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Reducing Your Homes Carbon Footprint

Being environmentally conscious has become a daily part of modern life. From eating organic to recycling, there are a myriad of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint — or the negative impact your daily activities have on the environment.

One of the biggest ways to shrink your carbon shoe size — and save money — is to reduce the amount of energy you use at home. This doesn’t mean installing solar panels or opting for a wood-burning stove. Nobody expects you to live like a pioneer.

Instead, there are several easy, cost-effective adjustments that make a surprisingly big impact on the environment.

1. Switch Your Lightbulbs.

Everyone knows that shutting off the lights is a big energy saver. But what’s a homeowner to do when the lights are on? Trading standard lightbulbs for energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs or LED lights not only saves you money on your electricity bill, but also helps to reduce the amount of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.

2. Insulate.

Heat loss is a huge contributor to the size of your home’s carbon footprint. Insulate the attic and basement to keep from heating the great outdoors. Seal up any holes or cracks in your walls and make sure your windows close tightly.

Insulate your home
Source: Home Depot

3. Unplug.

Your home is filled with vampires. Not the sparkly, blood-sucking kind you see in movies, but the kind that secretly siphons energy. This includes appliances, laptops and phone and computer chargers. Even when not in use, these items draw out energy. Unplug them and the problem is solved.

Plug in adapter
Source: Home Depot

4. Switch to Vacation Mode.

If you’re heading out on vacation, give your home a break as well. Close all of the windows, unplug everything and switch big energy producing items like your water heater to “vacation” mode. This mode makes the water heater pump out warm water instead of the piping hot kind.

5. Change Filters.

Old filters make items like air conditioners and furnaces work twice as hard. Switch the filters regularly and you’ll get better quality air at half the price.

air filter
Source: Home Depot

6. Get an Energy Audit.

Canadians who participate in the federal government’s ecoENERGY Retrofit Program are eligible for up to $5,000 to help make their homes more energy efficient. After an evaluation, your home will receive an energy efficiency rating and areas of improvement will be identified. It’s a great way to pinpoint exactly how much energy your home consumes and get a financial leg up on making improvements.

Implementing these changes to your home routine may take a little getting used to. However, your lower energy bill and a healthier environment make it all worth it.

By Megan Mostyn-Brown

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