A man adds food to a compost bin, showing one way to be more eco-friendly at home

If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly at home, we have good news! There are several simple lifestyle changes and home upgrades you can make to consume less energy, produce fewer emissions, and decrease your carbon footprint.

  1. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances. Household appliances account for almost 14% of energy used in Canadian homes, and excessive energy consumption can have a massive impact on the environment. When it’s time to replace an old fridge or freezer, consider buying an ENERGY STAR-certified appliance that meets internationally recognized standards for energy efficiency and is backed by the Canadian government.
  2. Switch to low-flow water fixtures. Since fresh water is a limited resource, it’s important to conserve water where we can — especially in our homes. Consider switching to low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets to reduce the amount of water you’re using. These devices can cut the amount of water you use in half without sacrificing your water pressure.
  3. Use cold water during your laundry cycle. Did you know that almost all the energy used during a typical laundry cycle goes towards heating the water? It’s true. Consider using cold water and cold-water detergent in your washing machine to conserve energy while washing your clothes. For even more energy savings, hang your clothes to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer.
  4. Replace your lightbulbs with LEDs. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs  and, although they’re a bit pricier, these energy-efficient bulbs last far longer, too. If you’re concerned about colour, don’t be — LEDs come in a variety of cool and warm tones to meet your lighting needs.
  5. Upgrade to a smart thermostat. Central heat and air conditioning are the biggest culprits of high energy consumption in a home. Installing a smart thermostat will not only allow you to program and control your home’s temperature from your phone, but some of these Wi-Fi-enabled devices can even learn your household’s patterns and adjust the temperature automatically to help you save on energy (and lower your heating bill).
  6. Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. Your chargers, televisions, laptops, and other electronic devices continue to use energy while plugged in, even if they’re turned off. When they’re not in use, remember to unplug your electronics to reduce the amount of energy you’re using in your home. (Bonus tip: Unplugging electronics when they’re not in use can also help you avoid an electrical fire.)
  7. Minimize food waste. Landfills are huge sources of methane gas and carbon dioxide, which occur when food waste decomposes and contribute to air pollution and climate change. To prevent your food from ending up in a landfill, try committing to a meal plan, storing your food properly, and eating everything you buy. If an item is too far gone, remember to use your green bin (if you have one), or create a home compost bin. Your compost will help create a natural fertilizer to add to your home garden or potted plants to help naturally clean the air.

Wondering how you can be more eco-friendly at home? Consider making these changes to your habits and your home to consume less energy, produce fewer emissions, and decrease your carbon footprint.

By making these eco-friendly changes to your habits and upgrades to your home, not only could you lessen your home’s environmental impact, but you could even save money on your gas bill, your water bill, and your home insurance, too.

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