Households and the Environment

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There is a growing recognition that the actions of households have a major impact on the environment. The Households and the Environment Survey (HES) is conducted to measure those actions. The HES has been relaunched after a 12-year absence and collects data on some of the same environmental variables that were investigated in the 1991 and 1994 surveys. However, many of the topics covered in this survey are new. The following are the major themes covered by the 2006 HES:

The topics in the 2006 HES covered:

  • Water quality concerns
  • Consumption and conservation of water
  • Energy use in terms of lighting and home heating and cooling
  • Ownership and use of gasoline powered equipment
  • Pesticide and fertilizer use on lawns and gardens
  • Recycling, composting and waste disposal practices
  • Impacts of air and water quality on households
  • Transportation decisions

The HES was conducted under the umbrella of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) project. A joint initiative of Statistics Canada, Environment Canada and Health Canada, the CESI project publishes an annual report that presents environmental indicators for water quality, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. The indicators are intended to assist those in government responsible for developing policy and measuring performance, while also informing individual Canadians who want to know more about the trends in their environment.

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