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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010: 10 Things You Can Do To Celebrate Mother Earth

Today, the Earth celebrates its big day. And on this, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we are reminded of how far we've come - and how far we have to go.

What can you do for Earth Day? Anything that is meaningful to you and planet Earth.

You can start with simple changes in the home, in the garden and on the road. Take a look at these money savers for greening your home.

1. Fix faucet leaks — A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year.

2. Seal drafty windows and doors — A home can lose about 50 percent of its heat or cool air through drafty windows and doors.

3. Avoid running water — Turn water off while you brush your teeth.

4. Say no to plastic — According to data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2001, about 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide annually, and it can take months to hundreds of years for these bags to break down. Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store.

5. Use energy-efficient appliances — The average household can save up to $400 annually by using energy-efficient appliances.

6. Replace light bulbs — One fluorescent bulb can save approximately $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in six months.

7. Start a compost pile — According to the EPA, 23 percent of U.S. waste materials sent to landfills, such as yard trimmings and leftover food, could be used as compost.

8. Slow it down — Sticking to the speed limit and keeping tires property inflated can help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

9. Raise the thermostat — Households will save up to 3 percent per month in energy costs by raising the air conditioner thermostat for every degree above 72 degrees.

10. Think before wrapping — Be creative and use newspaper, take-out menus, old calendars and wallpaper to wrap gifts.

11. Make energy-efficient home improvements — The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extends, expands and simplifies the federal income tax credits for homeowners who make energy efficiency home improvements. The law extends the consumer tax benefits through this year.

Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

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