Spring and summer are ideal times for home renovations.
Even if one doesn’t own one’s own home, everyone can put in a one and a half gallon/six litre per minute aerated shower head. In Canada, it’s only $20 and cuts water consumption in half, while saving energy because less hot water is used.
But here’s a “to do” list for homeowners:
1. Choose hardwood flooring instead of carpet wherever possible. Statistics show that at the end of its life 35% of the weight of carpet is dirt. So buy wood harvested in a responsible manner—in Canada this means looking for the Forestry Stewardship Certification. Ideally one should try to source such building products locally to reduce transportation miles, or if one wants a rustic look—use recycled wood from old barns or bars.
2. Use low VOC paint and floor finishes as offered at Benjamin Moore stores throughout North America.
3. Insulate the attic and basement. The cost of such insulation will be recovered in three years by money saved in home heating—or cooling if you are in the Southern States.
4. Choose Energy Star rated appliances and windows, which designate energy efficient products. An old fridge can use 15% of the electricity consumed in a house heated by gas.
5. If you cannot go solar or use wind power, upgrade the gas furnace. Up to 50% of energy is wasted in an old furnace. A high-efficiency natural gas furnace is 95% efficient.
6. Install a six-litre high-efficiency flush toilet.
Linda Lewis met the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1972 and, following Rinpoche’s invitation, immediately moved to Boulder, Colorado to be a part of his young and vital sangha. The predominant themes in her life have been teaching in contemplative schools–Vidya, Naropa, and the Shambhala School in Halifax, Nova Scotia–and studying, practicing, or teaching his Shambhala Buddhadharma wherever she finds herself.
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Editors: Lindsay Friedman/Kate Bartolotta