There’s no doubt we will be looking for ways to live more sustainably in 2023. This year, we encourage all homeowners to create healthy habits in their homes by making small changes wherever possible that will have a big impact on reducing their carbon footprint. Continue reading to find inspiration on eco resolutions you can make for 2023 and beyond!
10 NEW HABITS WITH SIMPLE CHANGES:
1. Switch off! A basic habit in all rooms of your home is to ensure that you always turn off the lights when leaving a room. You can save a good chunk of your monthly electricity costs by doing something as simple as this regularly.
2. Turn off the tap! When brushing your teeth or washing your dishes, consider turning the water off and only using it when necessary. You can also use a timer while showering as a tool to help shorten your showers.
3. Save on gas! Ride your bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation at least one day a week or whenever possible to avoid the use of gas emissions.
4. Refresh your home! Buy oxygen-generating plants to help improve air quality and spruce up the look of your living space while removing toxins. To learn more about which plants have these oxygen-generating benefits, click here.
5. Grow a garden! Set up your own at-home garden and grow your herbs and vegetables. This will save you money at the grocery store and curb carbon emissions and the production of waste linked to transportation, overpackaging, and a host of other harmful activities associated with larger food supply chains.
6. Power off! Always turn off all electronics when not in use and get into the habit of unplugging your electronics every night.
7. Bundle up! In the winter months, consider keeping the thermostat in your home at a reasonable temperature and putting on those extra layers to keep warm to save on energy.
8. Utilize your ERV! Energy will be saved by reducing the load on the heat pump while also effectively controlling humidity levels in your home.
9. Keep it clean! Dust and vacuum radiator surfaces regularly to help the flow of heat coming through!
10. Don’t forget to unplug! To help you save on your electricity bill, ensure you are unplugging all of your machines and tools when you aren’t using them.
Let’s dive deeper into small changes you can make in each room of your home to live more eco-friendly.
Switching to energy-efficient appliances
Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® certified appliances this year! It is an excellent investment because it will reduce energy usage and greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
There are many options to consider when switching to energy-efficient appliances that can help save you money long-term! Consider switching to an energy-efficient convection microwave oven, a drip coffee machine that doesn’t use single use plastic pods, or toasters that switch off!
Upgrading your appliances is just the beginning! Try these five simple tips to help save energy:
- Avoid overfilling your fridge and freezer to allow for airflow.
- Keep the doors on your fridge and freezer closed and sealed tight.
- Scrape and rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Ensure the dishwasher is full before running the load.
- UNPLUG your machines after use!
Use lids while cooking!
When making your favourite meals, cook with the lids on your pots and pans to save on energy. The lid will help keep the heat in the pan where it’s needed, which will reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to cook your food. This is especially important in the summer months, as you don’t want to add unnecessary heat to your air-conditioned home!
Use eco-cleaning products
Many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals. These cleaning products can leave behind residue that can come into contact with your skin, not to mention the food you prepare, the clothes you wear, and even your pets! Harmful products also have a negative environmental impact, including water pollution, air pollution, and more. Using eco-friendly household products is better for you, your family and the environment!
That is why here at Activa, we gift our new homeowners with eco-friendly soaps, cleaning products, and tools from Molloy’s to assist with this transition, including:
- Glass cleaner that can be used on mirrors, glass shower enclosures, glass tables and even your eyeglasses! Just spray the area and wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.
- Kitchen and bath degreaser that can be used on a wide range of surfaces including countertops, stainless steel appliances, showers, bathtubs, and toilets.
- All-purpose cleaner that is safe for all hard surfaces including wood, TV screens, walls, and more!
- Dishwashing brush that is made of teakwood and plant-based bristles, with a replaceable brush head.
- Swedish dishcloth that can be used to replace paper towels and sponges in the kitchen.
- A scent-free moisturizing hand soap that is safe for sensitive skin and packaged in a glass recyclable bottle.
- Dish soap that is non-toxic, biodegradable, gluten-free, and vegan to clean the toughest pots and pans while softening and moisturizing your hands.
Molloy’s products are eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable, gluten-free and vegan, and better yet, they offer brilliant results!
DIY kitchen compost bin
Create an in-home compost bin to cut down on the amount of garbage that your home produces. You can compost fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and other organic materials! To avoid odour in your kitchen from your compost bin, keep it in the freezer until it is full and ready to be disposed of.
Not sure where to start? Click here!
LIVING ROOM AND OFFICE
Lighting is everything
Switching to ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs will help you save money on your energy bill, and better yet, you can say goodbye to constantly buying replacement lightbulbs! They are 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last at least 25 times longer! To avoid using energy from lights in your home, take advantage of natural light during the day. Open your blinds and let the sun shine through!
PRO TIP: All Activa homes use LED bulbs that produce light using light-emitting diodes. These bulbs have no toxic ingredients which mean they are better for you and the environment!
Bundle up in the winter months!
Consider putting a carpet or rug down in your home office or living room in the winter to help stay warm! Before reaching for the thermostat, put on a layer of warm clothes or keep a cozy blanket with you. Raising your body temperature with a thick sweater and slippers is more cost-effective than turning your heater up a few notches.
Luckily in a Net Zero Ready home, the Dual Fuel Furnace and Heat Pump will switch between the two depending on the temperature, season, and function needed to maximize efficiency. Since the best device is always used to heat/cool the home, time, energy and money are saved.
Take advantage of natural lighting
In the winter months, nothing quite beats the feeling and ambience of pulling back the curtain and letting the warmth and radiance of the sunlight into your home. Using natural light can lessen the amount of electricity needed to provide light and heat. In the summer months, you may want to keep the blinds shut during the hottest part of the day to keep your home nice and cool. However, most of our homes are built with Triple Pane Windows that allow for a more consistent temperature in the summer and winter months with just as much sunlight!
Different circuitry for a different mood
When you don’t have natural light to brighten the room at night, keep a lamp beside your bed. This will save you energy and helps for better sleep. Another great option is to have dimmer lights in your room. Dimmer lights will reduce the amount of energy you are using to power your lights, and it will help your body adjust to winding down for the evening.
BATHROOM AND LAUNDRY ROOM
Lessen water usage
Create an eco-friendly bathroom by reducing the amount of water used on a daily basis! Consider checking to see if you need to fix leaky sinks, pipes, or toilet tanks as soon as possible to prevent water loss, sky-high utility bills, and potential damage to your home.
Don’t wait for the tap to warm up! A Tankless Water Heater is an excellent feature we use in our homes to reduce water usage. The water heater uses an electric element to warm the water coming through the pipes as soon as you open the tap, allowing you to enjoy hot water instantly while using less energy!
Engage in mindful laundry practices
To cut back on water usage, try being more conscious of re-wearing jeans, sweaters, and jackets, and wait until you have a full load to wash your clothes. Always use cold water when washing and air dry your clothes on a clothing rack in the winter or hang your clothes outside during the summer months.
Ditch the plastic
Did you know that every plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Well, every piece of plastic, in fact. Dental hygiene routines generally involve a lot of plastic and packaging, but they don’t have to! There are some exciting products available to help you make sure you aren’t adding to this pile, more than necessary. you can also make the switch from a disposable razor to a safety razor! Multi-blade cartridge razors are the most wasteful products that we use in our bathrooms with over two billion razors ending up in landfills each year. With a safety razor, the handle itself is built to last a lifetime and only the razor blades need to be replaced.
Activa homes have built-in Low Flow Plumbing. This energy-efficient feature uses a high-pressure technique to create the same water pressure while limiting the amount of water expelled per minute, and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Consider switching your bathroom toilets to Low Flow dual-flush toilets, high-efficiency shower heads, and high-efficiency faucets to reduce water usage by 50% or more!
Ready to take the next step towards an eco-friendly home?
At Activa, all Townhomes are ENERGY STAR® certified so that your home is designed to be as much as 20% more energy-efficient than those built to minimum building code requirements. They feature energy-saving measures, such as insulation upgrades, higher-performance windows, better draft proofing and more efficient heating, hot water and air conditioning systems, for increased savings and comfort.
Net Zero Ready comes standard in all single detached homes so that your home is optimized to generate as much energy as an average family consumes annually– all it needs post-closing is energy-producing technology like solar panels to be installed! To take energy efficiency to the next level, you can upgrade your home to Net Zero with built-in and ready-to-use solar panels installed on the rooftop. This renewable energy source provides low-carbon, sustainable energy by generating electricity from the sun, saving you money over time.
To learn more about our ENERGY STAR® certified homes, click here.
To learn more about our Net Zero Ready homes, click here.