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A Healthy Earth Starts at Home

sun shining on the grass

With Earth Day approaching, it’s time to think about how we can improve our carbon footprint – not only for the day, but every day.  Here are eight practical tips that we can all do to help support and protect our environment.

1. Take off the rack.

Winter is over, so there’s no need for the ski rack on your car. Help save money and fuel by making your car as aerodynamic and light as possible.  Be sure to lock up your ski equipment so it is well-protected for next winter.

2. Wrap it up.

When you wrap your water heater in a special insulation blanket, you may reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 per cent, which usually works out to be about four to nine per cent of your water heating costs.

3. Choose your lightbulbs wisely.

LED lightbulbs are more efficient and last longer than compact fluorescent and traditional incandescent bulbs. They also don’t contain mercury. Be sure to dispose of all bulbs properly. You can check with the store where you purchased them to see if they can be recycled. CFLs will need to be disposed of at a hazardous waste depot.

Baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning

4. Try homemade.

Lingering residues from ingredients in conventional cleaners, such as ammonia and glycol ethers, can dissolve and leave behind harmful and irritating vapours.  Some products, such as toilet cleaners, go directly into our water systems.  Consider making your own cleaning products or purchasing ones without harsh chemicals.  If you choose to purchase products, be sure to buy ones that have ingredients you are comfortable using in your home. Here are five more easy and cost effective ways to be green.

5. Invest in a water filter.

We’re all aware that plastic water bottles are not environmentally-friendly.  But you want convenient, chemical-free drinking water, right?  Check in with your local municipality. They can give you information about your tap water.  You can also opt for a refillable water filter or a filter that fits right onto your kitchen tap.  To take water with you, buy a refillable water bottle instead of using disposable plastic ones.

6. Landscape effectively.

To cut down on air conditioning, try planting.  Trees around your home’s east, west, and south sides can help shield it from the strong summer sun.  To let the winter sun in, keep the north side clear.  Shrubs, gardens, trees, and other plants can also serve to direct breezes, shield areas of the home you want to keep cool, and generally improve the environment of your home. Get started with these 10 essential tools and simple gardening tips for beginners.

Commuters on bicycles in the city

7. Take a ride.

With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, why not get the most out of them?  Opting to take a bike instead of a car for all your local travels can have the same effect on greenhouse gasses as planting up to 170 trees!  What’s more, when you ride your bike to work, you incorporate exercise into your day which means you can skip your cardio workout at the gym.

8. Use the sun for more than vitamin D.

By converting sunlight into energy, solar panels are a great way to provide clean energy – even during the winter!  Since the panels rely on sunlight, as long as the sun is shining, they produce energy all year long.  Look into grants from the government. They exist for those who want to incorporate solar energy into their home design.

Do you have any tips to add?  Share them in the comments below!