How to create peace in your Bedroom.

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As the end of the year quickly approaches, I have realized that my goal of reducing my STUFF is far from complete. At the start of the year I was giddy with enthusiasm, reading great resources, tackling small projects, but the energy quickly dissipated.

As I spend the largest percentage of time in my bedroom, I figured it would be the best area to begin. Over the past few weeks, I have gone through absolutely everything in my room – from boxes to books, cosmetics to art, you name it!

Creating room in my bedroom has created room in my mind.

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Transportation: the balancing of sustainability and ease

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I’ve been car-less for over 5 years now. Despite what many people assume, my licence was not plucked from my shaking hands after a terrible accident nor was it a product of bad financial decisions.

I got rid of my car for a much simpler reason: I wanted to.

My choice to go car-less was one of the first challenges I undertook, as I worked to better align my life with my personal values.   Continue reading

Do you measure your personal Environmental Impact?

Over the past few years, I have attempted to change my life to be less impactful. It has been a challenge to say the least. From transportation to energy, and this year waste, some of you have watched as I found ways to tackle and slowly chip away at solutions.

My journey has been incredibly rewarding, but also made me realize that each person who cares about the environment may not necessarily have tools to help them to quickly understand what aspects of their current lifestyle create the largest impacts, and how they too can make small changes towards big solutions.

I want to work towards creating a solution for this – and I need your help!

My Ask: 5 seconds to answer 3 questions, and share this post with your network (re-blog, facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc) – so that I can get feedback from as many people as possible to start moving towards.

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5QJTFWG

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you!

STUFF Project: Accessories

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Accessories are a way to breathe life into otherwise yawn-able outfits. My particular addiction? Necklaces. Perhaps it was born back in university when I had a summer job beside a bead store and found myself spending countless hours designing jewelry.

Accessories, as I refer to in this blog, will be comprised of: bags, purses, glasses, belts, hats, jewelry and shoes.

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STUFF Project: How to create a wardrobe you love

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After attempting the first challenge of purging 5 items a week, I realized that being more systematic about my purge may be beneficial (with 5 items being an absolute minimum). I’ve decided to assess one category of stuff at a time. This past week, I have planned out a complete purge of my clothes.

Reducing the amount of clothes in your closet will help you to: get rid of what you don’t need, provide clothes to people who do (donation), breathe new life to old clothes that were previously hidden, and increase the ease at which you pull together outfits.

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STUFF Project: Purge 5 things a week

As I began to look at where to start in order to change my relationship with what I own, it didn’t take too much investigating to realize something glaringly obvious:

I have too much STUFF.

From a front closet bursting with bins, to a bedroom which boasts in functionality but lacks in peacefulness, to a storage unit which is filled to the brim (and occasionally overflows when some unsuspecting visitor opens it); impressive organizational skills are able to disguise but not truly address my problem.

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My Home Energy Project: Step 4 – Green Energy

Over the past two years, I have been working to reduce the impact of the energy consumed by my home. From creating an energy baseline, to minimizing heating/cooling and lighting loads, I have been able to reduce my energy consumption by over 20% for the household.

Plug loads were planned to be the next main area of focus for further reducing my energy consumption. However, there is a fine balance to be played between the waste created by discarding old appliances and the energy savings available. These trade offs should be weighed individually.

I lucked out that when I purchased my home as it came with recently replaced energy star appliances – and so, although there may be more efficient models available, I have decided to make responsible energy choices for these appliances only when they are in need of being replaced. Additionally, lets face it, new appliances can be expensive – and as someone who recently finished a MBA in September, my bank account is not prepared to make any major purchases unless it absolutely needs to.

In the meantime, I wanted to make progress on reducing the impact in regards to the source of my energy. My energy (including heat) comes solely from the electric grid. Depending on where you live, the energy fed into the grid can come from a variety of sources, including many heavily polluting one such as coal, oil or gas.

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The above table shows Canadian provinces and how their energy is generated. Provinces with more energy generated by higher polluting sources will benefit the most from switching to renewable energy – however all provinces will benefit.

Many people think about renewable energy being only onsite (such as rooftop mounted solar panels), but it doesn’t have to be. Options exist (such as Bullfrog Power) to purchase renewable energy remotely, allowing less upfront financial investment or ongoing maintenance with similar environmental benefit. Renewable energy certificates (REC’s) ensure that the same amount of energy you purchase is provided to the grid from a renewable source.  This money helps to fund new green energy projects increasing the amount of green energy on the grid, which helps to fight climate change and air pollution.

The best part? I was able to do this for less than $15/month. 

What are your thoughts on switching your home over to renewable energy? Do you have any experience with onsite or remote renewable energy? What do you think the largest road block for you would be?

Check out previous entries about My Home Energy Project.


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