Monday, April 22, 2019

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

Earth Day should remind us all to be conscious of how our actions impact the 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. 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.)

Earth Day Reminds Us It Is Never Too Early To Start Teaching Kids About Energy Conservation

It's April 22nd...Happy Earth Day! On this special day we should start teaching our youth about energy conservation and being eco-friendly around the house. When it comes to reducing energy use, you should try to include your whole family. While kids may not fully understand the importance of energy reduction, it's important to get them involved when they're young to ensure they grow up with an environmentally-friendly mindset. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few ways you can teach your children eco-friendly values.

Educate your kids. In order to help kids appreciate energy conservation, they have to understand it first. By having a discussion with your child about energy, you'll be able to help them understand where energy and electricity come from. You should consider telling them about your local energy company and explaining how energy is received from the local energy company. Additionally, there are online resources and books to help explain the concept in a fun, easy way.

Plan activities that don't use electricity. Consider dedicating a certain time, whether it be an hour a day or an entire day out of the week, to do activities that don't use electricity or energy. Exploring outdoors is a great way to do this because oftentimes you don't require energy to do stuff outside. Planning these activities can be a great way to bring the whole family together without sitting in front of a screen.

Use energy-efficient transportation. When possible, you should encourage your family to be creative when it comes to transportation. It's important for kids to know that there are other modes of transportation that will help you reduce energy use. With that in mind, you should consider biking or walking when possible.

Keep your children involved. If you're making lifestyle changes to help increase energy savings, share these behaviors with the whole family. Whether it's taking shorter showers or ensuring all the lights are off when you leave a room, the whole family should be participating. Additionally, if you're doing projects around the house, make sure to include your children. By explaining to them what you're working on and how it's going to help you save energy, you'll be helping them further understand the importance of saving energy.

Start a garden together in the early Spring. Not only do gardens naturally help the environment, but they can also instill a sense of responsibility in your children. Additionally, they'll be able to learn about different types of plants and natural resources. You can choose to grow produce, flowers, or even plant some trees. In fact, trees are a great addition to your property. When trees provide shade, reductions in energy use can save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Also, each tree can absorb about 25 pounds of CO2 from the air each year on their own.

No matter what age your child is, it's never too early to start teaching them how to save energy and minimize their impact on the environment. Whether it's talking to them about your local energy company or growing plants, there are plenty of ways to educate your children about the importance of reducing energy use.  Let's make this Earth Day the time to start educating our youth about what they can do to help save our planet!

Fun Earth Day Facts
  • Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year.
  • Earth Day was created to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created partially because of the success and public support created by Earth Day.
  • Most Schools, town and organizations have fun activities planned every for Earth Day to help children realize the importance of taking care if our environment.
  • Over 190 Countries throughout the world celebrate Earth Day.