Green your home for Earth Day
It's Earth Day, and, according to a recent Home Depot Canada and Environics Research study, the Home Depot Canadian Green Home Index, we Canadians have a long way to go in greening our homes. We scored only 60 out of 100 in green home habits!
According to the index, 83 per cent of Canadians are interested in making their homes greener, but only two per cent say their households are already as green as they can be.
We're not even doing all that well on basic green principals, with only seven per cent using reusable shopping bags and turning off lights or appliances when they're not in use.
The index, which will be conducted biannually, also found that in the past six months the top three green efforts undertaken by consumers are:
- Choosing recyclable or biodegradable and organic products (25 per cent)
- Buying energy efficient light bulbs (24 per cent)
- Using green garbage/recycling and compost bags (22 per cent)
While I do try to use reusable shopping bags, clean green and turn out the lights when I leave the room, I know there's still a lot more I can do. For example, for months I've been meaning to hook my home entertainment system up to a power bar so that I can fully shut it down when it's not in use. I am, however, making that a priority when I move!
Other ways to easily boost your green cred include:
- Go for the classic cleaning combo: water, baking soda and elbow grease
- Get an energy audit to find out how energy efficient your home really is, and where to start making changes
- Repair cracks in your foundation and around windows and door — stopping those leaks can lower heating and cooling costs by 10 per cent
- To curb water usage, the Home Depot recommends replacing washers and valves on leaking taps, running the washing machine on cold, and watering your lawn early in the day to avoid evaporation
- Donate unwanted items from your spring cleanup rather than putting them out on the curb
- Clean your air conditioner coil and vents and schedule an inspection of your entire heating and cooling system by a professional
- Consider a push mower for your summer lawn care - you'll reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 80 pounds a year and burn off calories at the same time
For more great green ideas, check out 10 tips for a clean, green spring.