13 Elements of a dream green home

I found this infographic on incorporating green elements into the construction of a new home. I would like to try some of these one day into any renovations we do at the schoolhouse.

I was speaking to someone the other day who has installed solar panels at their home and how much they are enjoying it. I have to think we don’t have a giant, steep, green roof for nothing!

This infographic comes from sustainablog.

Thirteen Elements of a Dream Green Home*

Power is out and so is the food in our fridge…

So it was a great ol’ week for Toronto wasn’t it?

Torrential rains caused flooding both from rising waters and leaky roofs. That also meant a major power outage for many people in the city and surrounding areas including us for just under 48 hours.

Heavy Rains Flood Toronto


After living at the schoolhouse for so long a couple of days with no TV aren’t the end of the world. But it generally means it is time to clean out the fridge and freezer if it has been off for too long.

By not opening the fridge or freezer we managed to save a lot but when I started looking at expiry dates and old branding on labels I thought it might be time to do a purge anyway. How long has it been since Dave was the President at Loblaws exactly?

Toronto Public Health provides some solid common sense on its website. If it looks or smells weird get rid of it.

Food Safety at Home – Floods and Power Outages

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also mentions on its website that if an impending outage is coming, set your fridge at 4 degrees Celsius and your freezer to     -18 degrees Celsius to help keep things on ice until the lights come on.

Food Safety in an Emergency

This was the first time we’ve had a long outage with a fridge that has its own ice maker. Guess what happens? The ice melts and the cats get their own wading pool in the kitchen.

So what do you do if you aren’t at home for a few days and the power has been out. Is the food ok? I don’t know how scientific this is but it makes sense to me: fill a water bottle half-full (or half-empty depending on your outlook on life) and freeze it. When the water is completely frozen, turn it upside down and leave it. If you come home and the ice or water is now at the opposite end of the bottle then your freezer was warm enough to thaw out and drop and its likely the food needs to go and feed the bears at the dump. (Thanks to Heather for that trick. You know who you are!)

Building green: An infographic

Here is an interesting infographic on the benefits of building green.

There appears to be some solid reasons to build with a thought to considering the environment as you go. I think a lot of this would be relevant whether you were constructing from new or adding on to an existing site. That would sort of be the best way to recycle don’t you think?

Why build green?

Home renovation information in one tidy package

Well I must be getting exceptionally lazy. I think of a good topic and then find a handy infographic that solves all my writing blocks in one fell chunk of code.

This piece on home improvement trends for 2011 is still pretty relevant. Bits and pieces about renovating your home for resale, green living, use of colour and increasing the efficiency of space and your renovation dollar.

That is probably a good think to consider since any renovations we do will be on the cheap. A bit os spackle and paint here and some new curtains there. Oh and don’t forget the flowers. They will cover a lot of ground if you will pardon the pun.Home Improvement Trends 2011
Source: eLocal.com

Another fantastic infographic—ways to save energy in your home

OK so I seem to be obsessed with providing information with bright colours and cool graphics.

This British infographic provides a room by room display of ways to repair, renovate and change your ways to ensure your home is getting the best energy bang for your buck. Or, in their case, pound.

You’ll have to take into consideration that when looking at this, these folks use radiators much more than we Canadians do and in winter it isn’t all that wise to turn your heat off at night but rather turn it down. A lot of these people don’t have central heating and are a lot less likely to go through life not knowing what -35 degrees Celsius actually feels like.

The schoolhouse has a lot of energy-saving opportunity but we aren’t currently taking advantage of much right now. I think long-term we would look at geothermal heating and better insulation but for now we rely on our propane heating, a ceiling fan and some giant windows that provide light and heat on a sunny day but need some updating.

I think we will review this infographic more closely in the future.

Wickes Energy Savings Tips