These tips are easy to implement at the cottage and good for the environment to boot!
Turn it off/Unplug it! The #1 rule of saving energy and reducing the amount of CO2 released into the environment is to turn off things you are not using. Seems obvious right? Now put it into practice. Get this, things that are plugged into an outlet but not turned on still use energy. Unplug things that you are not using, especially if you are leaving the cottage for the month or the season!
How clean is your fridge? Old fridges use significantly more energy than new fridges, but we know buying a new fridge isn't always in the cottage budget. Reduce the amount of energy your fridge is using by cleaning the coils on the back every six months. And it's easy! Simply wipe the coils down with a damp rag this works for new and old fridges and it can reduce the amount of noise your fridge makes.
Buy locally. Just imagine the damage done to the environment when food is shipped long distances by truck, plane, train, etc. Buying local food when it is in season reduces your part of the damage done to the environment AND can often mean more deliciously fresh foods, especially if you go to some of the farmer's and Mennonite markets in cottage country.
Shine. Convert your light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) which may cost a bit more initially but last longer and save significant dough on your energy bill!
Stay Warm. If you have a winterized cottage and use it in the colder months, wrap up your hot water heater. In the winter months a lot of the energy your water heater uses can stem from simply trying to keep itself warm. Use an energy saving heat blanket to wrap your heater and it'll save on your energy bill and the environment!
Make one trip. Save your time and gas money and make a list before you leave the cottage to go to the store. That way, you will hopefully only have to drive into town once in awhile to get all your major necessities. Better yet, carpool with cottagers in your neighbourhood to reduce the amount of driving significantly.
It's our hope that if we start making these easy and minor changes in our routines at home and at the cottage, we will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also be more motivated to make the major changes needed to save our planet!