perfect for keeping things sanitary, but not so great for keeping consumption down.
In a lot of cases, a reusable kitchen cloth can do the job just as well, and now that there’s lots of antibacterial microfiber options available, you can have the best of both worlds: sanitary and reusable!
- Try to fix it
With so many inexpensive products on the market it’s often easier for us to buy something new rather than to fix something we already own. But the price isn’t the only thing we should be worrying about.
Everything we buy and use takes a bit of our planet to produce. Before you pitch it, try to fix it!
- Just do it!
There have been enough recycling programs advertised and promoted that we all know about recycling cans, bottles, milk containers, and juice bottles. Plus, you’re missing out on your deposit if you don’t.
All it takes is a little extra work to set aside a separate bin for your recyclables and a trip to the depot every few weeks to trade your cans for some cash.
- Recycle your bio waste by composting
Whether you have a vegetable garden or just a few flower pots on your veranda, composting your leftover food and vegetable scraps can provide great nutrients for your soil.
It can be a little bit of work to create a compost pile of your own, but there are a lot of products available that make composting clean and easy.
- Recycle your electronics
Many of your electronics contain valuable metals that can be harvested to make new products. But, more importantly, recycling your electronics keeps a lot of potentially harmful substances out of landfills.
If you want to find a location where you can recycle your electronics in Canada, start by checking out the Electronic Products Recycling Association’s website.
- Buy Recycled
While creating a habit of recycling at home can got a long way, you can help out even more by favouring recycled products when you’re making purchases.
Just look for the universal recycling logo to see if what you’re buying is working to be part of the solution.
Reducing your energy consumption often comes by finding alternatives to the everyday activities you now take for granted.
If you have any additional tips to help everyday Canadians improve Canada’s Environmental Performance, leave your ideas in a comment below. Together, we can have a real impact on our country, and our planet!
About The Author
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor my objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in. CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.
- 2017.12.27UncategorizedSaving the World and Saving Money: Green Home Improvements Every Homeowner Should Make
- 2017.01.17Be green & save5 Simple Green New Year Resolutions For 2017
- 2016.11.09LED factsReplacing a 400 HID Lamp for an LED
- 2016.09.26Be green & saveVintage LED Bulbs Make What’s Old New Again