Toni Pohl

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Here are 10 great tips to green your home in Greater Vancouver and save $$$:

  1. Green Laundry detergent - Use phosphate-free, biodegradable detergent.
  2. Upgrade your washing machine - Replace your old washing machine with an ENERGY STAR washer that gets clothes clean using cold water and BC Hydro will rebate you $75. Wait until you have a full load instead of washing clothes as you need them. Clean your lint trap after every use.
  3. Install a clothesline - Dryers use a large amount of energy.
  4. Get a rack - If your neighbourhood or strata prohibits clotheslines, buy a small drying rack.
  5. Recycle - Recycling keeps materials that can be recovered (paper, glass, metals, plastics, food etc) out of the landfills; and in the case of organics like paper, food, yard waste, it significantly reduces greenhouse gases from landfills.
  6. Buy local - Buy local, organic and fair trade food. Your food doesn’t travel long distances, you support local farmers and the local economy and you consume less pesticides.
  7. Don’t use paper or plastic - Use cloth bags when you shop or reuse your plastic bags.
  8. Borrow green - Most financial institutions offer “green” mortgages, including: 
    • BMO Eco Smart Mortgage offers home buyers a 3.89% rate on qualifying green properties.
    • RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage gives home buyers a $300 rebate for a home energy audit and a five-year 4.34% rate.
    • Vancity offers a Bright Ideas Home Renovation Loan at prime +1% to home buyers and owners making green renovations.
    • CMHC offers a 10% Mortgage Loan Premium refund and possible extended amortization for buyers purchasing an energy-efficient mortgage or making energy saving renovations.
  9. Loan program - Pay-as-you-Save (PAYS) loan program will help home owners and businesses finance energy efficiency improvements through a loan from BC Hydro or FortisBC. Pilot programs starting in November 2012 in certain BC locations.
  10. Green Tool Kit - BC Real Estate Association’s Green Tool Kit provides information, references and links. It also provides comprehensive information on rebates and incentives.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (May 2013)

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