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A waning in the greening?

Canada is getting greener. But the rate at which Canadian consumers are making green decisions for their homes appears to be in decline.

Canada is getting greener.

But the rate at which Canadian consumers are making green decisions for their homes appears to be in decline.

The 2011 Home Depot Canadian Green Home Index gives Canadians a rating of 54.7 out of 100 on a range of actions. The survey covers everything from buying efficient light bulbs and reusing shopping bags, to renovations and retrofits of the entire household. That number is down slightly — for the second year in a row.

“Through our research, we understand that Canadians don’t really know where to start,” says

Paul Berto, Home Depot’s director of corporate communications.

“And since no one has defined what it really means to be green, we thought we’d go with our own index. It’s designed to measure Canadians’ attitudes and actions on how they can help improve the environment and their homes at the same time.”

Berto says the current climate of economic uncertainty is putting a drag on eco-friendly home upgrades.

“About a quarter of Canadians cited economic factors as a reason why they did not green their homes more,” Berto explains. “And about 22 per cent felt they’d already done all that they could to make their homes greener.”

And there’s certainly hesitation over big-ticket improvements.

“A lot of people are willing to turn their thermostats down, but won’t spend the $2,500 to $4,000 to put in a high-efficiency furnace — just yet.”

Interestingly, the survey suggests Canadians are more likely to get greener when they see their neighbours taking action.

“If your friends and family are involved in composting, building backyard gardens or using rain barrels, you yourself are more likely to pick up those habits and go along those ways.”

If you haven’t already gotten started, here’s a quick list of simple, affordable ways to save energy — and money — in your own home:

“Get a programmable thermostat for your house.” Berto recommends. “Make sure you’re using low-flow toilets in your bathroom ... look at a really efficient showerhead.”

For more info — homedepot.ca