Saturday, June 22, 2013

Small steps toward green living

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. 
That’s what connects us – that we’re all broken, 
all beautifully imperfect.”

~ Emilio Estevez

 -- Path to Green Living -- 

As many of our loyal blog readers may recall when Dave and I first took over this property some 19 months ago, we had the home evaluated for energy efficiency and upon receiving their recommendations made some strategic choices on eco-improvements based on ROI and rebates that were available. As such we were able to replace all the doors and windows, insulate and finish the basement, upgraded all the appliances, furnace and hot water systems, installed an insulated garage door, upgraded some electronic office and entertainment equipment, and a more water savvy purification system for drinking water. 

We also did a lot of physical work to the home including insulation and proper venting in the attic, caulking every gap and crack we could find (there’s still some of that to do), installing insulation in the outlets and light switches and energy efficient light bulbs, and a lot of other smaller do-it-yourself projects that reduced the energy consumed from the home. We also put in a 3-bin compost system last year and the soil built from that has been put to good use in the tiered garden we are building - currently 3 wood-framed raised beds, which will eventually be 8 raised beds... all irrigated with soaker hoses of course.

 It took a lot of planning, deciding where our limited budget was best spent and fitting in the projects without exhausting us, but it is worth it in the end. The rebates of course were an incentive, as was our own personal passion for making a difference where we can, but we also noticed the cost of living from month to month is affected in a positive way. 

Locally in BC, Canada we have a couple of different sources for finding rebates, which we’ve talked about before, however I wanted to mention wonderful news I received from Fortis – who has a “live smart BC” program that encourages people to have less of an environmental footprint and has been going on for some time now. The results from their 2012 energy efficiency and conservation efforts have helped their customers save more than 360,000 gigajoules of gas – that energy saved is enough to heat 4,100 BC homes for a year! 

It really is amazing when we realize just how do-able it is to create a more sustainable lifestyle. The thing is to just start – start anywhere you are comfortable with. If you have only $10 to spare per paycheck use it to invest in greening your home with power bars, caulking, door sealing kits, light bulbs, etc. Before you know it you are on the way to saving money and making a valuable impact on greening the planet. 

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