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Green Your Condo Today – 8 Easy Steps

A change is in the air, a green change. And it’s time for us all to do our part. With little or no extra money or time spent you can significantly reduce the amount of energy you consume in your condo every day (yes, it’s true!). In fact, these are so simply you can accomplish all 8 in 1 week!

Clean up your act

Not yours really, just your clothes! Use cold water instead of warm or hot in your washing machine. You’re clothes will be just as clean without wasting the energy used to heat the water.

Change to compact florescent (CF) light bulbs – CF bulbs last up to 10 times longer. The light from the old style incandescent lights appears to be going out. The federal government is planning to ban the sale of these inefficient bulbs (75% of the energy used is wasted in heat loss). Why not change yours now?

A green toaster oven

Consider this appliance for your kitchen. Using only about ½ the energy that a traditional oven uses, it’s a great way to save energy and go green.

Dishwashers – if your dishwasher has an energy saver function, make sure you’re using it. If not, turn it off when it is done the rinse cycle to avoid using the dry setting. This will reduce the appliances energy usage.

Is it hot in here? – Install a programmable thermostat and lower the temperature at night and when you are not home. This can save you not only money but energy. And save on your carbon tax cost, too.

Is it drafty in here – I think it’s drafty in here – Consider caulking around windows doors and using spray insulation in wall plugs located on outside walls. This will help to reduce the amount of heat loss from your condo.

Unplug what you’re not using – Believe it or not, but a microwave oven uses more energy to run the digital clock in a day than it does to cook your food! Consider unplugging all the electronic devices in your condo when you are not using them (cell phone charges, hair dyers, DVD and VCR players, coffee maker, etc). And remember, using less energy means paying less on your energy bill!

Computers – Ever wonder why we leave our computers on at night? I can’t think of a good reason either! Turn them off – save energy and money and get green.

Saving energy doesn’t have to break the budget. In fact, sometimes all it takes is re-evaluating our habits to green our surroundings. Then make some simple changes in our everyday lives. No one says you have to run out and buy a Smart car. But then again, why not!

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The impact of global warming on our environment is in the news daily and it is impossible to avoid or dispute that it negatively affects each and every one of us. Every Canadian is responsible for contributing an average of 23 tonnes of green house gases into the atmosphere every year. To help combat this, the Federal government has recently announced several initiatives for home (condo) owners to help reduce green house emissions by “greening” their homes through reducing the amount of energy consumed. Although firm details will be announced later in the spring, the government is proposing a $5000 rebate to home owners to cover the costs of increasing their homes energy efficiency. Presumably this could go towards the purchase of a high efficiency furnace, increasing the insulation in the home, installing more energy efficient windows and other similar “green” upgrades. But how can condo owners take part in this and make a difference?

Working together

Condo living already means owners work as a collective to focus on the needs and goals of all owners. It is an easy step to direct the same collective energy to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint of a condo building. If individual condo owners pool their $5000 rebates and put those funds to greening the building as a whole, the financial impact on individual owners would be quite minimal. Initiatives could include the installation of motion sensor lighting in hallways and/or parkades that only come on when someone is present, replacing old windows with double or triple pane windows, changing incandescent light bulbs to lower energy consumption florescent bulbs and reducing the temperature of the parkade. All are substantial steps a building and condo owners can collectively take to address the issue of reducing carbon emissions. As if saving the planet were not enough reward, there is the potential for condo fees to decrease when less energy is used in the building!

 

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