Chris' Corner: Participate in Earth Hour Today and make some positive changes in your choices "tomorrow"

Participate in Earth Hour Today and make some positive changes in your choices "tomorrow"

Last year, due to the participation in Beeton, Alliston, Tottenham and the rest of New Tecumseth in the 2010 Earth Hour, Power Stream, our local electricity provider reported a 7.4% drop in consumption for this one hour period.

Earth Hour might be great for raising awareness, but its overall effectiveness, if just for one hour, is minimal. The key to Saving Our Planet is to make better choices in the way we consume energy and our finite resources.

I challenge everyone to make more environmentally friendly choices in their daily life. Make a game out of it, rather than seeing it as a "chore"!

To get you started, here are some tips that anyone can choose to do:

  • reduce your phantom electricity usage!!! Unplug appliances and adapters and chargers when not in use.
  • Try to re-use or re-purpose rather than throw out. Embrace rags and reduce your consumption of paper towels.
  • reduce your use of the clothes dryer. Hang your laundry. Use an outdoor clothesline where possible, and consider using indoor clotheslines in winter. I find the furnace room to be a very effective place to dry clothes, an added benefit in our region is the much added moisture added to our dry homes.
  • Instead of using chemical cleaning products, consider using a water/vinegar mixture for many household cleaning tasks (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water works well).
  • Reduce or eliminate your dependency on "disposable" or "single serving" anything. Use re-usable coffee cups and containers.
  • Make automobile usage more efficient by combining chores/trips. When you use your car, remove items stored but not needed. Drive more efficiently.
  • If you are not using your entire home, consider closing doors and vents to areas unused.
  • Increasing insulation and reducing leakage in a home will result in huge energy savings in almost any home.

Here are some links to previous blogs I have posted on the subject of Saving Our Planet:

Houselhold tips

Automobile tips

Better Choices

Chris Smith CSSBB
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Comment balloon 8 commentsChris Smith • March 26 2011 08:31AM


I think most people try to conserve just for the cost benefit which is good.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Great tips Chris, thanks for spreading the word

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

What a great blog and a reminder we all need!  I was reading yesterday about the adjustments in electrical usage in Japan after the devastation there.  It has been predicted that their services won't totally recover for about a year.  We all take these things for granted and should pay more attention to conservation and be grateful for our modern conveniences!

Posted by Rose Zappa Jehnert (Yerman, Witman, Gaines & Conklin) over 9 years ago

Gary, saving money is a good reason if that works for you.

Great Valerie, phantom electricity usage can account for up to 7 % of your total usage.

Thank you Scott.

Rose, I think with regards to conservation, we need to live like our grandparents and great grand parents...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the tips Chris, they did bring to mind some things I could be doing. Wouldn't it be great to see a permanent 7.4% drop in consumption and then take it further from there?

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 9 years ago


It is very efficient to close off all the upstairs rooms that aree not in use. They add an insulation factor.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 9 years ago

Hey Chris,  Nice post.  I liked your list of tips and try to eliminate that phantom electrical usage.  Amazing how many cell phone, computer, coffee pots with clocks, etc stay plugged in 24x7.   I got a flyer from the electric company one time that said personal computers left "on" 24x7 use up to $25/month in electricity.  Even laptops that are in "sleep" mode draw a constant amt of electricity equivalent to 50% of the recharging usage.  With 6 laptops in our household, that's a lot of kWatts!  We make sute to shut down laptops every night.



Posted by Caroline DeVore, Stowe Vermont Lodging, VT Bed and Breakfast Inn, Vacation Homes, Caroline DeVore | Stowe Meadows Lodge, Stowe VT (Stowe Meadows Lodge, Stowe VT Romantic and Luxurious Inn) over 9 years ago

Malcolm, that would be great for our planet and our pocketbooks =)

Brian, we even close the french doors to our living and dining rooms and have sealed off the vents with magnetic seals - we only open them when we are going to use them.

Thank You Caroline, I think the key is small steps and seeing results, then we can get more ambitious!

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago