On Earth Day Commit To Helping The Environment, Saving Energy, and Improving Your Home

Happy Earth Day! On this day, we should all be conscious of how our actions impact our environment.  Today is the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, but as we are often reminded, every day is Earth Day. And it’s never too late to do your part to reduce pollution by saving energy, while at the same time saving money by cutting down your utility and gas bills. Saving energy not only helps your wallet, but also protects our climate.

Spring is a great time to make some changes to help your home, wallet, and environment. Here are some simple ideas that you can do today:

v  While you’re cleaning, consider replacing your old light bulbs with energy efficient CFL’s, halogen incandescents, or LED bulbs. Traditional incandescent bulbs, besides costing you more money and creating more pollution, generate a lot of heat, which you won’t want during the coming summer months.

v  During your spring cleaning, don’t forget to change the filters in your air conditioners.  Clean filters can result in up to 15% more energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

v  When choosing new windows, heating & cooling systems, appliances and electronics – try to choose options that are ENERGY STAR rated. This indicates that the appliance is more energy efficient than the minimum guideline required by that product.

v  Search your house for "vampire loads"—all those gadgets and electronics in our homes use a significant amount of energy, even when we're not using them. Cut down on these "vampire loads" by unplugging electronics when they're not in use. Sound like too much work, or worried you'll forget? You can put certain electronics (say, your TV or DVR) on power strips so you can shut down many at a time or on timers so that they're only drawing energy during the hours of the day you'd normally use them.

v  Take the time to change the oil in your car. In addition to making your car or truck last longer, replacing the oil and oil filter regularly will also help fuel economy. Check your owner's manual for specific recommendations about how often to change. Ask the service station if it recycles used oil, or if you do it yourself, take your old oil to someplace that does recycle. Even go the extra mile the next time you get an oil change and ask for recycled oil as a replacement.

v  Use a recyclable bag instead of plastic or paper bags at the grocery store. Plastic bags and even paper bags are resource drains.

v  Try avoiding the use of disposable items like plastic forks, paper napkins, or paper towels. Replace disposable items with cloth napkins, real metal flatware, regular dishes, and even try using your own mug for takeout drinks. Today is a great day to take a minute to look around your home and finding at least three disposable items that you can replace with something reusable.

v  Finally, buy locally if possible! 60% of our carbon footprint is due to everything we buy and use. Buying locally will positively impact your local economy and will reduce shipping. Carbonfund.org noted that a 5 pound package shipped by air across the country can create 12 pounds of CO2.


Remember, you don’t have to change your complete lifestyle to become earth friendly.  With these simple ideas you can reduce your carbon footprint and help the earth that we all call home.  You may be pleasantly surprised at how cost-effective it is to improve the comfort of your home and the health of the planet at the same time.



Earth Day Facts

Did you know:

Ø  Earth Day was first Established in 1970.

Ø  20 million people participated in the inaugural Earth Day activities.

Ø  Several environmental catastrophes including the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969 helped inspire the founder of Earth Day to create a national day focused on the earth and environment.

Ø  Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson is known as one of the main driving forces of the creation of Earth Day.

Ø  The date of Earth Day, April 22, was specifically selected in an attempt to mobilize college students.  (It is the date between spring break and final exams at most colleges throughout our country.)

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