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