ROI of Home Energy Upgrades


Whenever you open a newspaper, you’ll likely find ads for home improvements such as new windows, insulation, and furnaces. These ads regularly promise energy savings that will allow you to recoup your investment in a short period of time, often something like “5-7 years” or maybe even less. But unless your utility costs are well above average, you might question the credibility of these claims (“how can $10,000 worth of windows pay for themselves in 7 years if my utility costs are only $1500 per year?”). The truth is, most of the advertised payback periods are based on upgrading an…

Phone Book vs Internet


In the techno-savvy 21st century, you would think that there is absolutely no need for an old-fashioned paper phone book. Environmentalists have been lobbying for years to have them outlawed but others insist that they are still a necessary part of modern life. Let’s look at the green credentials of paper phone books vs Internet online directories. At first glance, it would seem a no-brainer; phone books use huge amounts of paper, manufactured from trees using large amounts of power and water, and need to be disposed of when a new one comes out. This means that there is a huge influx…

Bake Your Own: Make Your Wallet and Your Sweet Tooth Happy


I have a sweet tooth but I don`t like eating ingredients I cant pronounce. For me the best way to do that and on a budget is to bake my own treats.  And I know people often say "I don't have time to bake", I say it myself sometimes but then I remember that if I make a big batch of goodies, freeze half, have the other half as snacks in my lunch then next time that sweet tooth is crying out, I have something on hand, no work required to make my sweet tooth happy! If you are really…

4 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Live More Sustainably


One day, a couple of years ago, as my son and I headed home from whatever appointment we had, we saw someone toss a can out the window. "That's not good for the environment, mom," he said. "We should go pick that up." What could I do? I want to teach my son to live a little more sustainably, and to try to take good care of the environment, so I pulled the car over and we picked up the trash. I was proud of my son, and, I have to admit, I did give myself a pat on the…

Want to Avoid a 459% Product Mark Up? Make Your Own Home Made Play-doh


I made lots of things with play dough as a kid. I still remember many little blobby things drying out in the windowsills of our dining room. Many Christmas decorations were also made of play dough. Now that Lil’ SPF is old enough to play with it, it has given me great pleasure to make home made play-doh for our little guy. There is something very satisfying about making a nice batch of smooth, uniformly coloured play dough.  Believe it or not you save a walloping 459% mark up! I found this recipe online and the ratios of ingredients seem to work…

How Do You Justify Your Consumption?


We live in a very consumer driven society. As you probably know, consumerism is hard to reconcile with a sustainable lifestyle. If you are always consuming resources, and not putting any back, it's hard to life sustainably. It's true that, even though I try to live greener, and even though I am working toward improving my sustainability, I still probably consume more than I should. And, when I feel bad about it, I tend to find ways to justify my consumption. Some of the ways that I justify my consumption include: Need: Many of us feel as though we need something.…