Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day!
Today is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day.
Any day is the right day to start doing your part to conserve natural resources. Here are a few simple things you and your family can do to help conserve resources for future generations. These small actions can add up to savings for your planet and your wallet.
- Turn off lights when you are not using them. This can be as simple as remembering to switch off a light when leaving a room, or as elaborate as putting timers or motion sensors on outdoor lights so they turn on and off only when needed. You save resources and money on your electric bill.
- Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. New brands have better color temperature (so the light is less harsh and more like an incandescent bulb) and come in dimmable, three-way, and specialty shapes. These bulbs cost more, but use 75% less energy and last 8-10 times longer, so you save money (and resources) in the long run.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. You can save up to 8 gallons of water each day!
- Buy a reusable water bottle. If you’re paying $1 for a 12 oz. bottle of water, that’s $5.30 per gallon. Last time I checked, that’s more per gallon than milk or gas! Bottled water produces 1.5 millions tons of plastic waste per year, most of which is not recycled. These bottles end up in landfills and stay FOREVER. So buy a reusable bottle and fill it from the tap. If you’re concerned about BPA, there are lots of new, BPA-free choices out there.
- Set your thermostat one degree lower (when heating) or one degree higher (when air-conditioning). For each degree change, you can save about 1% on your bill. Turning the temperature down (or up, depending on the season) when you are away or asleep will save you even more.
- If you are replacing a water-using device in your home (toilet, washing machine, etc) consider getting one that uses less water. New low-flush and dual-flush toilets have improved abilities while still using less water. These can save you 2 or more gallons per flush, adding up to $90 per year in savings. High efficiency washing machines use 40% less water than their older counterparts, and if you try to wash only full loads or wash in cold water, you can save even more.
For more ideas for reducing your impact on planet Earth, go to the Earth Day.org website.
Edit April 22, 2011 – I have a new post on the history of Earth Day and its impact on environmental legislation. Check it out.