Do you ever wonder how you can save energy, money, and reduce waste? The Government of Canada has a program called "The One-Tonne Challenge", which asks you to reduce your annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one tonne.
How? Use less energy. Conserve water and resources. Reduce waste.
Fewer emissions means protecting our climate and having cleaner air and healthier communities for all Canadians. And saving energy puts more money in your pocket.
Tips to Get You Started
On the Road
Drive less by taking public transit, car-pooling, walking or biking, and tele-working. If you drive 20,000 kilometres a year, reducing your annual distance by 2000 kilometres or 10% will reduce your GHG emissions by half a tonne or more, plus you'll save money and help give us cleaner air.
Drive smarter. Try combining your errands, working flexible hours to avoid rush hour traffic, and using ethanol blended gasoline.
Don't idle. Idling for 10 minutes a day can produce about a quarter tonne of CO2 emissions each year and cost you about $70 in wasted fuel.
When buying a new vehicle, choose a fuel-efficient one. Switching from a sports utility vehicle to a mid-sized sedan will reduce your GHG emissions by 2 tonnes a year. Buy the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs. Check the fuel consumption information on the EnerGuide label, or compare the fuel consumption of different vehicles by consulting the Fuel Consumption Guide at www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles.
Check your tire pressure once a month. Did you know that 70% of vehicles have at least one tire that is over or under-inflated? Maintaining the correct tire pressure could reduce your GHGs by at least 1/8 tonne each year and save $50 in fuel costs. Visit www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety.
Draft-proof your home. Use caulking and weather-stripping to reduce your home heating needs by up to 20%, and reduce your GHG emissions by up to half a tonne. An EnerGuide for Houses evaluation can help identify where your home is losing energy. Visit www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/houses-maisons/.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last up to ten times longer and use one-quarter of the electricity of a regular incandescent light bulb. Replacing 5 regular light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent lightbulbs will reduce your GHG emissions by 1/8 tonne.
Install and use a programmable thermostat. For every 1° C you lower your thermostat you can save 2% on your heating bill. A reduction of 3 degrees C at night or when you are away during the day provides optimal savings and can reduce your GHGs by half a tonne.
When buying a new appliance, choose an energy-efficient one. A 2002 model EnergyStar qualified refrigerator uses less than half the electricity of a unit built ten years ago, and can reduce your GHG's by 1/10 of a tonne each year.
Reduce your household waste. In Canada, about 25% of our garbage is currently recycled or composted. But studies show that much more - about 70% of our household waste could be. A family of three can reduce their GHGs by more than 1/8th tonne each year by composting.