Tips to Save Money while Saving the Environment
Climate change is a hot environmental topic and MVCA is at the forefront of Conservation Authorities looking at these issues from a water management perspective. In 2007 MVCA initiated a climate change adaptation strategy to study how weather patterns will change in Eastern Ontario’s Mississippi watershed, the affect these changes will have and how best to adapt. With the unprecedented recognition of climate change as a central challenge, reflected in Ontario elevating this issue to the role of a dedicated cabinet position this past week we thought we’d list some tips on how to stay cool this summer and reduce your carbon footprint without breaking the bank!
“Just a few small changes to your summer routine can help you get the most out of the great weather and help protect Ontario’s environment,” said Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
1. Carry a reusable water bottle
Water bottles are one of the most prevalent sources of pollution found in water and on beaches. Aside from polluting the environment bottled water can cost up to 500 times more than drinking tap water, making it substantially less cost-efficient. Recent innovations in reusable water bottles have made filtered water available 24/7, check out the free filtering water bottles next time you’re shopping and take clean, chemical free, filtered water with you everywhere you go.
2. Boat Clean
The ‘Boat Clean’ program is brought to you by Conservation Ontario and BOATsmart. It’s purpose is to teach boaters how to conserve and enjoy Ontario’s waterways. You can also visit cleanwake.ca for their clean wake outboard engine take-back program. The Clean Wake program offers a 10% discount off a new Honda four-stroke outboard engine when you trade in your old two-stroke outboard engine.
3. Invest in a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a thermostat which is designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day. During summer months, a programmable thermostat used in a home may be set to allow the temperature in the house to rise during the workday when no one will be at home. It may then be set to turn on the air conditioning before the arrival of occupants, allowing the house to be cool upon the arrival of the occupants while still having saved air conditioning energy during the peak outdoor temperatures. The reduced cooling required during the day also decreases the demands placed upon the electrical supply grid.
4. Harvest the rain
This spring the MVCA held a rain barrel sale in which we sold one hundred rain barrels and taught community members about the importance of rain harvesting. Instead of using city water you can collect rain water during the dry season to use for watering your lawn and landscaping. The rainwater can actually help to improve the health of your gardens, lawns, and trees because rain is a naturally soft water and devoid of minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals. For this reason, plants respond very well to rainwater.
Rain barrel factsheet: http://www.extension.umn.edu/environment/00023.pdf
Buy a Rain Barrel here: www.rainbarrel.ca
5. Hang it out to dry
Give your dryer a break and put the laundry out on the line, your clothes will thank you. Dryers make your clothes softer, but they also weaken the fabric’s fibers much faster than if they had been air dried. Hanging your laundry on the line will not only make your clothes smell great but will save you money on your electricity bill.
6. Take a Hike!
The first benefit of walking, jogging, or biking instead of driving is the money you will save on soaring gas prices. The second reason to leave the car at home is exercise, walking is a very good cardiovascular workout and helps maintain a healthy body. Opting out of driving also helps reduce pollution by reducing the amount of toxic chemicals emitted into the air by driving.