New Website and Archived Blogs

Hello Everyone!

Well, many of you can see that Cedar Coast has gone pro! We are officially www.cedarcoastbc.com ! I am tweaking and working with a new system so please bear with me while I work out the kinks. Also, I have brought over my existing blog posts, so feel free to scroll down and have a read through. I have reposted my original blog here for those of you who are new to my website. Thank you again for your support and readership!

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August 1, 2016

When thinking about starting this Blog, I was initially inspired by my Sister (who is amazing) who has repeatedly asked me for the past 4 years:

“So…. What are you studying in school again?”

followed by

“What will you do with that?”

Haha and for the longest time, I never really knew how to respond. Yes, technically I am going to get a BA in Environmental Geography, however, I was not entirely sure ever what my career choices would materialize into. In many cases I would describe to her what I was studying during that semester currently such as climate change, consumerism, cultural ecology’s, or environmental histories. To which her response would be a subtle glazing over, sadness over the topic in which I described, and/or statements such as:

“How can we do anything about that? That’s a HUGE problem! Doesn’t that depress you? I can’t fix it!”

The last two are the most common heard statements I hear. “Doesn’t that depress you?” Yes! Of course it does! The world is going to hell in a hand basket, of course is makes me sad! BUT, I have hope because of the number of people who said that they couldn’t make a difference, collectively can. This collective change is the easiest and most effective way to make positive changes in our world. We are not talking about a drastic shift such as moving to a commune, but simple everyday changes which ADD UP, person by person, household by household. We can do something, and it is actually fairly easy to begin with.

That’s where this blog is going to begin. I am writing this for individuals and families who have the intention and desire to be better to this planet. This spinning blue ball gives us everything we need to survive… We are going to need to look after it.

This blog is for my Sister and those a like. People who want to make a change, but are busy, tired, have families and their corresponding chaos. People who work, are students, live in the city, or live in the country. I hope to provide suggestions, tips, and advice on how to work sustainable lifestyle methods into your everyday life. So let’s not be afraid of change, let’s embrace it.

Sustainable lifestyles are 50% intention. You want to make a difference? You can. They are 25% organization. Yep, organization. “If you fail to plan you plan to fail” they say. By staying organized or creating better organization in your life you can become a better citizen of the planet. Lastly it is 25% implementation. Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet, it’s why we live all over the world. Once we implement a lifestyle change, we adapt! Once that becomes a part of your life, time to make another step. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon (just less hard and sweaty haha).

If you’re already a ZeroWaster, Permaculture advocate, or environmentalist, you’re probably not going to read this blog, although you’re welcome to! It will be full of funny stories, sarcasm, and likely pictures of my cats, so there is that. However, it’s likely you’re already on your way.

I hope to provide simple steps, easy to follow advice that can be implemented into all walks of life and all budgets. You already have the intention (you’re reading this!) So I hope to provide the other 50%. I want to help you learn how to organize your shopping, home, and habits in a sustainable manner and then provide you with useful advice to take into the real world to implement it!

Let’s make sense of sustainability.

-Heather

Meatless Monday: Warm French Lentils

Hey Everyone! Happy Monday:)

So I have been doing my best to limit the amount of meat I have with dinner (most breakfasts and lunches are already vegetarian for me) and I thought I’d share my first recipe here with you guys. I was a vegetarian for 10 years and a pescatarian for 3 years, but food allergies have made me change my diet despite my political will, so having a meatless Monday fulfils that need for me.

But first,  here’s the Gist about Meatless Monday:

  • It takes about 460 gallons of water for 1/4 pound of beef, or about 1,750 liters per 113 grams. USGS
  •  It takes about 500 gallons of water/pound of chicken (1,890 liters/.45 kg) USGS
  • California has experience record droughts for almost a decade, and has regular droughts for the past 30 years. USGS DroughtMonitor.
  • Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and duration of droughts in the future.
  • By reducing your meat consumption you can reduce the strain on municipal and state water systems
  • Beans, Lentils, nuts/nutmilks and tofu are easy and inexpensive ways to aquire protein.

Alright! It’s a short Gist tonight…lol

So I have never been able to cook Lentils unless it has been in soup… I always cook them until they are flavorless mush. But not this recipe! So tasty! I got this recipe from my mother in law, who originally got it online. It’s really easy, takes about 45 minutes, but the prep could be done well in advance. The only thing I recommend halving the salt (as per the MIL instructions)

Check it out!Warm French Lentils

Clothes: A Girls Real Best Friend Part 2

Hey Everyone!

Sorry about the delay in our second installment of our discussion about sustainable wardrobes and clothing. So as a quick recap, the first of this series was about taking care of your clothing, organizing what you have and mixing up your wardrobe. These steps help us get a feel for what we actually own, what wardrobe pieces we still need, how to selectively purchase new items, and how we can use our existing pieces with current trends. This second installment is focused on our first foray into the secondhand market! So let’s get this boat in the ocean!

 The Gist:

1.) The fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world next to petroleum production- Eileen Fisher

2.) Consignment Stores can be designer clothing havens. Google search consignment stores in your area and read their websites/reviews to get information about their products, standards, and product turnover.

3.) Search Facebook for local “Buy/Sell/Swap” pages. You can find A LOT of awesome garments for yourself and your kids there.

4.) Secondhand sales of durable goods are worth about $30 billion per year in Canada. – Peter Spiro

5.) Ask Grandma/Grandpa, Nana/Papa about their wardrobes and if they have any of their vintage pieces stowed away. I have some wonderful pieces in my wardrobe which are classics from relatives.

Okay, so for those of you who are sticking around, let’s get down to business. The rest of you, get back to work 😉

Shopping secondhand gets a bad rap. This is because discussions about the secondhand economy in the media paint it in a negative light and associating it with lower socioeconomic status (ie. only poor people shop secondhand.) This takes aim at fragile our egos (our perceived wealthiness, status and elitism) but if we think about it with a clear mind and realize that those narratives are told to us by the people who benefit financially from us buying new, we can look through the marketing and see a wonderful opportunity to lessen our consumerism and save some money.

So, let’s break it down a little and see what the secondhand economy actually is and why it is important for the environment.

Fashion Facts

– Americans threw away more than 67 lbs of clothing and textiles per person per year in 2007, increasing to 82 lbs in 2015, and over all a 400% increase in the past two decades.- Luz Claudio,  True Cost

– Cotton agriculture accounts for 25% of the world insecticide use and 18% of the worlds pesticide use. –True Cost

Benefits of the Secondhand Economy

– 2.5 billion lbs of post-consumer textile waste was diverted from American waste streams by the secondhand economy and textile recycling in 2007. – Luz Claudio

– Secondhand sales of durable goods are worth about $30 billion per year in Canada and the average Canadian family saves $1150 by shopping secondhand. – Peter Spiro

I have a special insight into the inner-workings of the secondhand economy as a family member worked for a large Canadian charity for 15+ years and I grew up with a lot of experience within it. So how does the secondhand economy work? The answer is: it depends. There are A LOT of charity secondhand stores in my area which either receive their merchandise from direct donations. In contrast other companies purchase large quantities(like multiple shipping containers) of used clothing from various collection agencies. Other secondhand stores are consignment shops. These are my favorite.

Consignment Stores:

Consignment stores often have strict rules and standards about the clothing they accept as the individual who is giving it to the shop is also receiving money for their garment. The shop and the consignmentee split the profit of selling the garment in some financial arrangement, which is why it makes sense for only the best products to be accepted for sale. Most often these garments are quality vintage pieces, on trend recent garments and/or are new with tags. I know one local shop I frequently haunt requires that all their pieces are dry cleaned prior to being placed for sale, which makes the store smell like fresh laundry, not musty. Side Note: My crowning achievement in shopping consignment was finding a pair of Rock and Republic jeans (this was before they were bought out by Kohl’s and their quality was great) with the tags still on ($179.99) for $25.00. Anyway, back to our discussion…

Where do these places exist you ask? Well you will have to Google your area for consignment shops. Read their websites to get better intel about the brands they sell, if they have a minimum price point, and if they are unisex or multi-generational (sell kids clothing)

I know of several great consignment stores in my area which are entirely for kids 10 and under. And this makes perfect sense! Kids grow out of things quickly (sometimes before they even wear them) so these items tend to not have a ton of wear and tear on them, and I know only clean, unstained pieces are usually accepted (ps. why do they even make white children’s clothing? That seems counterproductive….)

Goodwill and Thrift Shops:

Goodwill and Thrift Shops are also great places to shop, but be prepared to thumb through a few racks for a good find. I have a few pairs of jeans from thrift shops which were in what seemed like unworn shape. It is also worthy discussing that these shops are PERFECT for those one-off purchases you need for Halloween, themed parties, kids themed school days (anyone remember Sports Day? Some how I was always team Red, and I never owned anything red). These are awesome opportunities to buy something secondhand. Note: Most charity shops don’t wash their clothing before it goes for sale, so I always make sure to wash things immediately when I get home, but that rule should stand for everything you buy, new or used.

You’re already a secondhand Champion and you didn’t even know it

I bet many of you don’t know that you already participate in the secondhand economy, but you should because it means you’re already on your way to living more sustainably (Easiest change yet right?! Right!) But if you have ever bought or sold a used car, returned a leased car, sold that old TV on Craigslist, donated clothes to charity, gave or received hand-me-downs from a sibling,

bought a used treadmill off Kajiji or swapped some clothes with a girlfriend, you have already forayed into the secondhand economy. It was so easy, you didn’t even notice. But by making these kinds of choices consciously you can take your sustainability up a notch. So the next time you are looking for that next special outfit, head to your local consignment store, because there are a thousand other people out there who also want to switch up their wardrobes without breaking their banks.

Sneak Peek

Check back in a few weeks for our 3rd and last installment on sustainable wardrobes: buying new ethical and sustainably made garments. I will discuss my favorite stores (online and brick & mortar), how to shop smart ($) and which pieces to splurge on and which to save! Thanks for again for reading everyone!

– Ciao

Compost Origami Update

Hey team!

Just thought I would update you guys on my green waste Oragami post! Well I sat down a few days ago and folded up some of these bad boys.

When I used a standard newspaper sheet of paper to make them it was a little too small for our countertop bin. But nonetheless we have been using them and they work fairly well I have to say! They definitely held the goop in and served their purpose. I would like larger ones since we fill our green bin A LOT, so I know they would need to be replaced more often…

It took about 2 minutes to fold one which meant I got 5 of them done super quickly, long before my 1/2hr show was over (I did it on the coffee table between studying)

Anyways, I would give it a 7/10 on the yay scale because they were a bit small for our purpose, but depending on your bin size it might work better!

Ciao for now!

17 Sustainable Resolutions for 2017

Hey All!

Sorry for the lack of blog posts this month! Between Finals and Christmas, I was away from the computer a lot!

Anyways… New Years has appeared out of nowhere! As always I had a flash of genius while in the shower this morning (why is it always the shower??) I want to give you guys 17 EASY resolution ideas to make for 2017! Now I know 2016 was a bit of a bust for some of us (Trump, David Bowie etc etc.) but on the flip side both the Canadian and American governments have put in legislation which prevents oil exploration in the North, the Northern Gateway pipeline in BC was cancelled and beyond all odds, Keith Richards is still with us! So, let’s say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017 with some sustainability resolutions to make the up coming year even better! Let’s get the countdown started!

1.) BYOM – Bring Your Own Mug! It seems simple enough, but even I forget to grab (or wash out) my travel mug. So this year, make a resolution to pack your mug around with you! If you need something to make you more excited about it, buy yourself a new fancy mug or like my Momma did, get your favorite coffee mug personalized! How awesome is that?!

 

-Adorable Personalized Mugs-

2.) Swap it- Swap out one household product that you currently use for an environmentally friendly version. It could be dish washing liquid, laundry soap, kitty litter or doggie doo baggies for biodegradable baggies, toilet paper, or toilet bowl cleaner! Anything. Just one item OR even better, swap one out every time something runs out, replace it with something greener.

3.) Take Public Transit- You don’t need to start taking transit everyday for work or to the grocery store. Making a couple trips to downtown to a concert or football game using the subway, bus, or skytrain instead of driving not only saves you money on parking, it helps reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, I find easing yourself into using transit is the best way to make a more permanent shift.

4.) Go Paperless- You’ve seen the ads on TV and your banks website for paperless statements, but your always too busy to sign up. Well this New Year, take 20 minutes out of your day and make all your statements paperless. Not only does it mean less trees are being wasted for something that gets recycled anyway, it means you don’t have to waste time shredding!

5.) Go Electronic- Do you have a magazine subscription? I don’t but I LOVE magazines… they are so nice to have around… But they are a total waste of resources! So look up your favorite mags and subscribe to them online. There are also tons of apps which provide multiple magazine subscriptions which means you only need your tablet or phone. It lessens the clutter in your home and again there isn’t any needless waste.

-Paperless studying. Check out the Logitech wireless keyboard I use-

6.) Buy Organic- This is kind of like #2, swap out one favorite food product for an organic alternative. Organic produce is not processed with the same pesticides and herbicides like conventional produce, which means there is less soil and water degradation which protects the environment. By switching one produce item at a time, it is less sticker shocking, and it allows your to taste the difference (trust me you will)

7.) Carpool- This one is fun and easy! Have a group of friends all headed to one place like a friends house or restaurant? Why not carpool if you all live in the same area? Make the round-robin picking up friends. Not only do you have a great time getting to where you are going, you can all share a taxi home AND you have a bunch of friends with cars to take you back to your car in the morning! Win! Less carbon, no DD needed, and a ton of fun!

8.) Try Organic Wine- This one is on my 2017 resolution list. Like #6, organic wines are not treated with the same harsh pesticides and herbicides while they are grown as conventional wines. Plus, I have heard that there are some amazing organic wines from California and the Okanagan, Who doesn’t want to do some wine tasting??

9.) Cut out Convenience- I know, we are all super busy, so buying those convenience products which are individually wrapped are soooo easy. But they create a lot of waste needlessly… Try cutting out one convenience product like Snack Packs or individual yogurts. Make a whole package of pudding once a week, or buy a large tub of yogurt and divide it up into reusable containers. Once you develop the new habit, you won’t even miss it I promise. Plus, you save SO MUCH MONEY! All that packaging and processing isn’t free, you pay a premium for it!

10.) Breakup with the Dollar-store- I know the allure of cheap and easy toys or things from the dollar-store is sometimes irresistible, but those cheaply made products come with a cost. Not only are they all produced overseas so they need to travel very far to get to the store, they are produced in areas with very lienient environmental manufacturing standards. Also, they are cheaply made products with little to no longevity! Save yourself the annoyance and invest once in a quality product not dollar-store stuff if at all possible.

11.) Staycation- My Geography of Tourism Prof is cringing at the term, but I like it! Staycations are vacations at home or within a short distance. Be a tourist in your own Province or State, not only will you discover some really neat things about your home, it’s cheaper (usually), and you don’t create nearly as much carbon from travel! You’re money stays within the community, and thus supports the people you live alongside! The money is them reinvested in the community. Win!

-Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada-

12.) Ditch the Plastic- Plastic containers are super popular, cheap and easy for almost all households.  And while I appreciate their reusable nature, they still aren’t great for you or the environment. Depending on what studies you read, and the discovery of BPA and other plastic related toxins, these containers aren’t optimal for longterm use. Glass on the other hand is sturdy and stable for food storage, it’s 100% recyclable, meaning nothing is wasted, and it’s inexpensive. A 24 piece set of Anchor brand containers will set you back only $25.00- $30.00 CAN. Or you can switch to mason jars and use screw on lids (which are plastic but don’t come in contact with foods) for a really cheap alternative. I use both!

-Mason Jar for instant coffee mixes and hot chocolate mixes-

13.) Go Cloth- So this one comes from my Sister: switch to cloth diapers permanently for your little ones or in her case, switch to reusable swimming diapers. They are heading south soon for a family vacation and don’t want to pack whole suitcase of diapers so she has bought a few reusable ones! Smart Lady!

14.) Ditch the Disposables- Bring your own cutlery to work or school instead of using the plastic cutlery in the lunchroom. Yeah it can be recycled but that is also energy which could be conserved or used elsewhere! They make amazing travel cutlery sets from metal, bamboo and plastic so they are easy to pack around. Or bring some from home,  or do what I did and buy some sets from the local secondhand store and leave them in the lunchroom for everyone to use.

bamboo-utensil

-I love this adorable To-Go Wares bamboo travel cutlery set –

15.) Buy Local- I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again! Buy local! The next time a birthday, baby shower, anniversary or holiday comes around, look to buy one gift locally this year. Instead of heading to Walmart to buy a bunch of onsies for baby showers, I head to a local artist cooperative and buy one of a kind pieces there. Yeah they are a little more expensive, but it’s always worth it since the garments are quality and usually made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo. Good for baby, good for mommy and good for you (cause who really likes going to Walmart? Yuck)

– I love this one of a kind ring from Coastal Dreamer Designs, a Canadain designer-

16.) Give up plastic wrap- Plastic wrap is the bane of my existence. It gets stuck to itself, tears unevenly or falls out of the box… Instead, invest in a silicone microwave safe lid for heating foods, or ones for storing food in the fridge (they are dual use) They sell them at all home/kitchen stores like BBB and Hudsons Bay.

 silicone-lids-affiliate

Soledi Silicone Universal Lid Set in 5 Sizes-

17.) Recycle- Most of us are fairly good recyclers, however there are quite a few things that don’t go directly in the service pickup boxes. Pick something like plastic bags, Styrofoam, or tetra packs (or something your city doesnt accept) to collect  at home and take to the recycling depot directly once or twice a season. It will save something that is fully recoverable from going into the landfill, and it’s a great habit to start. Forming new habits slowly like this eases people into a new routine, and makes it easier to take on new habits in the future!

 recycling-system-affiliate

-Look at this recycling beauty! Space for recycling, green/food waste and garbage (or if you were me, soft plastics)-

*Note: This post contains sponsored links. Thank you for supporting Cedar Coast*

Compost Origami

Happy Sunday Everyone !

Just cruising through Pinterest this morning while having a cup of coffee and found this awesome post about folding your own green bin liners. So after you are done reading the Sunday news try out this tutorial.  Check it out here on my Pinterest board about Clean Green  http://pin.it/rDYQl4D Check back tomorrow for this weeks blog post!

Clothes: A Girls Real Bestfriend. Part 1.

Well Halloween has come and gone now, and in the following weeks we are all sure to feel our clothing get a lliiiittttllleee tighter, especially with Thanksgiving (for our American neighbours) and Christmas around the corner.

So lets talk clothes this week! In a three-part series I hope to share with you guys the importance of Minding your closet and the detrimental effects the Fast Fashion industry has on our environment. This first post will be about the EASIEST and CHEAPEST way to have a sustainable closet.

So for you busy folks, here is The Gist!

1. The Garment/Fast Fashion industry (ie. clothing which is a “steal” bargain or super trendy) is the SECOND largest polluting industry next to Big Oil.

2. The FIRST place to start creating a sustainable wardrobe is to take care of what you already own. Don’t rush out to buy  new ethical brands or sustainable fabrics to replace your existing items, that is expensive and wasteful. Buy QUALITY DETERGENT free of phosphates and harmful surfactants which can impact aquatic life in freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. Brands like Seventh Generation, ECOS, Mrs. Meyers and Nellies Laundry Soap are both affordable and effective!

3. Make your clothing LAST by pre-treating stains with concentrated laundry detergent (no need for special pre-treating products) and wash dark coloured things like denim inside out to protect their colour.

4. Mix up your wardrobe! Check out Pinterest for outfit ideas and put together new outfits with your existing wardrobe. I do this ALL THE TIME, too often if you ask my Husband, but I get that “new outfit feels” when I get to try a different combination out.

So! For the rest of you who can stick around, keep reading to find out how I started out my sustainable wardrobe journey with tips and tricks that worked for me. The rest of you? Get back to work 😉

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most fashionable person… Yep.. I love me a comfortable pair of jeans and a t-shirt and converse runners. Which in some ways makes sustainable fashion easy and difficult at the same time. When I began this I tried to keep in mind two things:

  1. Keeping my existing wardrobe was the best option! I found a similar Ethical Closet guide like the one created by into-mind.com and I use it regularly to help me stay on track.

  2. I surveyed my closet. Know thy enemy! I regularly take an afternoon to sort through my clothes. I donate what I am not wearing anymore and make a list of staple pieces I would like to replace or add to my wardrobe. This prevents me from impulse shopping during moments of “I have nothing to wear” or “Ohhh… that’s a good deal….”

When I first started thinking about my closet I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make many changes; however, I took a couple simple steps which helped me figure out where and what I could improve on while also cluttering and organizing.

First I surveyed my closet. How many pieces have I owned for 2+ years? 3+ years? 5+ years? A large part of sustainability is resisting the temptation of fast fashion (ie trends, impulse shopping, and brands which have great prices but terrible track records for quality) So keeping clothing for a long time requires them to be durable and timeless.

If they still looked great, I turned the hanger around  (this is step one, and I come back to this later.) If they didn’t or didn’t fit, I donated them. I was fairly surprised to see that much of my closet was full of long-term pieces (considering I wasn’t a big spender and I love a good sale)

Second, I surveyed the amount of clothing I had received secondhand. Did they still fit? In style? Misshapen or pilled? After conducting this survey, I turned the keeps hangers around and donated the rest.

Third, I looked at my closet to see what was left (easy to spot since some hangers were turned around! Ah see! I told you I had a plan!) I surveyed these. Where did they come from? Are they still in style? What kind of shape are they in? Not surprisingly what these pieces were, were the “fast fashion” pieces purchased over the past year. These pieces were brands like Joe Fresh, H&M, and Le Chateau. They hadn’t kept their shape well or had pilled badly. Some looked okay, and I decided that they got to join the “long term” clothes, but would receive better care in the future.

The same kinds of surveys were conducted with my t-shirt collection, sock and underwear drawers and what I was left with were two medium sized bags of donations and about two dozen empty hangers. What had I accomplished? Well beyond organizing and purging my closest, I became cognizant of my wardrobe. What many of us take for granted in the access we have to clothing, and its immediacy at stores.

Now I was prepared to replace clothing with sustainable items and knew what essentials I already had in my closet. Next, taking care of what I had.

Now, I have always used a “earth-friendly” detergent. In our house we use ECOS brand liquid soap because it is affordable (from Costco) and effective for our needs- not a ton of stains or spills. We also ditched the dryer sheets, scented beads and fabric softener years ago after finding out that they not only contain chemicals (similar to those in detergent) which pollute waterways, but they can damage fabrics like nylon, spandex, elastic (basically everything athletic oriented), microfiber and microfiber blends. Not only that, they cause build-up on clothing which discolouurs whites and dulls colours. AND lastly, for many people the fragrance and softening properties irritate skin and allergies. So not only do the shorten the life of your clothes, but are irritating in multiple ways.

So I am guessing many of your are going “But… but… I like the smell of fresh laundry…”

Solution? Felted dryer balls! We have two that we use and I put 3-5 drops of essential oil on them once a month to impart a nice smell on to our clothes. The felt removes any static too. My Sister asked if the oils stained our clothes at all and I would have to say no, I haven’t seen any! When I add the oil, I always let it soak in a little before throwing them into the dryer.

I bought these at FAVOURITE Gifts in North Vancouver (you can find them on Facebook) for I think $5.00 each. Well worth it considering that a box of dryer sheets run about $4.00-$9.00 per box and only last 120 washes. I have had my felt balls for 2+ years, so well worth the $10.00.

Next week we will talk about the Do’s and Don’ts of shopping for vintage or thrift clothes and one of my best kept secrets: consignment stores. Our last post of this three part series will talk about what to look for in sustainable clothing brands and who some of my favourites are.

Here are some links which I found helpful! Hopefully they will be to you too!

http://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-is-the-second-dirtiest-industry-in-the-world-next-to-big–1882083445.html

http://www.lenntech.com/aquatic/detergents.htm

http://www.reviewed.com/home-outdoors/best-right-now/best-eco-friendly-laundry-detergents

Lighting the Way- LED Bulbs

Lighting the Way- LED Bulbs

So, here is comes! A second post, whoohooo! Yay go me! haha! I have been trying to balance school-studying and blogging unsuccessfully, so I hope to get a better pattern down in the future! But here is the goal: every post will have a “Gist” section at the beginning which will outline the simple key facts of the post in 1-5 points. If you have time, or are interested keep reading for the details. Otherwise, take the info and run with it!

The GIST

  1. 1. LED’s use 83% less energy than incandescent bulbs!!!
  2. 2. They can last up to 22.8 years (based on 3 hours/day usage)
  3. 3. Membership Big Box Stores generally sell them the cheapest: I have seen boxes of 8 60w equivalents for $15.99 can.
  4. 4. All sorts of styles are made: vintage Edison, halogen, pot-lights, track-lights, table lamps and flush mounts.

Edison Bulbs: Super Fashionable, Not Super Efficient. Check out LED Edison styles!

The Details:

So why make the change?

LED bulbs such as this 60W Equivalent Daylight bulb by EcoSmart only uses 10W or 83% less energy than a incandescent bulb. Additionally the manufacturer says it lasts up to 22.8 years (based on 3 hours/day).

LED light bulbs have been on the market for a few years now, but haven’t really caught on. In Canada incandescent light bulbs were banned and phased out about 5-6 years ago and replaced with CFL’s or compact fluorescent lights – those curly light bulbs.

LED’s are versatile and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes for all applications. Regular lamp style bulbs are available in addition to vintage Edison styles, globe, candelabra and pot-light styles. Bright white and soft white options are available, so you can set the mood in any room or outdoors.

Why ditch the CFL’s?

Well we don’t have to ditch the CFL’s entirely. They are extremely affordable products so it makes them appealing for most households. A Philips13W CFL – 60W Incandescent Equivalent – says it has a 10,000 hour lifespan, or approximately 9 years (based on 3 hours per day of usage). They have an incredible lifespan compared to incandescent bulbs and at 75% more effiecient, they are a definite improvement. Nevertheless LED bulbs are much more energy efficient and long lasting. In addition, CFL’s need to be handled and disposed of a little more carefully than traditional incandescents and LED’s since they contain mercury. Additionally they produce a limited amount of UV raditation at distance of 11 inches or closer according to a 2009 Canadian Government study. This makes CLF’s not ideal for desk lamps or for areas in which they could be tampered with by children.

So, where can we begin to utilize LED’s in place of CFL’s?

In our home we began with areas which are difficult to access but are used very frequently such as hallways and staircases. In our condo we have a high traffic hallway/foyer/laundry room which means the light is on a large part of the day. If this light burns out, I am hooped without the Mr. since I am too short to reach them even on a chair. So why not use an LED there and never have that problem again?

As well, we had an original track-light fixture in our old condo kitchen which used halogen bulbs. Not only was the piece dated, it was inefficient and HOT! It felt like a food warmer in a fast food restaurant haha. So on our bi-yearly visit to Costco we impulse bought a modern chrome multi-lamp LED fixture. We LOVE it! It casts a bright warm white light and floods the space perfectly. Check it out! Stylish and Efficient! The downside, like with many products, this was likely imported from overseas. This means it’s Ecological Footprint is likely quite large due to transportation costs and manufacturing costs.

Now that we have moved to out townhouse, we are beginning all over again with switching our fixtures! We are replacing the bulbs in our “boob lights” with LED’s (they were all incandescent) and have replaced the hot halogen bulbs from the spotlights in the living room. In our bedroom we replaced the entire fixture with a awesome drum shade and put in LED 40W bulbs.

Another spot where I want to make the change is on my desk and a spotlight over my fireplace. They both have halogen bulbs which produce excess heat. And remember, excess heat is a sure sign of energy inefficiency, so if it’s hot, lets not. I want swap out my student-inspired halogen desk lamp with a chic chrome lamp and sub-in an LED bulb instead of the stock incandescent they come with typically. Additionally I would hesitate to install a CFL bulb in a desk lamp due to its proximity to my face since we don’t need any additional aging agents right? Right.

I would love to hear back from you guys about the changes you are making or ideas you would like me to look into, so don’t be shy and leave me a message in the comment section!

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