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I watched "Surviving Progress" and it made me think about the ways that I could live a more green and sustainable life. 


What does living green mean to you?


Are you someone wanting to build an energy efficient home from scratch, retrofitting your home with green features, wanting to improve your home's indoor air environment or simply making your home more energy efficient? If you answered yes to any of the above, you are making a pledge to live a more green and sustainable life.


We can all change our habits and ways of doing things. In this blog, I would like to offer a few tips on low-cost ways that you can live a more green and sustainable way of life. There are many larger improvements that you can make to your home and I would like to be your trusted advisor offering you resources and information on green options that are available.



Recycle Responsibly:


  • Dispose of your electronics and household appliances (e.g. televisions, radios, refrigerators, freezers, computers, CFL bulbs, batteries, cell phones etc.) responsibly. Look online for the recycling facility located closest to you.  







  • Water your garden early in the morning to avoid evaporation
  • Use soaker hoses
  • Use native plant species in your garden that do not require much water beyond that of rainfall
  • Use an outdoor water timer to ensure correct amount and frequency
  • Consider composting and mulching which is laying organic materials such as compost, aged wood chips, leaves or grass clippings around landscaping beds and plants
  • Consider rain harvesting or using a grey water system, If your municipality or neighborhood permits this





Fertilizers and Pest Control:


  • Before resorting to harmful pesticides, try these options:
  •   - Remove dead plants and pull weeds around the property
  •   - Select pest resistant plants
  •   - Use physical traps or barriers (only use organic pesticides as a last resort!)







Use Green Cleaning Products:

  • Use green seal products or eco-safe products around your house.


Wood Products: 


  • If you are purchasing wood products, choose those that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Also use reclaimed and recycled wood products whenever you can.






  • Switch off any unnecessary lights
  • Changing your incandescent bulbs with CFL (Compact Flourescent Lights) or LED (Light-emitting Diodes) bulbs have several benefits from saving energy to reducing energy costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. CFL bulbs are definitely an upgrade to incandescent lighting (more energy efficient and lowers your lighting cost), however CFL bulbs contain a slight amount of mercury which raises concerns about proper disposal and handling in case the light bulb breaks.



                                                           CFL Bulb:        





  • An even better alternative to CLF's are LED light bulbs. Why are they better and is the initial cost worth it? (you can purchase these at most home improvement stores and cost approx. $20.00 per bulb after rebates). Even though LED bulbs are more expensive, they have an estimated life of 25,000 hours for residential use - that's amazing! To demonstrate their life, an LED light installed in an infant's room would only have to be changed when he/she graduates from college.

                                                           LED Bulb:    




Painting around the house / choosing a carpet:


  • If you are planning on re-painting your house, choose low- VOC or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and low toxic paints. When choosing a carpet, pick one that is low-VOC. Carpets are sometimes a host to numerous problems and act like a reservior for dust mites, pet dander, pollen, odours and more. Consider having your carpet professionally cleaned on an annual basis. Moreover, carpets are a short-lived product and usually end up in landfills or incinerators, therefore hard flooring options such as bamboo flooring (bamboo is considered a type of grass that grows at a fast rate) are a good alternative. 


Shower heads / low flow faucets:

  • Replace your shower heads and faucets with low-flow equivalents.  





Replacing Appliances: 

  • If you are replacing your appliances, make sure to select Energy Star Appliances.


Shop at Your Local Farmer's Market:  


Choose natural or organic locally sourced and produced foods at your local farmer's market. There is an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, poultry, meats and more available at most local farmers markets. By making a pledge to eat local, you are reducing your local carbon footprint and supporting your local economy.    Have a look at the following links to find one near you: - Vancouver Area Farmer's Markets - North Shore Farmer's Markets  


Implementing some or all of the above steps is a good way to start being more environmentally responsible and at the same time improving your family's comfort and health.  

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