Today’s Poll

Five ways going green can save you money this Earth Day

Contributor
By Contributor
April 18th, 2024

As Earth Day approaches, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is highlighting the financial benefits of adopting eco-friendly practices, including reducing energy consumption.

Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t have to drain your wallet – in fact, it can lead to significant savings while benefiting the environment.

“Making our homes or businesses more energy efficient is a tangible way we can all take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce monthly energy bills,” says Alicia Hearn, Program Manager of Conservation Awareness & Marketing Strategy, FortisBC.

“We encourage everyone to take action so that they can lower energy use and work together to achieve a lower carbon future.”

During the past five years, FortisBC customers who took part in rebates (such as helping to cover the cost of air-sealing their homes) will collectively lower energy use by roughly 50 million gigajoules over the life of the measure – the equivalent energy use it takes to heat almost 500,000 homes for a year.

During the same timeframe, they’ve reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the emissions equivalent to removing more than one million gasoline-powered cars from the road for a year.

Here are BBB’s top five tips that help you go green and save money:

1. Reduce Energy Consumption. Save big by installing programmable and connected thermostats, choosing energy-efficient appliances and taking advantage of rebates to help cover the cost of air-sealing your homes. You can save up to 15%1 on your home’s heating costs by programming your thermostat to 17°C for when you’re out or asleep and 20°C when you’re home and awake. Avoid outside air from creeping in and affecting your internal temperatures by weatherstripping around exterior windows and doors. And be sure to unplug appliances when not in use. Many appliances continue to draw power even when turned off, so unplugging them can lead to further savings.

2. Shop Secondhand. Buying from thrift stores or consignment shops not only keeps clothing out of landfills but also reduces pollution, waste and water usage. If everyone bought one secondhand clothing 
 item instead of new this year, it would save the equivalent of 76M cars taken off the road for a day.2 When shopping new, look for brands with sustainable practices, such as using high-quality natural fibers, to minimize environmental impact.

3. Opt for Sustainable Transportation. Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking, biking, or using public transportation. Not only does this reduce air pollution, but it also saves money on gas and vehicle maintenance. With the 2024 increase in the provincial carbon tax and rising gas prices, alternative transportation methods can provide significant long-term savings.

4. Change Your Shopping Habits. Swap out single-use plastic bags for reusable grocery bags to reduce waste and save money. Consider incorporating vegetarian meals into your diet to lower food costs, as meat and fish prices continue to rise. Additionally, practice meal prep, shop your pantry, and minimize food waste to further reduce grocery bills.

5. Perform an Energy Audit. Conducting an energy evaluation of your home can uncover opportunities for reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. When looking for home energy audits or other services, use BBB.org and look for the Sign of a Better Business – the BBB Accredited Business seal – to give you the peace of mind that you’re working with someone you can trust.

For more information on how to go green, visit the BBB Green HQ.

About BBB: 

The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2023, people turned to BBB more than 250 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 12,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. Local, independent BBBs can be found across Canada and the United States.

Categories: EducationGeneral