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How to reduce your carbon footprint

Presented by La Turquoise Agency

Global warming and the climate crisis: it’s never been more urgent to reduce our carbon footprint. It’s not always easy to keep a cool head when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. That’s why it’s helpful to remember the many simple habits – like recycling, composting, and reusing cups and bags – that we’ve applied over the years and are now part of our everyday life. In recent years, there’s been a shift towards more responsible consumption, which includes reusing items and buying local. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated this shift. Want to do more? Here are four effective steps you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes and travels.

Reduce our electricity consumption

There are many small steps we can take to avoid wasting electricity: for instance, replace incandescent lightbulbs by LED ones; turn off electrical or electronic equipment when it’s not being used (keeping them on standby wastes energy); and do laundry in cold water. We can also make sure that our heavy-duty household appliances like water heaters are well maintained and that we eventually replace them with energy-efficient ones. And don’t forget that equipment in good working order also reduces the risk of short-circuits and fire.

Consume water responsibly

Due to climate change, the risk of running short of drinking water has become a real concern in many parts of the world – even in Canada, a country that has some 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves (Statistics Canada). Reducing our water consumption is also one way to limit the growing costs of treating water for drinking purposes, while also lowering our electricity costs. Want to know how much hot water you use? This online tool from Hydro-Québec will do the calculation for you! From now on, you can make a difference by turning off the faucet when you’re doing the dishes, washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Even better – install faucet aerators or low-flow showerheads. Ready to invest more? Tackle the main source of drinking water wastage – toilets – by replacing them with eco-friendly models. Proper maintenance of pipes and faucets also reduces water wastage and helps prevent potential water damage. 

Improve your home’s insulation and heating

The first habit to adopt is to lower the temperature in your home at night and when you’re away. Regular maintenance will ensure that your heating equipment works as well as possible: dust off radiators, and clean and replace the filters on heat pump wall units or central heating systems as required. Fireplaces and woodstoves also need to be regularly maintained for both performance and safety. Seal any gaps in doors and windows to make them as draftproof as possible. The same goes for electrical outlets, which can also be unwelcome sources of outside air. If you’re planning any renovations, check with Rénoclimat. This Quebec government program helps improve the energy efficiency of homes and can offer financial assistance.

Change your travel habits 

Reducing our carbon footprint inevitably involves changing travel habits. Road transportation alone represents 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs). Take up walking, cycling, rollerblading or riding a scooter, since all these activities are both healthy and environmentally friendly. If public transit is available in your region, use it as much as possible. Buying a new car? Choose an electric vehicle that will reduce both your GGEs and your fuel bill. You could also benefit from many green perks when you purchase your auto insurance from Intact Insurance, including discounts of up to 20%. 

In short, with just these few small steps, you can sustainably reduce our carbon footprint and take care of the planet, while also protecting our most precious belongings. Talk it over with your insurance representative.

This website provides general information only. Your insurance policy contract takes precedence at all times.

Contact an agent from La Turquoise for some advice or a quote for a home or car insurance.

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