As conscious as we may be about our impact on the planet, we all have a carbon footprint and we all create waste. A carbon footprint represents the greenhouse gas emissions we create from where we shop, what we eat, how we move throughout our community, and from our household. If you google “calculate my eco footprint,” you can even discover exactly what your personal footprint is and how you can reduce it. In terms of waste, many of us are striving to live a minimalist lifestyle, but how often do we think of waste in terms of energy or water? This week, we wanted to focus on how to make the home more sustainable. See our five focus areas below and our tips to green your home.
An Environmental Working Group’s investigation of over 2,000 cleaning products found that many contained harmful chemicals and that these product’s labeling “did not give consumers enough information…to make informed decisions on which ones are safer and which ones might harm their health.” (1). One great way to avoid this concern while also reducing your use of products that may also be harmful to the planet is to make your own cleaners! Most homemade cleaners can be made with five or less ingredients and with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Check out this blog for an amazing stove cleaner recipe to get you started making your home green!
Did you know that drafts in your house can waste an average of 15% of your home’s energy (2)? What a waste! One trendy way to detect drafts is to light incense near doors and windows. If the smoke wavers, then you know you have a draft that needs fixing!
Another common place for leaks is in the bathroom. The average household leaks thousands of gallons of water every year from leaky toilets, shower heads, or taps (3). Fixing these slow drips will not only drastically reduce your water waste, but it will also reduce your utilities bill.
According to Natural Resources Canada, about 67% of our country’s electricity comes from renewable resources (4). If you wanted to completely offset your carbon footprint, we recommend looking into Bullfrog Power. Bullfrog “makes sure that for every kWh of electricity you use, a kWh from a pollution-free, renewable source is put on the grid on your behalf” (5). Our stores in Alberta, Blush Lane Organic Market, have partnered with Bullfrog Power for years and to date we have offset 2,423 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of taking 643 cars off the road!
For a more affordable option, making sure you turn off the lights when you leave a room and putting a sweater on instead of turning up the heat are both simple solutions worth practicing too. Or, if you live in an income-qualified household in B.C., you could qualify for this free energy saving kit offered by BC Hydro!
Consumption can cause a lot of waste and a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. With this in mind, when you are shopping for anything, always look for local, sustainably-produced, and second hand products.
Your garden can be more than just something pretty to look at! This summer, think about the ways that you can grow your own food or plant flowers that are attractive to pollinators. By doing these two things, you can actively contribute to creating a sustainable food system!
(1) “Cleaning Supplies and Your Health.” Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health
(2) “How to winterize your home.” David Suzuki Foundation. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/how-to-winterize-your-home/
(3) “WaterSense: Fix A Leak Week.” Environmental Protection Agency. https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/www3/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html
(4) “Electricity Facts.” Natural Resources Canada. https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/science-data/data-analysis/energy-data-analysis/energy-facts/electricity-facts/20068
(5) ” Green Energy” Bullfrog Power. https://www.bullfrogpower.com/green-energy/how-it-works/