Winter is not an easy time to be environmentally friendly because heating your house often uses non-renewable energy sources.
Although there are ways to live in harmony with one’s environment even in -20 degree weather, our society isn’t built for it — and there’s rarely enough ice in Toronto to build igloos anyway (igloos hold in heat extremely well because snow is a natural insulator).
But we all know climate change is a looming issue, for the planet and therefore for us, and so it’s important to still find a way to reduce our carbon footprint and make more mindful choices.
The World Wildlife Fund says that if all Canadians dropped their thermostats by just two degrees Celsius for a day, that greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 4 megatons, which is equivalent to taking nearly 700,000 cars off the road. Doing this could also save you 5 per cent on your utility bill. It’s a win-win!
It doesn’t matter if you prefer high-density living in a Toronto condo or prefer low-density Mississauga real estate, Kitchener real estate or Oakville real estate, we can all make changes that do make a difference — and save on our gas bills at the same time.
Here’s three ways to make more mindful heating choices this winter:
1 – Insulate
The best way to use less gas in the winter is to insulate your home. By keeping the heat inside the home, and closing any gaps from which heat escapes, you won’t need to expend as much fuel. Ask a professional from your energy company to come by and give you a free home energy assessment. They’ll tell you from where you get the most leakage, and write down some solutions. Governments often even offer rebates to offset the cost. Some easy things are re-caulking your windows and doors and adding insulation film to your windows and doors. Some bigger projects are replacing all your windows and adding insulation to your basement walls or attic.
2 – Switch to Solar Panels
Solar panels have never been more affordable. If you’re in a province that gets a lot of sunlight, like Saskatchewan and Alberta, you may be surprised to find an extensive series of government rebates.
3 – Put On a Sweater
The most inexpensive option is simply to put on a sweater and stock up on a few cozy blankets. Do you really need hot air blowing all the time, or can you get warm through the ancient art of layering? Wool holds in heat particularly well, and is an inexpensive material to purchase. Make sure to wear one on February 5, which is National Sweater Day, a day started by the World Wildlife fund to help raise awareness about renewable energy and change behaviours around energy consumption.
Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.