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Make Earth Day Hit Home: Tips to Protect the Planet and Your Pocketbook

Make Earth Day Hit Home: Tips to Protect the Planet and Your Pocketbook

By now, you’ve probably become familiar with the term “going green” and it is likely that you already try to do your part to help protect Mother Nature when you can. But, did you know that there are a number of simple things you can do around your house that not only will help out our environment, but also may help keep extra green in your bank account?

In honor of Earth Day, we’ve compiled a list of ways that going green can help save you some green, which we think will make both you and Mother Nature breathe a little easier this year:

Out with the Old, In with the Efficient

Are you guilty of keeping that 20-year-old refrigerator in your garage? It’s certainly a convenience, but experts say that any appliance that is more than 10 years old is likely in need of some updating. Older appliances use far more energy than today’s models, which means they are harder on the environment and most definitely harder on your monthly utility bills.

When it’s time to give your outdated appliances the old heave-ho, look for the “Energy Star” logo on new appliances. You won’t have to buy the most expensive models to be doing both you and Mother Nature a favor.

Battling Between Hot and Cold?

Do you find yourself constantly trying to find a comfortable temperature in your home? Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to maintain a moderate temperature that will ensure your furnace/air conditioner is not constantly running, especially while you’re sleeping or when no one is home.

To ensure even greater efficiency, it is important to regularly clean your furnace filter. Again, you’ll be giving Mother Nature some of her energy back and she’ll thank you with lower monthly heating/cooling bills.

What Can You Do Without Water?

Obviously any water-saving efforts that you can make at home will be good for the environment as well as your water bill. So, what can you do to make your home water usage more efficient? While you’re giving your driveway or sidewalks their spring sheen, try to use a broom before you opt for that power-washing hose. And, as much as we may not want to admit it, Mom and Dad were right; turning off the water while you brush your teeth and fixing leaky faucets and toilets can actually equal big savings, too.

Finally, if you have a little extra money to spend on your water-conserving efforts, opt for low-flow toilets and showerheads. The initial investment is minimal and the long-term effects are wonderful for you and Mother Nature!

Let Your Green-Conscious Self Shine

If it seems like you’re replacing a new light bulb around the house each week, it is more than time to switch to compact fluorescent lamps or CFL bulbs. Actually, there are several reasons to do so. Yes, they do cost just a bit more than traditional, incandescent bulbs; but, they last up to 10 times longer. So, you’ll pay more up front, but save a ton over the long run. If you’re not ready to make a total-house-change to CFL bulbs, let Earth Day be your inspiration for buying that first pack of bulbs.

Your Home is an Energy-Saving Haven

Or, at least, you can do your best to make sure that it is. Keeping your home properly insulated and sealing any gaps that may allow air and energy to escape are great ways to start making sure your home is energy-efficient. You can do this by adding insulation to your attic and spot-checking your windows and doors for gaps that might let energy out. These two maintenance tips will help your home stay cooler in spring and summer and warmer in fall and winter. Of course, the less you need to run your air system, the more you’ll save.

A Little Extra Effort Goes a Long Way

Since we’re in the age of DIY, why can’t we apply those Pinteresting tactics on Earth Day? A simple online search will show you tons of ways that you can make environmentally-friendly household cleaners out of common pantry products. They work just as well as those harsh, chemically-based cleaners, but they are a ton better for you, your pocketbook and the planet!

Outdoors, you can make your gardening efforts a little greener by fertilizing your flowers, fruits and vegetables from your homemade compost pile. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that your hard work directly contributes to the environment as well as your curb appeal and possibly your dinner table!

Recycle: For Everyone’s Sake!

You’ve heard it a million times, but let Earth Day be a gentle reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle. If you have children, make sure you’re teaching them those same environmentally-friendly tasks, too.

And, let’s face it; the internet is not only for sharing statuses and photos. You can also help to cut down on your carbon footprint by receiving and paying your monthly bills online. Check with each utility or service for how you can sign up for e-billing.

From the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty team to yours… Happy Earth Day!