Greening your space
Community We often focus our energy on greening one aspect of our lives while, in reality, there are many different ways to do so.
Apartments and condos
While apartment and condo dwellers tend to have less control over the sources of their heat and water, there are many steps you can take to improve efficiency in
- Adjust the refrigerator thermostat between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius and the freezer between -18 and -15 degrees Celsius.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs.
- Encourage other tenants to take part in the movement by placing notices in the laundry rooms encouraging cold water washes as opposed to hot water washes.
- Encourage your building management or condo board to look into low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, and tap aerator installations.
- Post a request for carpool buddies on your building’s message board.
- With summer just around the corner, greening your cottage is the next logical step after greening your home. After all, it is what most people regard as their “oasis” — and a place synonymous with green living:
- Think about the food, drinks, toiletries, and other purchases you take to the cottage, and select those with less packaging. Buy in bulk and refill your containers.
- Remove excess packaging from products that you can’t do without before you head up to the cottage and put the packaging in your recycling bin at home.
- Bring beverage containers with a return deposit on them instead of metal cans.
- Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products at the cottage, such as newspaper and vinegar for cleaning windows, and baking soda and salt for sinks.
- Composting at the garden doesn’t have to create wildlife worries. Avoid adding meats and cheeses to your compost to minimize wildlife problems.
- For many people, a large majority of the day is spent in the workplace rather than at home. So, why not expand the movement and green your office as well?
- Start at home — pack a litterless lunch by bringing fresh food and leftovers in reusable containers.
- Bring your own coffee mug to work. Most coffee chains offer a discount if you bring your own mug.
- Reduce the amount of paper waste by using scrap paper in the printer and photocopier for non-essential items. When buying paper for the office, do some research and only buy from companies with sustainable forestry practices and significant post-consumer content.
- For outside print jobs, find out if the company you deal with uses vegetable based inks, and 100 percent post-consumer paper.
- When leaving work, turn off all lights, computers, and monitors. Adding an easy-to-shut-off power bar will also eliminate energy “leakage” from equipment that remains plugged in.
Source: Earth Day Canada