EARTH DAY – April 22nd
Earth Day is on April 22 and although it’s become cliche, “going green” is not going away. Take some time to consider ways that you could make your everyday a little “greener”.
SOME EARTHY FUN FACTS:
- For every ton of paper that is recycled 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and enough electricity to power an average home for 6 months is saved.
- You can run a T.V. for 3 hours on the amount of electricity that is a saved by recycling 1 aluminum can.
- Recycling 1 glass bottle saves enough electricity to power a 100 watt bulb for 4 hours.
- FL bulbs use about a quarter of the electricity as a standard incandescent and they last longer.
- If 25% of the families in the U.S. used 10 fewer plastic bags per month we would save 2.5 billion bags per year.
- Every year we throw away (not compost) 24 million tons of leaves and grass accounting for 75% of our solid waste in the fall.
- Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw materials reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50%.
- America alone consumes 50 million tons of paper which is the equivalent of more than 850 million trees.
- Homeowners will use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals than farmers.
- By turning down your thermostat 1 degree fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.
- Insulating your attic can cut energy loss by as much as 20%
- 86% of plastic bottles used in the U.S. become garbage or litter.
- Plastic bottles take up to 1000 years to biodegrade when they are in a landfill.
- Plastic bottles that are exposed to heat can leach chemicals that are known to cause birth defects and cancer into the very water that you are drinking.
Here’s some tips that are relatively simple fixes you can do to your home that are both earth friendly and beneficial to your pocketbook.
Earth saving ideas for your home:
- Use compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs whenever possible. They save energy and last longer. Make sure to recycle all fluorescent bulbs. They contain a small amount of mercury and cannot be disposed of in your garbage. You can drop bulbs off at our store for a small fee or take them to your counties recycling center.
- Turn off power strips, unplug electronics, or attach electronics to a energy saving power strip that will automatically switch into a sleep mode. When left plugged in most appliances will still draw energy even when they are turned off. Electronics to consider: phone chargers, ipod docks, stereos, T.V.’s, and computers. Be aware that if it has a clock or presets that you want saved these will be lost.
- Wait to run your dishwasher, washer and dryer until you have a full load. When you do run a load use eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners. When using your washing machine wash clothes in cold water.
- Utilize the heat of the sun during the day by opening up shades. If it’s summer, block the sun out when possible to keep things cooler. You could also plant trees in your yard to provide shade. Trees also act as air cleaners by exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen.
- In the cooler months install clear window film to reduce heat loss through windows.
- Make sure all of the door sweeps and weather seals on your doors and windows are functioning properly. If they are cracked or missing replace them. You can have an “energy audit” performed on your house by a Home Energy Rating Specialist (HERS) to determine areas that leak energy.
- Insulate and seal your basement, crawl spaces, and your attic.
- Install low flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
- Immediately repair any water leaks, drips, and running toilets. You’re flushing good water and money down the drain that can add up quickly. See my “Leaky Toilet” blog for help and more info on this.
- Use eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners for your house.
- Make sure all bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans and your dryer vent exhaust outside of the home to avoid too much moisture which creates mold.
- Lower the thermostat on your home and on your water heater. 120 degrees the hottest your water heater needs to be set at.
- Change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter means that the furnace needs to work harder to heat. Also the filters are there to take dirt, dust, mold and even allergens out of the air. Talk to one of our staff to determine what filter you should have in your furnace,
- Install a programmable thermostat. It will make your heating and air work when you need them to work.
- Seal the forced air duct work to make sure it is giving you the air where it is needed.
- Recycle all rechargeable batteries, button batteries, or nicad batteries. We have a drop off box for free at our store in Maple Grove
- Plain and simple: BUY GREEN WHENEVER POSSIBLE. You’ll feel better about it.
- To find out more about Earth Day and all the events planned to go along with it visit this website http://www.earthday.net/
Visit our store in Maple Grove at 12700 Bass Lake Road
Call us at 763-553-1222
Check us out on the web at http://www.levahnbros.com/service.html