20 Feb 2014

Going “green” at home! Reducing your Carbon Footprint.

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Are you hoping to “go green” but have no idea where to start? Or perhaps the idea of “greening” your life is a little overwhelming. Don’t worry it was for me too. I have solutions! Check back on Thursday as I make suggestions for going green. We will take it one step at a time. This week, I am sharing some tips to cut down on your carbon footprint at home.

Practice Green Computing

There are many ways you can practice green computing. Turning off your computer and other electronics when they are not in use is the easiest step to reducing energy consumption. Shop smart. Buying less is the best way to reduce waste. Can you find a similar product used? The BC Electronics Materials Exchange is a great site for finding used electronics

Lastly, proper handling and recycling of E-waste is hugely important. Electronic devices contain a number of hazardous materials.

Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

The bulbs closest to the old ones we all grew up with in terms of the quality of light given off is the halogen incandescent. These bulbs last two or three times longer and are about 28% more efficient. They give off t a bright, clean light.

The most well-known energy efficient bulb is the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The spiral-shaped bulbs are miniature versions of the long, tubular fluorescent lights. The bulbs use up to 75 per cent less electricity to produce the same amount of light as the old incandescent ones.

The most expensive option is a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. These bright, tiny bulbs have been common in Christmas lights and are now available in compact bulbs for regular use. LEDs are the Cadillac of light bulbs, with energy efficiency 85 to 90 per cent greater than incandescent bulbs. A bulb used for three hours a day might not need to be replaced for more than 20 years, up to 25,000 hours. LEDs cost between $10 and $40 each but the price continues to fall as the quality improves. They come in soft white, bright white or daylight.

Low Flow Showerhead

For maximum water efficiency, get a low-flow showerhead with a shut-off valve. This allows you to turn off the water while soaping up, and then turn it back on instantly without having to readjust the temperature.

Installing a low-flow showerhead is easy. Simply unscrew your old one, take it to your local hardware store to make sure you get the right replacement, and screw on the new one and you’re back in business.

A family of three may take almost 1,000 showers per year. If you replace your standard showerhead with a low-flow model, you could save 26,600 litres of hot water and between $80 and $100 annually on your energy costs

For even more hot water savings, insulate all accessible hot water pipes. As a guide, insulate the pipe wherever it is hot to the touch. This helps to reduce heat loss and you won’t have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on your faucet or showerhead, which helps conserve water.

With these 3 easy steps you have made a significant reduction to your daily energy consumption. Way to go!