27 sites that will green your DIY and woodworking projects

Bring your eco-consciousness into your shop and home

By Andrew Gordon

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What, has everything gone green? The Web is rife with slick advertisements for eco-stuff, but how do you know what’s the real deal and what’s marketing greenwash? To save you time, we’ve sorted through the bad seeds to find the best DIY- and woodworking-related green sites. Here’s what we uncovered.

Green DIY/renovation sites

The Office of Energy Efficiency
OK, so you want to build green, but you also wouldn’t mind a few government grants to ease the upgrade costs. This website offers comprehensive details on how to take full advantage of the government-led ecoENERGY program.

Show Me the Green
Similar to the previous link, this site allows you to search for home-improvement rebates and grants across Canada, through federal, provincial and municipal programs.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp.
What to do with used up rechargeable batteries? Easy: give them to the RBRC, which collects used rechargeables and old cellphones.

Advance Green Renewable Energy
Canadian Tire, our national hardware stalwart, has a renewable energy site that is a great starting point for information on solar- and wind-powered energy systems. A renewable energy calculator lets you estimate your power needs and cost/return on investment.

Thinking about installing a grey-water recycling or rainwater harvesting system? This site offers information on both, including useful facts on sizing your system.

Light House Sustainable Building Centre
This B.C.-based site offers a superb listing of green products for your next home-reno project: everything from appliances and lighting to doors, flooring, windows-you name it, it’s here.

Whether you’re building a new house, moving or renovating an existing home, consider hiring a green inspector to analyse where energy is being lost and how to make the home more efficient. What’s more, this process qualifies for federal grants under the ecoENERGY program.

CMHC’s Solar Power Page
Everything you ever wanted to know about photovoltaic solar power, including a useful buyer’s guide.

BC Hydro’s Energy Saving Page
BC Hydro put together a page with techniques and quick tips for reducing everyday energy usage, including no-cost tips and more than 50 to-dos for quick savings.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Green roofs create oxygen, reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, absorb rainwater and are virtually maintenance-free. What’s more, they’re suitable for flat or sloped roofs.

Our Power
Some provinces not only allow homeowners the ability to generate their own power, but also the capacity to sell it back as credit toward electricity bills. This Toronto-based site explains this process, including its costs and roadblocks.

Kohler Water Conservation Page
Kohler Canada offers water-saving tips as well as a water calculator that tabulates how much water you use compared to other similarly sized homes.

The Living Home
This portal site offers a bevy of information for homeowners, including a detailed breakdown on the types and benefits of green insulation.

While many manufacturers claim their product is “green,” only those certified under the EcoLogo program can claim third-party certification across Canada. This site allows you to view such products according to category.

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