Set up a clothesline or drying rack
Clothes dryers are among the largest household users of electricity during the spring and summer months. You can save big by stringing a clothesline across an area well exposed to the sun and/or wind and hanging your clothes to dry instead. For small items like socks and underwear (and for apartment dwellers) use a drying rack that can be folded and put away when not in use.
How green is your garden?
iStockSimple ways to make your backyard refuge more sustainable:
- You don’t need to rely on small gas engines to keep your garden looking great. Use an electric lawnmower or, better yet, a hand mower. Cordless electric edgers and hedge trimmers make smooth edges easy. And swap that gas leaf blower for a simple rake and broom.
- Install a rain barrel at the base of a drainpipe and hand-water your favourite plants instead of watering from a hose. They’ll love the extra nutrients.
- Install a compost bin to take your yard trimmings and organic kitchen waste. Turn it over with a shovel every month or so and you’ll have rich bedding soil next year.
- Plant shade trees in front of south- and west-facing windows. A deciduous tree will act like a natural air conditioner, cooling the air in summer while letting precious sunlight through in winter. Consider how big it will grow, though; keep it away from overhead wires.
- Digging up a flower bed? Putting in a fence post? Don’t risk hitting an underground service line. Check with BC One Call first: 1-800-474-6886 or bconecall.ca