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In Love with an Aussie "Smart Toilet"

I recently attended a meeting at the Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre in Vancouver, B.C. This centre showcases environmentally friendly building materials that builders and home owners can opt to invest in. (Open to the public 10am – 6pm every day, the Centre says on its website that "during the 2010 Olympic Games, Light House is especially looking forward to welcoming international businesses ...

Wind Energy to Power Our Homes

If you live in a rural environment and have space available, having your own personal wind turbine to help power your home is an option you should consider. A wind turbine is not for every property or person, and is best used in combination with other energy systems (such as passive heating and cooling, geothermal systems and solar devices). An adequate wind turbine can generate 50-100%+ of ...

Visions of Sustainable Housing

Anyone who knows me knows that I've been dreaming of building my own "earthship" on a large acreage (enough for a woodlot, orchard and gardens)  for many years now. I think about this all the time and someday in the not-so-distant future it will become a reality. I love growing vegetables/gardening, and definitely love the idea of living in a home that can provide me with self-sustaining renewable ...

Your Home Energy Ratings Report Card

They love it! your realtor says And your heart, it swells. We're going to sell, Their financing's through, they love the pool... But wait! Don't pop the cork too soon, You're not done with the woo-and-court, There's something new they want to see: Your Home Energy Rating Report. What if the report card isn't good?! Your oldish house has uninsulated wood, Your windows drafty, doors not sealed - ...

Don't Fall for 'Greenwashing' on Home Technologies

Sustainable technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal heating are starting to take off. But which ones are best to use? Are they all truly "sustainable"? For example, some renewable energy technologies require batteries, which require mined metals and minerals that are non-renewable. Many "sustainable" technologies are incredibly waste-intensive during their manufacture, distribution, ...

Got your 'Smart Meter' Yet?

"By 2010, every home and small business in Ontario will have a smart meter," reads the official government site, Smart Meters Ontario ... Wait a sec, that's next year, isn't it? And, well, what's a smart meter? If that's what you're thinking, you're probably not alone. The Ontario government first established a target for the installation of 800,000 smart meters - that measures the consumption of ...

Wind Turbine Battle is Being Fought by Wrong Generation

In Prince Edward County, Ontario, a line has been drawn between those in favour of the turbines and those against. Those who have supported this green energy alternative right from the start tend to be family members of the original county settlers. Those opposed to the wind turbines are newcomers to the county - people who have invested here as a place to live or do business.   ...

Green Mortgages

Have you thought about putting off those new ceramic tiles or granite countertop - and start your home renovations with the installation of an EnergyStar appliance? OK, so it's not as much fun, and certainly not something your house guests will ooh and aah at, but... Who doesn't like to save money while helping the environment, right? Canadian banks are getting on that wavelength with recent offerings ...

Location, Location... Bike to Work?

You know the old real estate adage emphasizing the importance of Location, Location, Location... but have you ever thought about your new home's proximity to work... via a bicycle?!  Why not? In this day of emphasis on eco-friendly and fitness, cycling to your job should be a major appeal (especially if your workplace has a shower). Tomorrow is the last day of Bike to Work Month across ...

Are You "Energy Staging" Your Home?

It's Open House season, and with home audits and energy taxes on the horizon, you want to be thinking green when staging your home for sale. Why focus just on a new coat of paint and sofa reupholster - when you could do something to help put "eco" into "economy" (and keep the list price of your home as high as possible.) The popular practice of "home staging" is all the rage on TV design shows, real ...
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