4 Ways To Be More Eco-Friendly This Winter
Everyone has a few valuable tips and tricks for staying warm in the winter without cranking up the heat. However, when it comes to Canadian winter, even the most hardened environmentalists could be tempted by the thermostat. We’re not suggesting you to freeze, so here are 4 easy ways for you to be more eco-friendly this winter!
Use Less Fuel
Using less fuel is an environmentally conscious practice for every season, but it is especially relevant in the colder winter months. Save fuel (and money) by coordinating and carpooling with coworkers and friends to work or social gatherings! More ambitious souls may choose run or bike throughout the colder months, but choosing public transit is a great option too! Taking public transportation is not only more cost-effective, it also helps to preserve your community’s infrastructure, and conserves a considerable amount of fuel.
You can also reduce your fuel consumption by reducing idling as much as you can. Most chilly motorists aren’t concerned with idling time, but reducing idling can have a real impact over several months of winter weather. Don’t wait for your car to completely defrost itself. If you have to run your vehicle before driving then clean off as much snow as you can and scrape your windows while your car warms up. This makes defrosting easier for your vehicle, allows your car’s interior to warm quicker, and gets you on the road sooner.
Reduce Light Pollution
While lights may not warm your body, they can definitely warm the soul. Everyone can agree that colourful ornamental lights are a perfect decoration for the festive season. That being said, excess or mismanaged light pollution from artificial light sources can have adverse effects on the human metabolism and sleep patterns. Look for LED or lumen lighting options for both your decorative lighting and your practical light fixtures and consider installing motion sensors for outdoor lighting!
Choosing the right energy efficient products goes a long way, but being mindful of your own habits is the best policy. Open the blinds to let in natural light. Turn lights off in rooms that you’re not using. Set a timer or remember to turn off your decorative outdoor lights before going to bed. The winter months can get pretty dreary sometimes, but, by reducing unnecessary light pollution in and around your home, you can live greener without being left in the dark.
Stay Warm the Natural Way
It’s quick and easy to turn lights on and off in your home, but it takes more than the flick of a switch to heat a cold room. Try bringing heat from room to room with you by raising your own internal body temperature. Practicing Yoga or any other regular exercise improves circulation and raises your resting body temperature even after a workout.
There is also a variety of foods that can boost your internal temperature. Putting some honey in your coffee or ginger in your tea, mixing some dried fruits into your cereal or oatmeal, or cooking with root vegetables are all healthy ways to naturally warm your body!
Another option is adding houseplants to your living space. There are many health benefits to having houseplants in your home: They help reduce carbon dioxide levels in your home, reduce airborne dust pollution, and improves your immune system. Houseplants also increase your home’s humidity levels and allow air to trap heat for longer periods of time.
But, if nothing else, don’t forget layers! Nothing beats a soft and comfy sweater and a fashionable pair of leg warmers on a cold winter night.
Set It But Don’t Forget It
Of course warming yourself won’t be enough to heat your home so make sure to get the most out of your home’s heating methods. If you can’t replace old or inefficient windows and doors then use caulking to seal any drafts you can find. Install plastic wrap over any windows that are losing heat and use other barriers, like heavy curtains, to keep as much heat inside as possible.
As mentioned above, however, being mindful is the best policy when setting your thermostats. Some homes have dedicated electric heating registers for individual rooms. If this is the case then, like light pollution, avoid overheating rooms you are not using or don’t plan on using that day. Programmable thermostats can be set to maintain different temperatures at different times. If you do not have a programmable thermostat, then remember to turn down the temperature before you leave for work, or before bed when everyone is curled up cozy in a cocoon of blankets.
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