Category Archives: Environment

Insulating the Eco-Friendly Way

We are expecting a typical Québec winter this year. That means cold weather, snow storms, and humidity. Should you reconsider your home’s insulation? If so, this is the perfect occasion to take your first Eco-friendly step. Plus, you will save on heating costs.

Good insulation means improved comfort, protection against outside noise and energy efficiency; hence, the importance of having an adequate insulation system.

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First off, here is some basic knowledge. Since hot air tends to rise to make room for the cold air that is flowing down, the roof’s insulation is a top priority. Do not overlook the insulation of the piping system, even if it seems trivial. And remember, properly installed insulation means zero heat loss; therefore, no seams nor openings.

According to many experts, ecological insulation materials are more energy efficient than mineral wool insulators. You can expect less condensation because the ecological insulator is more breathable. In addition, they are less irritating to the skin during the installation. Ecological insulators are not as energy intensive to make as mineral wool, with a few exceptions. Continue reading

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An Eco-Friendly Basement

Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.

This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.

Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.

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Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading

Healthy Housing Overseen By Experts

You may wonder if sustainable houses designed, built, inhabited and then monitored step-by-step by professionals actually exist. The answer is yes. The EQuilibrium Housing Initiative is just that.

If you wish to learn and understand more about the sustainable housing industry – which is about to become fundamental in the fight against climate change – the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) initiative is for you.

The CMHC seeks to expand the construction of EQuilibrium houses across the country. Even if you’re planning to buy an existing home, exploring an EQuilibrium house will give you the required knowledge to properly evaluate another home that some owners might try to sell you as sustainable.

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The initiative exists since 2006. The EQuilibrium house is meant to serve as a model for sustainable living: safe and environmentally friendly materials, lower utility bills, renewable energies, conservation of our planet’s limited resources, reduced environmental impact, greater comfort and cost-effective construction. And, believe it or not, as an added value, sustainable houses are a better investment than traditional homes. Continue reading

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For your children’s health

We’re not trying to scare you or turn you into an environmental fanatic. Although many of the following recommendations are based on scientific evidence, others are just assumptions. The assumptions are serious, but they’re based on probabilities. The thing to keep in mind is to do your best according to your budget.

Children are in contact with their bedroom floor quite often, so the choice of floor covering is crucial. It’s best not to use vinyl-based covering because it contains PVC, an irritant that can cause allergies. It’s may also cause cancer. If you really want to use it, make sure you ventilate your children’s room as often as possible.

A haven for mites, traditional carpeting is to be avoided. If not, choose carpets with natural fibres. Wool is known for its resistance and durability, two essential qualities given how rough children can be.

Cork is the almost perfect covering. It prevents noise from the bedroom from spreading to the ground floor and doesn’t contain any toxic substances. Natural latex is used as a glue. Some leave it unchanged, while others apply a coat of paint or a biological varnish.  Continue reading

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Ceramic passes the test

Ceramic is as old as the world. It has been manufactured and used for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were crazy about it. Ceramic is found in every corner of the world.

Clay is the first material used to manufacture ceramic. It is baked at very high temperatures. Clay is abundant in nature, even if manufacturers have been using it for ages. From this aspect, ceramic is definitely an ecological material.

On top of that, ceramic is extremely durable once it is placed on the floor or walls. It can last for almost half a century. And it requires little maintenance, which in itself is a distinguishing feature of a sustainable material.

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The surface of ceramic is often vitreous, which means that there is no risk of toxic substances spreading in the air of a home. Even better: more and more manufacturers are resorting to recycled material, such as glass, to manufacture ceramic.

Is ceramic ecological. Not quite. Continue reading