We hear it all the time. We’ve all got to live greener! That looks a little different to everyone, and I feel like I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks to improve, so I thought I’d share, some of the things we do around the ole’ Fresh Crush house, to live a little more green, and #LiveBrighter. Be sure to let me know in the comments what YOU are doing! I’d love to hear from you!

1. Rain Barrels

#LiveBrighter - Tips to live Green and Bright, in and around your home!

This one is HUGE! Literally. You might look at this picture and think we’ve gone a little overboard. Our acreage on a hill gives fantastic drainage, but also means when we’re having a dry month (June in Alberta, anyone??) … the little bit of real lawn we have, suffers. And, rather than using fresh water to pick up the slack when the rain clouds are playing hard-to-get… we use these giant rain barrels. Never mind the hundreds of buckets of water I use on my flowers and veggies! But of course, you don’t necessarily need 6. When we lived in our suburban home, one was more than enough to keep things green.

2. Save 20% on your Home Energy Costs

Using products like a smart thermostat can help you save cash! Did you know the Nest Thermostat has a “Auto-Away” function that senses when you’re away so you’re not heating and cooling an empty house?! There’s even a Nest App for your smart phone — we are living in the future, people! Direct Energy & Nest have teamed up to help you save — and, you can learn more about the partnership here: www.directenergy.com/nest.

3. Grow your Food

There is nothing better than home-grown food. This year has been dryer than most, but we still have plenty of salad veggies, my tomatoes are finally doing great, and peas are on their way! But my favourite gem in my little raised garden bed? Rhubarb! I’m a huge fan and man-o-man… with the home-made pancake toppings, and fresh rhubarb bounce cake? Wow! Having a garden is just win-win. No need for shipping and storage, and trips to the grocery store. It’s just waiting, fresh, and ready to go!

#LiveBrighter - Tips to live Green and Bright, in and around your home!

5. Get Rewarded with Your Energy Company

Making smart energy choices can also save you money! Don’t miss this — Direct Energy is offering a $75 pre-paid gift card, when you sign up with Direct Energy using the promo code “LIVEBRIGHTER75” until August 15th!

6. Change your Light Bulbs

I know you’ve heard this one a millions times, and maybe the cost of some of the LEDs and CFL bulbs makes you pause at the check-out line. But did you know that traditional incandescent bulbs waste 90% of their energy as heat? That is money being thrown away. New Compact Fluorescents and LED bulbs pay for themselves in a matter of months and last (almost) forever! Just investing in a few bulbs every other month will get your entire home switched over to this environmentally friendly option, in no time. And, the quicker you’ve traded in those energy-sucking relics, the sooner you’ll be saving cash.

7. Grow your own Flowers

This one most people do to some degree. But, do you plan perennials not only for their beauty, but their function? I love flowers like lilies, because they make fantastic cut flowers which saves money at the flower store! And, best of all, they make FANTASTIC gifts. Lilies will last for over a week, after they’ve been cut — even longer if you include a closed bulb in the arrangement. As long as the water is changed, that lily will bloom in your home for a longer lasting bouquet!

#LiveBrighter - Tips to live Green and Bright, in and around your home!

Hope you liked these Ideas today! Be sure to check in with Direct Energy for more tips on “How we live Green #LiveBrighter” and be sure to leave me your ideas in the comments. Love hearing from you!

#LiveBrighter - Tips to live Green and Bright, in and around your home!

47 Responses

  1. while reading this, I was thinking…”I cannot wait till we buy our own home”—I would love a garden and water barrels (it sounds crazy, but I do). In our rental we try to live greener by preserving electricity and not running our ac/heat on throughout the day. During the day we stay on one level with the fan on and use natural light. I also recently switched out all our main living bulbs. Great tips love and your daughter is so cute…what a great model.

  2. These are great tips! We switched all of our bulbs to LED and have seen a improvement in our energy costs just from that. It also lets me rest easier knowing these lights do not get hot like the standard one. We plan to get some rain barrels for our drains, that is something on our to do list.

  3. Jen these are really great tips! I need to remember to be more green! I really like the idea of the rain barrels! I’ve also wanted to get the nest thermostat for quite some time! Thanks for the motivation!

  4. We were just talking about setting up 2 rain barrels, and here you have 6! I think the more the merrier with the crazy and unpredictable weather patterns these days. Where did you buy yours, and were they easy to install? The rest of your tips are great and make so much sense… but you had me at rain barrels! :-)

    1. Thanks Sheila! We got ours from our local marine retailer. They are empty anti-freeze containers and they are completely non-toxic so no need to worry about up-cycling them. We stood them on cement blocks and my husband used simple supplies from the plumbing aisle to connect them all and added a large spigot to one end, to help up fill buckets. Good luck!

  5. So many great tips, Jen! I wish I had a little more room, I would love to have a veggie and flower garden in my yard! I do have a few container gardens on my patio, and those are fun. I love the thermostat tip, as well! It can be programmed from my phone? Totally going to look into that! Thanks again Jen for the awesome info!

    1. Thanks so much Amy! Yep, I do a tiny deck version, in pots, with just lettuce and carrots — that’s for the kiddo to pick to her hearts delight! Yeah — that Nest Thermostat is something else! So neat. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. These are GREAT tips Jen!! My husband would die for those rain barrels, and I am swooning after that garden! Also – my husband wanted a Nest thermostat since he first heard about them! Glad to hear a good review :)

  7. I LOVE everything about this Jen! We’re always looking for ways to look after our world. PS. I’ve been dying to try that Nest Thermostat!!!

  8. How delightful! We plastic wrap our windows during the winter for better insulation and a reduced heating bill.
    I don’t turn my lights on until sunset, even on dark days, and I do laundry late at night to cut down on energy consumption.
    Love the rain barrels! I would have looled into them of if it hadn’t rained all summer here in Quebec.

    1. Thanks Corinna! Yes, the garden is doing well now after a slow start. But the moths seem to be attacking my kale all of a sudden. *sigh* … good luck with your veggies!

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