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Have you tried the five minute shower challenge?

If you watch the news or read the newspaper you will learn about the terrible drought in California. This is the fourth year California is in a severe drought. California Governor Jerry Brown announced a drought State of Emergency in January 2015 and ordered strict conservation measures statewide. On May 5, 2015 California water regulators ordered tough restrictions on residents' use of water. Californians are required to cut their water usage up to 35 percent or they will face harsh fines under proposed new rules. The drought is a very serious issue, at every corner there are signs reminding Californians to conserve water. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has started the 'Brown is the New Green' campaign, which reminds residents to save water and let their lawns go brown.

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Home-grown vegetables in a self-sufficient system? Aquaponics!

Have you ever wanted to grow vegetables/herbs in your home without needing to add fertilizers? Then the answer is aquaponics! I discovered this cool little set-up while having a coffee in my local organic co-op. Being a lover of both plants and fish, I was immediately drawn to the fish tank situated under a vegetable bed in the corner of this quaint café . After inquiring with the shopowner, he informed me it was an aquaponics set-up. Immediately smitten, the DIY-er in me jumped for joy and as soon as returning home I started researching everything on how to begin my own.
So what is it?

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Heating homes efficiently

With the first substantial snowfall in Montreal last week and temperatures dropping below zero, you might have cranked up the heating at home. In 2009, Canadians spent $26.8 billion on household energy needs, and almost two thirds of this energy was used for space heating. Nearly half of Canadian households used natural gas as their main heating fuel in 2007, emitting not only warmth but also greenhouse gases. Whether it be natural gas, electricity, wood, heating oil or propane, there are a number of ways to prepare your home for winter and to reduce your energy needs. Take a look at these ten handy tips on how to efficiently heat your home and effectively help save both the planet and your pennies (or cents).
1. Install and set a programmable thermostat

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How much can composting help to reduce my carbon footprint?

Food waste represents 21.1% of the trash produced in the US even after recycling and composting are taken into account [1]. While reducing food waste is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, even the most careful households will still produce food scraps like egg shells, banana peels, and tea bags. The good news is that these and many other types of food waste are compostable, and you may be surprised by how much composting can help fight climate change. The environmental impact is due to both decreased fossil fuel consumption from waste transportation and the reduction of greenhouse gases produced as the food decomposes in a landfill.

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What's the environmental impact of growing your own food?

Buying locally grown food is a great way to minimize your environmental impact, and growing your own food takes that idea one step further. You might be surprised by the effect even a small vegetable garden can have on your carbon footprint. Here’s a simple calculation to show just how much energy you might be able save with your garden.

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Liquid vs. Bar Soap, which is more environmentally friendly?

I recently made the decision to switch from liquid soap to bar soap for personal washing. I was pretty sure bar soap would be more environmentally friendly than liquid soap in plastic bottles. My online research confirmed my hunch but also brought to light another issue that I hadn't even considered.

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