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Do Your Part: Take steps to make every day an Earth Day

Mon., May 7, 2012

We always hear a lot about Earth Day approaching, but what about now that it’s past? Did you commit to any new ways to lower your impact on the planet? While taking a day or even a month to celebrate our planet is a noble cause, it’s something we really should be doing every day of the year.

Taking a few green steps doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. In fact, you may find that you’re lowering the pressure on your pocketbook. Here are my top ways to make every day Earth Day.

Be energy efficient: Spring for an energy audit of your home. I was shocked at what I discovered when one was done at my home. Energy audits identify if your cooling and heating systems are working properly, if you have proper insulation, and what you can do to conserve energy and money immediately.

Waste less water: There are simple ways to start conserving water at home without suffering. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth is the simplest place to start. Then, make bigger steps such as installing low-flow fixtures or water displacement devices for your toilet. Outside, if you rely on a sprinkler system, use it only when necessary. A long dose of water once a week is much better than several days of short watering.

Be an educated buyer: When you choose to buy more earth-friendly items, you are sending a powerful message to manufacturers and retailers. There are important questions you should ask yourself before buying anything. Where does this product come from? What does it take to manufacture this product? Is it really safe? And, can it be recycled?

Reduce, reuse, recycle: This is at the heart of what it takes to be a bit greener each day. There’s no question why “reduce” is first. When we reduce everything from the amount of energy we use at home to all the “stuff” we think we can’t live without, it helps conserve our planet’s resources. Then there’s reusing. Reusing doesn’t just mean getting more use out of a glass jar that once held foods. It means installing that rain barrel to help water your yard, buying gently worn children’s clothes instead of brand new, and even composting scraps of food. Finally, there’s recycling. I found that once I created easy-to-use recycling systems at home, everyone got on board.

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