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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

EARTH DAY ~ April 22, 2010

The first The first Earth Day celebration was held on April 22, 1970 in the good old US of A a mere 40 years ago!  It is now celebrated around the world.  The goal -- to educate and highlight the importance of the environment in order to preserve the planet. YOU are encouraged to “think green” and “act green!” 
There are many ways to do this.  My goal as an EcoBroker, is to educate my clients on affordable features that will provide comfort as well as a healthier environment while offering a monetary incentive for your pocketbook.  The feel-good component is realized as we satisfy our needs while reducing our carbon footprints!
  • There are tax credits available for homeowners who purchase qualifying appliances.
  • Insulation and roofing can be eligible for tax credits as well.
  • These tax credits will expire at the end of 2010.  
So, what’s it all about and how do we all fit in?  Get started slowly.  Every tiny motion . . . every environmental act that you commit contributes to the environment’s bottom line.  There is nothing that is so rewarding or provides such instant, yet cumulative, gratification
  • Project Switch -- Change your light bulbs! – to the highly efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that last for years, use a third of the energy of regular bulbs and actually produce more light.  It costs more initially, but remember -- there are two price tags: what you pay at the register and what you pay in energy costs over the bulb's lifetime. If every household in the US replaced a burned-out bulb with an energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulb, it would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that from nearly 800,000 cars. It would also save enough energy to light 2.5 million homes for a year!
  • Add two degrees to the AC thermostat in summer, and subtract two degrees in winter. If everyone did this, the cumulative impact would be significant.
  • Make sure windows and doors are sealed.  Sealing air leaks and adding insulation can reduce your annual energy bill by 10 percent.  Choosing ceiling fans over air condition uses 80 percent less energy
  • Tame the refrigerator monster -- the biggest consumer of electricity among household appliances -- responsible for 10-15 percent of the electricity you use each year.  Older refrigerators are as much as 50 percent less efficient than the newer ones.  If buying a brand-new, energy-efficient refrigerator is not in the cards you, there are things you can do:
§         Set the thermometer one degree higher.
§         If your refrigerator is near a heating vent, or in the sun, then change the location, cover up the heating vent near it or cover the window.
§         Turn on your "energy saver" switch near the thermostat.
§         Clean the condenser coil – it will improve the efficiency of your refrigerator and  reduce your annual energy costs.
§         Get rid of your second refrigerator. If you don't need it, don't waste the energy.
§         Make sure the doors seal properly to keep the cool in.
  • Twist the knobs on your other household appliances!
§         Turn the hot water heater down to 120 degrees, or turn on the "energy conservation" setting.  For each 10 degrees reduction in water temperature, you can save 3-5 percent in energy costs.
§         Install a timer on your water heater to turn off at night and on just before you wake up in the morning.
  • Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Wash clothes in warm water, not hot. Ninety percent of the energy used in operating a washing machine goes toward heating the water that washes and rinses the clothes. The clothes will be just as clean, and you'll cut energy use.
  • Don't over-dry your clothes.
  • Finally, invest in green stocks and renewable energy companies through socially responsible funds. They perform just as well (if not better) than all of the unfiltered funds.
Every little bit helps.  If you feel that the contribution you are able to make doesn’t matter, multiply it.  You will see that there is power in numbers and truly, the cumulative effect is what matters because WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

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