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Take Action Tips

Home:

Get Audited
Schedule an energy audit for your home – and act on the results.

A tight fit is the right fit
Cook with pots and pans that have tight fitting lids to keep the heat contained. This will significantly decrease time and energy spent preparing meals.

Program the thermostat
Equip your home with a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature of your living space when you are regularly away from your home.

Use an automatic kettle
A kettle that shuts-off automatically when it has reached boiling is much more energy efficient than one that continues to boil until removed from the element.

Air-dry laundry
Even in Canada, clothing and laundry can be hung outside to dry naturally year-round.

Run washers only when full
Be sure there is a full load in the clothes or dishwasher before running the wash. If possible, program the appliance to run an economy cycle and use cold water to wash.

Be selective with lighting
Where possible, use floor lamps and table lamps instead of overhead lighting. Lamps generally consume much less energy than overhead lighting.

Go solar
Consider investing in solar panels to heat your home. Also, use solar-powered outdoor lighting which requires no electricity to operate.

Thaw frozen foods
Allow frozen foods to completely thaw before cooking. This will significantly decrease the rate of heating through and energy consumption.

Cool before refrigerating
Conversely, heated foods should be allowed to cool thoroughly before placing in the fridge. This prevents the appliance from expending extra energy to maintain its preset temperature.

Get out the slow-cooker
Try integrating a slow-cooker into your daily meal preparations. This method of cooking consumes much less energy than a conventional oven or microwave.

Clean air filters regularly
Regular maintenance and cleaning of air filters contributes to optimal functioning and cuts down on energy-related costs. Replace filters when necessary.

Vacuum the refrigerator
It is also important to keep refrigerator coils free of dirt and debris to ensure optimal performance.

Check for leaks
Regularly examine your home for areas that may be leaking air and energy. Install extra insulation or caulking to prevent energy loss.

Cut the gas
Use a manual lawnmower instead of gas-powered. Be aware that most powered outdoor maintenance devices emit damaging greenhouse gases.

Make use of curtains and blinds
Window coverings are not just for decoration. Curtains and drapes can be used to help maintain the temperature of your living space.

Fix dripping faucets
It is especially important to immediately repair leaky hot water faucets. Several litres of water may be lost per day.

Service the furnace and air conditioning
Have your central air conditioning and furnace serviced regularly to ensure that they are functioning at an optimal energy consumption rate.

Give it away
Don't throw out unwanted household items like clothing, furniture and toys. Instead, donate your used goods to local charities that can use or resell them.

Recycle and compost daily
Avoid buying products with excessive packaging. Make recycling and composting a regular habit to contribute to waste reduction in the community.

Workplace/School:

Be a leader
Organize conservation learning opportunities for you and your peers, such as public lectures, technology/product demonstrations from local hardware stores, etc.

Reward active participants
Start a rewards and recognitions program to be implemented in the workplace and classroom for those who make active steps to conserve energy.

Go paperless
Sign-up for paperless or electronic statements for banking, bills and credit cards to conserve paper waste.

Don't travel alone
Consider the many alternative choices to driving to work and school. If walking, carpooling, cycling or public transit are not viable options, consider policies on flexible hours.

Install timers
Indoor and outdoor timers help to save on lighting costs and energy waste.

Screensavers don't save
Turn off screensavers. They waste unnecessary electricity to function.

Power down
Turn off computer monitors when the computer is not in use for more than 15 minutes.

Switch it off
Ensure lighting in meeting rooms and offices is turned off when not in use. Motion sensors are also a great option in helping to limit unnecessary lighting.

Make the climb
When possible, use the stairs in schools and offices instead of the elevator.

Use recyclable materials
Recycle and reuse all materials when possible. Talk to management about purchasing only recyclable printer ink, paper materials, etc.

Print wisely
Print materials only when necessary. When possible, print on both sides of the paper to reduce paper consumption.

Smart commute
Consider the many alternative choices to driving to work and school. If walking, carpooling, cycling or public transit are not viable options, electronic and telecommunication save time and reduce gas emissions.

Be a lunchroom monitor
Unplug all coffee makers, toasters and microwaves in the lunchrooms and cafeterias when not in use. Often these devices stay on overnight which wastes unnecessary electricity.

Use sleep and standby
Make use of all power management modes for computers, copiers and other electronic machines when they are not in use.

Dim the lights
Make the best use of daytime lighting. Use light dimmers or turn off lighting completely when possible.

Alert leadership
Make school and workplace officials aware of energy waste when noticed. Develop a formal process for reporting problems or ideas.

Become familiar with ENERGY STAR ®
Install ENERGY STAR ® lighting, windows and office equipment wherever possible. This equipment helps to save up to 35% in energy expenditures and costs.

Close the door
Keep entry/exit doors closed to help maintain/control indoor temperatures. Use revolving doors when possible.

Use vegetable-based ink
Talk to administration about using biodegradable vegetable-based ink for all printed materials. If this is not possible, use this environmentally friendly ink at home when printing presentations and documents.

Focus on recycling
Pack lunches in reusable containers. Avoid using plastic or Styrofoam whenever possible.

When Traveling:

Explore your options
Consider the many alternative choices to driving alone, such as carpooling, transit, walking or cycling.

Avoid flying
Airplanes are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. Always explore alternate travel options to flying. If you must fly, purchase carbon offsets to promote environmental issues. These can be found by searching the Internet for voluntary offset purchase programs. Ensure that the offset credits are real by reading carefully how they are created and verified.

Ditch the SUV
Drive smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Larger vehicles are known as "gas guzzlers" and are heavy costs on the environment and your pocketbook.

Drive the speed limit
This reduces fuel consumption and increases the life of tires.

Service your vehicle regularly
Having your vehicle serviced regularly helps to ensure optimal fuel usage.

Walk the talk
Develop walking groups to encourage fuel-reduction practices while promoting safety of all ages.

Be a role model
Cut down on rush hour traffic by encouraging children to walk or cycle to school. Alternative options are also carpooling with another parent or organizing a walking group to ensure safety.

Don't idle
Turn off the engine anytime you are waiting in a car.

Check the pressure gauge
Make sure tires are inflated to an optimal air pressure. This can help cut back fuel costs significantly.

Leave the baggage behind
Remove all heavy objects that you do not regularly need or use from the vehicle, i.e. roof racks. This helps to reduce gas consumption, cutting down on costs and carbon emissions.

Telecommute
Consider telecommuting (working from home by the phone or internet.) This helps to reduce rush hour traffic and carbon emission rates.

Support renewable fuels
Try using renewable fuels to run your vehicle. Also, support research in alternative fuel options.

Shop locally
Choose local stores to shop and purchase your goods from. This not only supports the community, but also reduces fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Schedule your shopping trips
Plan your outings so that you are required to make fewer trips in the vehicle. This will cut back on travel costs and fuel consumption, and will also help decrease traffic flow.

Be gentle with your vehicle
Don't accelerate or brake harshly in the vehicle. These actions require more expenditure of fuel by the vehicle.

Vacation at home
Look for local vacation areas to visit instead of traveling abroad. This will decrease time and travel costs, as well as work to support local communities.

Share and be fair
Share vehicles with other eligible drivers in the household. Fewer cars on the road means fewer gas emissions.

Talk to leadership
Encourage community and political leaders to promote hydrogen fuel cell research and implementation.

Know the law
Be sure that your vehicle meets the legal standards to be operating on the road. Many older vehicles emit dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide in the air.