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BBB: Five ways going green can save you money this Earth Day

Shop secondhand and choose sustainable transportation are some of the tips from the Better Business Bureau for those looking to be more eco-friendly.
Hiroshi Watanabe:Digital Vision:Getty Images
Earth Day is a great time to incorporate new eco-friendly practices into every day life.

As Earth Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is highlighting the financial benefits of adopting eco-friendly practices, including reducing energy consumption.

Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn't have to drain your wallet — in fact, it can lead to significant savings while benefiting the environment.

“Making our homes or businesses more energy efficient is a tangible way we can all take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce monthly energy bills,” said Alicia Hearn, spokesperson for FortisBC, in a news release.

“We encourage everyone to take action so that they can lower energy use and work together to achieve a lower carbon future.”

Over the past five years, FortisBC customers who took part in rebates (such as helping to cover the cost of air-sealing their homes) will collectively lower energy use by roughly 50 million gigajoules over the life of the measure — the equivalent energy use it takes to heat almost 500,000 homes for a year.

Over the same timeframe, they’ve reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the emissions equivalent to removing more than one million gasoline-powered cars from the road for a year.

Tips go green and save money

Reduce Energy Consumption

  • Save big by installing programmable and connected thermostats, choosing energy-efficient appliances and taking advantage of rebates to help cover the cost of air-sealing your homes. You can save up to 15 per cent on your home’s heating costs by programming your thermostat to 17°C for when you’re out or asleep and 20°C when you’re home and awake. Avoid outside air from creeping in and affecting your internal temperatures by weatherstripping around exterior windows and doors. And be sure to unplug appliances when not in use. Many appliances continue to draw power even when turned off, so unplugging them can lead to further savings. 

Shop Secondhand

  • Buying from thrift stores or consignment shops not only keeps clothing out of landfills but also reduces pollution, waste and water usage. If everyone bought one secondhand clothing item instead of new this year, it would save the equivalent of 76M cars taken off the road for a day. When shopping new, look for brands with sustainable practices, such as using high-quality natural fibers, to minimize environmental impact. 

Opt for Sustainable Transportation

  • Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking, biking, or using public transportation. Not only does this reduce air pollution, but it also saves money on gas and vehicle maintenance. With the 2024 increase in the provincial carbon tax and rising gas prices, alternative transportation methods can provide significant long-term savings.

Change Your Shopping Habits

  • Swap out single-use plastic bags for reusable grocery bags to reduce waste and save money. Consider incorporating vegetarian meals into your diet to lower food costs, as meat and fish prices continue to rise. Additionally, practice meal prep, shop your pantry, and minimize food waste to further reduce grocery bills.

Perform an Energy Audit

  • Conducting an energy evaluation of your home can uncover opportunities for reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. When looking for home energy audits or other services, use and look for the Sign of a Better Business — the BBB Accredited Business seal — to give you the peace of mind that you’re working with someone you can trust.