Earth Day is a good reminder about how to change our habits to help the environment

As we collectively emerge from a long winter, Earth Day 2023 is upon us and is always a good reminder about what can be done to help the environment, be more efficient and save some money. Earth Day occurs on Saturday, April 22, and helps create awareness about the role we all play in protecting the environment.

The first Earth Day occurred in 1970 at a time when concern for the environment was not at the forefront and unobstructed pollution was commonplace. The first Earth Day saw 20 million Americans demonstrate against the effect of decades of industrial development that had not taken environmental impacts into account. It paved the way for the creation of the United States Government’s Environmental Protection Agency and a number of environmental laws that were firsts of their kind. In 1990, Earth Day became an international phenomenon that continues to this day.

While many positive strides have been taken since its inception, the underlying themes and the push for more action on environmental impacts continue to hold true in the present. As the conversation has evolved over the years, more focus has been put on what the individual can do to help the environment by consuming less energy, recycling and retrofitting the home with efficient appliances and systems.

Some of the ways you can get involved this Earth Day include donating and/or volunteering with Take Pride Winnipeg, Trees Winnipeg or joining the City of Winnipeg’s Million Tree Challenge.

In the lead-up to Earth Day 2023, here are some tips from Efficiency Manitoba on how to participate:

• Recycle your old CFL bulbs. Visit to find a collection facility near you.

• While you’re at it, purchase new and energy-efficient LED bulbs.

• Turn off your electronics and read, play board games or spend some time outside.

• When you’re doing your spring cleaning, donate any unwanted items instead of throwing them away.

• Take advantage of warm days and hang your clothes outside to dry.

• Invest in reusable grocery bags and water bottles.

• Join a community clean-up event. Check with your city, town, or municipality to see if there’s a clean-up happening near you. If there isn’t, gather your friends and family and start your own!

At the heart of Earth Day is the goal of ensuring proponents make every day of their lives an ‘Earth Day’ and that means changing habits and ways of life to be more conscious of how those habits and ways of life can impact the environment. One of the easiest ways to do this, while becoming more efficient and even save some money, is to look at ways to control the consumption of natural resources in the home.

Efficiency Manitoba recently became a Province of Manitoba Crown corporation that is dedicated to energy efficiency, offering financial support and expert advice on how to save electricity and natural gas.

Current offers from Efficiency Manitoba include:

• The Home Insulation Rebate which provides homeowners with an opportunity to get money back on attic, wall and basement insulation costs.

• The Appliance Recycling Program which can clear clutter at home by picking up old working fridges and freezers for free, recycling them, and providing $30 for each fridge or freezer collected.

• High-performance windows and doors can prevent air leakage and Efficiency Manitoba offers up to $1,000 rebates when existing windows and doors are replaced with select ENERGY STAR® certified models.

• Free insulation and subsidized heating upgrades (high-efficiency natural gas furnaces and boilers) are available to qualifying homeowners and rental properties through the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program.

• Upgrades to heat pumps and advanced heat recovery ventilator controls can qualify for rebates.

• If building a new home, doing so with energy efficiency in mind can earn up to $12,000 in rebates.

• Efficiency Manitoba works with First Nations communities and the Manitoba Métis Federation to provide customized Indigenous offers.

• Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are eligible for rebates through the Solar Rebate Program

• For more information on these or other efficiency focused initiatives, please visit:

The Canadian federal government’s Canada Greener Homes Initiative also offers grants and loans for homeowners including many similar categories like insulation, windows and doors, air sealing, and mechanical/renewable energy systems. For more information, please see

Protecting the environment and being more efficient through the use of green technology is both an investment into our homes and our collective future. This Earth Day, I hope you’ll reflect and consider the ways in which you can lessen your impact on the environment and help create a greener community for all of us.

Jeremy Davis is the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board’s Director External Relations & Market Intelligence.