It’s summertime; the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the garden is flourishing – it’s the perfect time of year to look to ways of living greener, more eco-friendly realities – and that begins with your home. Simple gestures that save on your carbon footprint can go a long way. We are focused on staying true to our promise of building ‘green’ and want to provide every client with strategies to live better while working towards a healthier planet. Keep reading to discover the myriad of ways you can create a more sustainable home life!
Close the blinds! This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but before turning on your air conditioning unit, which uses large amounts of energy and likely leaks harsh refrigerant into the outside air, draw the shades in your home or invest in blackout drapes to cut the heat off at its source. While it may be alluring to let the light fill your home, it will also quickly increase the internal temperature. The most energy-efficient solution is to eliminate light sources in hot summer months.
Still hot? Install a ceiling or standing fan! Fans are low-energy options and will quickly recirculate air, which will cool down any room quickly. Not only are fans budget-friendly, they are also a sustainable alternative option to air conditioning. Standing fans also have the benefit of being movable between rooms. Did you know that placing a bowl of ice in front of a standing fan will also produce a cooling effect? Try it out on really hot, sticky days! Remember: water waste is always a concern, be sure to conserve and refreeze water when possible.
Hot tip! To stay cool, you could always move to the Canadian Rockies! Have a look at our current real estate opportunities.
Plant a garden! Ditch the takeout options and eat the freshest, most local produce there is – out of your own backyard. Planting fruits and vegetables not only provides you food but also saves on the fuel spent traveling to the point of sale. Plants naturally cleanse the air through photosynthesis, effectively removing air pollutants making them natural purifiers. Ensure to plant native greenery in your region to ensure sustainability. Trees indigenous to the Albertan landscape include the Lodgepole Pine, Alberta’s iconic national tree, White Spruce, and the Aspen Poplar. If a shrubbery option is more conducive to your green space, consider red raspberry, blueberry, and low bush cranberry bushes, or the Labrador Tea plant. The Bow Valley Garden Centre is open year-round for all of your green needs!
Want to immerse yourself in nature? Embark on your new mountain adventure and your garden possibilities will be endless.
Conserve water! Consider installing low-flow toilets and showerheads. Especially in the hot summer months, it’s important to keep track of our water usage to reduce wastage and prevent damaging water quality for the future.
Hosting a backyard party? Make it sustainable! Parties and gatherings can create waste quickly. Try hosting a green party! Instead of purchasing disposable dinnerware or harmful plastics, opt for reusable options, or ask your guests to bring their own. Using biodegradable options is also a great idea! Try opting for locally sourced beef options, such as Valbella Gourmet Foods. Meat production is a leading cause of climate change and every gesture counts!
Have you looked into the possibilities of solar panels yet? Solar panels generate their own power and can therefore greatly offset your monthly electricity bill, if not eliminate it. The higher your bill, the more likely you’ll benefit from switching. Summer is the perfect time to invest in greener electrical options for your home!
Start a compost! Even if you don’t have a particular use for it, composting is a wonderful eco-friendly gesture that is ideal to begin in Summer. Begin your compost pile on bare earth, lay twigs or straw first, a few inches deep. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist and dry. Add manure, green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings), or any nitrogen source. Always keep compost moist!
In 2019, the city of Canmore launched the Residential Food Waste Program by placing five compost bins strategically throughout the city. This has empowered locals to contribute to public composting initiatives for a greener future. The operation has been so successful that in April 2021, ten more neighborhood bins were announced for installation on Grotto Road, Cougar Creek, Eagle Circle, Benchlands Terrace, Teepee Town, Rundleview, Homesteads, Three Sisters, Stewart Creek, and another bin at the downtown recycling depot. This totals 15 compost bins throughout Canmore.
While there are endless ways to create a more sustainable home life, these small changes have the potential to create huge impacts on the planet over the long term.
Looking to live greener by immersing yourself in nature? Distinctive Homes is committed to protecting the planet while providing environmentally sustainable homes. Check out our Built Green Certified currently available properties to begin your next adventure!