As our world begins to change and our natural resources are continually depleted, sustainable or Green living is becoming a hot topic! But while we are very aware of the terms ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’, very few of us actually understand what that means. In a survey done by Shelton Group, EcoPulse 2010 – consumers were asked for their opinion on what they felt ‘Green’ meant. Below are the result of the survey – needless to say, ‘Environmentally Friendly’ is quite a catch all statement just as ‘Green’ tends to be and yet this was overwhelmingly the number one answer.
The simplest way in which to define this new movement of Green or Sustainable living, is to this think of it as living a lifestyle that uses as few resources as possible and in turn causes the least amount of environmental damage for our future generations to deal with.
With that said, there are many different forms of sustainable living and the concept of doing so can apply to almost every part of our daily life. However, in terms of housing, sustainable homes are built in a way that they use very few non-renewable resources, do not require much energy to run, and cause little or no damage to the surrounding environment. A truly sustainable home will be constructed from materials that have been produced in an environmentally friendly manner. However, in Canada or more specifically Ontario, we are not yet privy to a plentitude of truly sustainable home options in the Market. Instead, many homeowners pursue sustainable living by making their existing homes as sustainable as possible, either by replacing low efficiency items with high energy efficiency products or by producing their own power from the sun or wind.
Over hundreds of years, our energy sources, such as fossil fuels, have been drastically depleted and cannot readily be renewed, so instead of these, sustainable living pushes the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, water, or geothermal energy.
The most important thing to think of when buying products or converting your home into a sustainable property, the goal is to ultimately leave as little impact on the world as possible!