These days it seems like every product on the market is labeled as “green” or “eco friendly,” with almost no explanation as to what exactly qualifies it as good for the environment. This is commonly known as “green washing” and unfortunately more and more companies are engaging in this dubious practice. This attempt to jump on the green movement bandwagon means we need to be aware of which products are really eco friendly, and which are just posing. Fortunately, not every company does this, and there are products on the market that really are good for the environment. To help you separate the winners from the losers, we’ve compiled our list of the top eco friendly products available this fall – no green washers allowed!
Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat
Easily one of our most favourite eco friendly tools, a smart thermostat analyzes your behavior and adjusts your home’s temperature to save you up to 23% on your heating and cooling costs. Since heating and cooling takes up on average 48% of your utility cost, this is significant savings! The new ecobee3 smart thermostat can be controlled by your smart phone and has remote sensors that detect when your home is empty – in case you forget to turn the heat down before you leave. The ecobee3 is our thermostat of choice for our geothermal heat pumps because of its reliability and functionality.
If you’re like us, you try and make eco friendly choices whenever possible. But when it comes to choosing where your electricity comes from, your choices are probably limited to what your local utility is providing. Most modern electricity is generated through a mix of carbon intensive processes like coal, natural gas or oil, and a small amount of renewable energy such as wind, hydro and solar. This energy mix drives your carbon footprint up, no matter how hard you try to be green in other aspects of your lifestyle. Fortunately, you can choose to purchase your electricity from a green utility like Bullfrog Power.
It’s a bit of a complicated process (you can learn the details here) but essentially Bullfrog Power injects the equivalent of your energy usage into the power grid in the form of green energy generated by windmills, hydro or solar power. Bullfrog Power is a great way to green your electricity usage without having to spend thousands of dollars purchasing photovoltaic panels or windmills.
If you have an air conditioner, air source heat pump, geothermal heat pump, or any other ducted air system, chances are that system has an air filter. Typical fiberglass or pleated air filters need to be replaced regularly, which can lead to a lot of filters ending up in land fills over the life of your heat pump. That’s why we’re excited to offer electrostatic filters for our heat pumps.
Electrostatic filters work by using polyurethane and polypropylene blends as the filtering material. When air flows past these materials, their strong static charge attracts airborne particles like a magnet, and traps them until you clean the filter. These reusable filters are great for the environment because they reduce waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Eco Dryer Balls
Now that the weather is cooler, you probably aren’t using your clothesline as much. Going back to using the dryer means going back to using fabric softener sheets – which are bad for the environment! Those scented sheets are not only full of chemicals and artificial scents, but they’re also wasteful. To eliminate this unnecessary environmental burden, consider switching to eco friendly wool dryer balls, like these ones from Well.ca. Made of wool, these dryer balls are biodegradable, hypoallergenic and they’re guaranteed to last over 1,000 cycles in the dryer.
Indoor Compost Bin
Colder weather also means fewer trips outside to add your kitchen waste to the compost bin – no one wants to make that trek out to the backyard every day in -30°C weather. To make composting a little bit easier, buy a countertop compost bin, like this one on Amazon.com. These compost bins come with a replaceable charcoal air filter on the top to keep unpleasant smells contained, and holds one gallon of kitchen waste.
Photo Credit: thegreencycler