Staff Blogger: Sarah Brunot, Environmental Intern
There’s no time like this year to update your cottage to sustainability standards. It’s common for many people to worry about the upfront costs associated with making environmental improvements to their cottage, however, in the long run, these changes may even provide profits.
Two members of the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society (LESS) have illustrated sustainable cottage practices on both newly built and older cottages.
Frank Baker’s cottage, named “The Lakeside Green Cottage,” exhibits the intersection of architecture and sustainability. The cottage was crushed by a tree in June 2009, and Baker decided to rebuild his cottage more sustainably and better than before.
He improved it by applying various insulation measures and adapting an efficient ventilation system. Click here to learn more about Baker’s journey in building “The Lakeside Green Cottage.”
Bill Smith also owns a sustainable cottage in Lakeside, however he added numerous features as opposed to building from scratch.
Smith formerly designed coal powered boilers for powerplants, so now he is motivated to counteract his carbon footprint.
Below is a list of techniques and tips inspired by Baker and Smith on how to make a Lakeside cottage (or any home) more sustainable.
Improve insulation: A cottage with good insulation provides environmental benefits, as less energy is used. In addition, the less energy used will result in financial benefits and reduced energy bills.
Install solar panels: While they’re often viewed as difficult to install and very expensive, Smith explained that a crew came and installed his solar panels in under 5 hours. In addition, he received a 30% tax credit for installing the panels, paid no money down, and for a few months had a negative utility bill.
Purchase energy efficient appliances: Nearly 50% of energy used in a typical home comes from appliances. Tip: Print out this list for buying/using appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven and air conditioner) to keep around the house and achieve maximum efficiency.
Use LED lighting: By simply switching to the more efficient LED bulbs (as current ones burn out) you will have the potential to save money, as well as reducing your carbon footprint.