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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day Ideas

As we celebrate our 41st Earth Day environmental awareness is a common theme. Originating in the USA, it is now celebrated around the world. The word “green” has become a buzz word. Let’s make sure it’s sincere. . .

As an EcoBroker, my goal is to educate my clients on affordable home features that will provide comfort as well as a healthier environment. What a great feeling to know that you are not sending your hard-earned cash and carbon footprint up the chimney!

Even a tiny effort on your part contributes to the environment’s bottom line. Here are some ideas:

Spring cleaning – clean under and behind your refrigerator to provide more energy efficiency; clean and check window seals; look for obvious sources of draft and leakage.

Check your air conditioner – outdoors, trim back plants and vines that grow around the a/c unit; inside, adjust your thermostat settings and have your system inspected by a qualified professional.

Two degrees – adjust your programmable thermostat up 2 degrees in the summer and down 2 degrees in the winter.

Twist the knobs – on the hot water heater, the refrigerator and your programmable thermostat. Adjusting them a little out of your “comfort zone” can have a big impact on the environment and your pocket book!

Change direction – warm weather means changing the direction of your ceiling fans. In summer they should be set to draw air upward to cool the area and ensure constant airflow.

Let it slide – make sure the track is clean on your sliding door wall and windows. A build up of dirt can damage the seal create gaps where air can escape.

Ventilation – attic ventilations systems draw cool air up through the house and have a much lower carbon footprint than an air conditioner does, often at a considerable savings.

Window treatments – consider installing insulated, thermal backed window treatments.

Plant some shade – trees are good for the environment while at the same time shield your home from summer sun.

Let the wind blow through – Install a clothes line and enjoy sun-soaked clothing. Air drying your laundry saves on energy and is gentler on your clothes helping them last longer.

Go green – start a compost bin, install a rain barrel, reduce, reuse and recycle whenever you can.

Every little bit helps. If you think for one moment that your contribution is insignificant, multiply it. Put your hands together! Feel the momentum as millions of tiny acts band together. Can you feel it?

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