Purchasing your first property is a new and exciting endeavor. It is a right of passage for many entering another phase of their lives. The first type of properties first-time home buyers lean
4 Ways We Can Be Environmental Stewards in Our Homes and Communities
Dated: July 1 2021
Happy Earth Day! We often hear calls to action about going green and doing more each day to protect our beautiful planet, especially with the climate crisis, protecting old growth forests and plastic in our oceans. It isn’t always easy to know what to do and how we can best support environmentally friendly initiatives in our often busy, on-the-go lives. However, we can start by taking small daily actions which leads to making a difference in our homes and communities.
If you are doing some home upgrades or a full renovation, consider reusing some of the materials or see if recycled materials can be reused for your particular project. This not only helps the environment, but will help your wallet as lumber prices in B.C. have reached a historical high during the pandemic and don’t seem to be coming down anytime soon. A British Columbian company, Unbuilders, is a great example of construction companies taking the initiative by being resourceful and environmentally conscious in their business model. When it comes to demolishing old buildings and doing renovations on older properties, they take the time to do it the right way. They deconstruct properties and then work to upcycle the majority of the materials afterwards. Their modo: Deconstruct, Salvage, Reuse, is a fantastic step towards a greener future in home building.
One positive aspect about the pandemic is that it has forced us to be home more and to assess areas in our lives that we can do better when it comes to reducing our consumption. For some, this may be choosing a more minimalist lifestyle and only purchasing items that are needed and loved. For others, it could be reorganizing spaces in your home in a way that allows us to reduce our packaging. A common example of this is using labeled glass containers in our kitchen cupboards for various food items to be added to from stores such as the Zero Waste Emporium. Whatever it may be, steps were taken to help reduce waste in our homes. Here are a few other quick and easy ways to continue to reduce waste in our homes: buying only essential items that you need for day to day, using washable cloths for cleaning rather than paper towels, making your own natural cleaner with vinegar, water and orange/lemon peel, using metal or glass straws for your smoothies in reusable containers. These are just a few ways that we can reduce our environmental impact and save money too!
The majority of our household materials can be recycled, but recycling correctly is crucial for items not to end up in landfills. For example, paper, cardboard boxes, tin, glass, hard plastics, soft plastics, plastic bags, styrofoam, ink cartridges, etc., can all be recycled in the correct places. The best thing to do is to set up your own home recycling system to make it easier to recycle various items into the right place. You can use your main household recycling bins as is or you can take this a step further and use labeled or colour coded reusable bags/bins to sort all items. This extra step is very helpful as it would include those items that can’t be picked up on recycling day such as soft plastics, plastic bags, styrofoam, and ink cartridges. These items need to be dropped off at specific locations such as most grocery retailers for soft plastics, plastic bags and styrofoam and Staples for ink cartridges.
If you are wanting to make your house aesthetic greener, house plants help to purify the air in our homes, increase the humidity in our dryer climate and add to our overall happiness when we have to be inside more. An independently owned and local plant shop in Victoria is VI Plant Shop. They have a wide selection of house plants available and offer subscription boxes too. Adding to the fact that we have to be at home more and restaurants are restricted with no indoor dining, ordering take out can be a nice option to keep life a little more interesting these days. If you are worried about the environmental impact of ordering take-out, consider ordering some delicious burgers from Big Wheel Burger which has the environment at the forefront of their business and are Canada’s first carbon neutral fast-food restaurant. They also offer local ingredients and all of their packaging is compostable so it’s a great option for the eco-conscious consumer. These are just a couple of so many incredible local businesses in Victoria that do their best to be stewards of the environment while they serve and support their communities. This is why it’s so important to buy locally for our homes whenever we can. It stimulates our local and independent economy keeping business on the island and also reduces the environmental impact of shipping.
Every action we take adds up, and the more that we do today, the healthier our Earth will be for generations to come. If you would like to add suggestions on actions we can take to protect our environment, please write your comments below.
I’ll end with a fitting Earth Day quote from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss,
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not”.
Check out the following links for more ways to make your home environmentally friendly, which will save you money as well:
Jemilla is a residential REALTOR® in Victoria, BC. She serves the communities of Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Victoria West, Saanich West, Saanich East, the Westshore and more. Previously to getting....
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