Learn how to green your home at the Green Living Show

Photo: istockphoto.com/Loke Yek Mang
This weekend at the Green Living Show in Vancouver, it's all about learning how to green your life and one of the easiest places to start is with your home. Not only does greening your property add value to your bottom line, it treads gently on Mother Earth. Easy upgrades Mary Knive of Living Places, and a registered realtor on B.C's Sunshine Coast, is passionate about getting that message across. While there are some things that are difficult or expensive to alter or retrofit in a home, such as orientation and passive energy use, there's a lot individual owners can do to bump up their green value. Three easy upgrades include replacing single pane for double glaze windows, installing energy efficient appliances and regulating water flow with low flush toilets and faucets. For the green DIYers These eco-options are on display at The Home Depot booth. A walk through their exhibit will show you how easy it is to green up your property:
  • Replace incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs and make a serious dent in green house gas emissions.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances. An Energy Star certified fridge uses 50 per cent less energy than a typical fridge.
  • A dishwasher saves 25 per cent and a front load washing machine some 50 per cent.
  • Add a low flow toilet to the mix and reduce the single largest drain on water out of your home.
  • Home Depot's outdoor options include soaker hoses, natural fertilizers, solar and LED garden lights.
  • Overwhelmed? If you don't know where to start, stop by the Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre booth. Lighthouse is a non-profit service center dedicated to educating the public about sustainable building solutions. The information booth at the show is chock-a-block with information about retrofitting or new construction built with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind. What you don't know about they do! They're happy to share advice. Lighthouse also runs courses on greening your home. Dream home Once you have a sense of the possibilities head over to the Adera Development Corporation booth to see how it's done. Adera develops Built Green certified condominium projects throughout the Lower Mainland. Among other features, an Adera Built Green project boasts Energy-Star appliances, Energy-Star double glazed windows, solar powered hot water system, low flow faucets and low VOC paints. With its gold standard projects the company donates six vehicles, including two hybrids, to the Cooperative Auto Network car-share program. The original green Instead of building your way to sustainability, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation would suggest you conserve the old since the greenest building is the one that's already built. The reuse of an old building is recycling at its finest. Visit the VHF booth to find out how to green a character building and add value to your heritage home. The Vancouver Green Living Show closes today at 6 pm. Heidi Castle is a Vancouver based journalist covering the Green Living Show.