Now that we’ve tackled Step 1 of the Climate Pledge, here are more actions you can complete to make a difference!
1. Attend Green Your Home 101: Reducing Building Emissions, a webinar that will outline the tools you can use to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
2. See below for information and challenges related to reducing emissions from water heating, which we’ll be featuring throughout the month of November on our social media.
3. Participate in our “Ugly Sweater” (Turn Down the Thermostat Challenge) to reduce emissions related to heating your home this December.
Why Building Emissions?
Emissions from buildings are the second-largest emitter that is not industry for both British Columbia as a whole and more locally in Invermere. For Invermere specifically, the most recent calculation for the greenhouse gases produced by residential, commercial and industrial buildings was 5,702 tonnes of CO2. Although there are more recent numbers, this calculation has taken into account more local conditions, such as the emissions from municipal buildings, to better reflect the conditions of our community. In the past few decades, buildings have consistently been a large source of greenhouse gases by emitting similar amounts of CO2 equivalent since 1990.
Throughout BC during 2018, space heating was the largest contributor to building emissions, followed close behind by water heating, then appliances, and finally, lighting and space cooling had a minimal contribution. This, however, is a generalized case for BC and it is still encouraged to look at your own home and determine where most of your emissions are likely originating from. Once this is identified, finding strategies to reduce these emissions can seem a lot less daunting!
There are many options for reducing your home’s emissions ranging from large scale to small scale. Some options that require a bigger commitment include installing solar panels on your home, switching to a heat pump, or if you’re building a new home, consider green and/or sustainable building companies. More accessible lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your hot water use are washing clothes in cold water, talking cooler and shorter showers, fixing leaky taps and using your dishwasher. Additionally, make sure you are only heating or cooling your home when necessary, by following BC Hydro’s suggested thermostat programming suggestions.
Green Your Home 101: Reducing Building Emissions
October 28 2021, 12-1pm
Join us on October 28th for a webinar featuring speakers from two local businesses, thinkBright Homes and Kootenay Solar, to learn more about how you can reduce building emissions from your home! Their presentations will be followed up with a Q&A period with the speakers, so let these experts know if you have any burning questions!
This webinar will serve as a helpful starting point for those looking to ‘green’ their homes by providing you with realistic options that you can tackle to make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your personal building emissions profile.
If you missed it, click here to watch a recording.
Saving Energy with Water Heating
Throughout the month of November, we have been posting on our social media information and challenges relating to ways to reduce your home’s water heating. For background information on why we’re focussing on water heating this month, check out our initial post here.
To ease into the challenges, we’ve provided you with a lifestyle change that is easy to integrate into your life and makes a big difference. Learn about how washing your laundry in cold water can save you a lot of hot water here. If you’re ready for the real challenge, learn why we’re encouraging you to try taking cold showers here. Finally, if you’re not ready to cut down the length of your shower, or want to have the biggest impact on reducing your hot water use, learn about low-flow showerheads and aerators here.
A great tool for tracking your electricity use is through BC Hydro’s online tools, here you can see your electricity use right down to the hour and compare your electricity use to similar homes nearby, to last year’s electricity use, and to the average outside temperature. It’s important to know the breakdown of your electricity use so you can begin to reduce your electricity consumption and make your house more energy-efficient.
Ugly Sweater: Turn Down the Thermostat Challenge
Put on your warmest, ugliest sweater and join us in turning down our thermostats! As winter comes around, many of us go to turn up our thermostats in order to stay warm. This month, we’re challenging you to do the opposite! See how low you can turn your thermostat down and pull out a big ugly sweater to stay warm instead. Send us a selfie of you participating in the challenge and get the chance to be featured on our social media! Feel free to also share your selfie on your personal social media with the hashtag #WSUglySweaterChallenge to get your friends involved.
If you need some motivation to turn your thermostat down, we have prizes for two participants! Anyone who sends us a picture will be entered into a draw. The first prize is one full-day rental with Wildsight Invermere’s electric vehicle share, Spark! The second prize is a $50 gift certificate to Canada’s Non-Profit Outdoor Learning Store.
Wondering why we’re running this challenge? In an average Canadian home, space heating accounts for more than 60 percent of the energy consumption. Although many believe heating your home with natural gas is more environmentally friendly, it actually emits the same amount of CO2 as driving a fossil fuel-powered car 8000km. This challenge is therefore a fun way to start thinking about the ways you could reduce the amount of energy that goes into heating your home.