Come on Canada, it’s time to kick our bad habits and get into shape!

That is a quote from the David Suzuki Foundation site.

This is their energy consciousness check list and my own response to it:

  • Check walls, doors and windows for drafts and seal them up — up to 40 per cent of heat loss is from these areas.
  • Checking for drafts up here in the Cariboo country is a no brainer in winter especially. Every year we renew any worn out sealing tape around the doors. It’s a priority that we remedy right away.


  • Insulate everywhere — the roof, floors, walls, basements. It’ll keep you cool in the summer and toastier in the cold seasons.
  • We had our house built to lock up stage 3 years ago and we were responsible for the insulating.  We
    took it seriously, got advice and when the inspectors came around we made sure we corrected any errors and gaps that were pointed out.


  • Any electronic gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it’s not being used (it’s called ‘phantom electricity’ — and it’s scary how much of it there is). If you’re not using them, unplug them.
  • If there is any electronic device that is not in use it is not plugged in, even our computer and all its accessories is on a power bar  which we shut off.  The extra TV is never plugged unless one of us is sick in bed.


  • Set up a ‘charging station’ for equipment that needs charging — plug everything into a power bar and turn that off until you actually need to charge something.
  • The only thing that needs charging is the cell phone once in a while and the  power bar for the laptop is clicked off when not in use too.

  • Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs. They’re 75 per cent more efficient than conventional bulbs.
  • All of our indoor and outdoor lights are fluorescent (CFL) and the Christmas lights are LED and on timers 6pm to 9pm.


  • If you’re buying a home, be sure it meets R-2000 standards (which means it will use two-thirds of the energy of a conventional home). R-2000 costs a little more up-front, but in the long run, the design saves money on utility bills and boosts resale value. 
  • Our house and shop both meet the R-2000 standards.


  • Choose Energy Star appliances — they’re way more efficient than their ancestors. A new refrigerator, for example, uses 40 per cent less energy than a model produced before 1993 (AND saves you still more cash on utilities).
  • All of our appliances are Energy Star…we checked that out when we replace the old ones.


  • Whenever you shop for electronics of any kind, tell sales staff you are looking for energy efficiency. The more people demand, the more pressure there is for companies to supply. Think twice before you buy any electronic toys and gadgets. Even though lots of us choose more efficient models, home energy use is actually increasing just because we keep loading up on more electrical devices!
  • We are not into electronic gadgetry and games…we go fishing instead…or ice fishing to the closest lake possible for the most part.


  • Go for a walk instead of watching TV or booting up your computer. It’ll do you and the whole planet a lot of good.
  • Well, we fall short on this item and cannot as yet check it off the list…we’ll work on that.

That’s not too bad a result for us.  How does the rest of Canada stack up I wonder?






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