Earth Day is a good time to reflect on how to help the environment, but what makes more of a difference is make small changes in daily routines. Here are some that you can try today.
Save Energy at Home
Heating & cooling: Keep return air ducts clean. Dust and lint can keep a room from receiving sufficient heating/cooling.
Appliances & devices: Run your dishwasher through the wash and rinse cycles but turn it off at the drying cycle. Open the door to allow the dishes to air dry.
Cooking: If there is an exhaust fan over the range, use it! Cooking odors will be eliminated and so will heated air, reducing air conditioner’s cooling load.
Source: NIPSCO, nipsco.com/en/save-energy/residential
Drive less: Walk, bike and carpool more
Eat greener: Eating lower on the food chain uses less energy and is better for the planet
Paperless: Save trees by reducing junk mail, choosing to go paperless with bank statements and bills, and use paper with 100 percent post consumer waste content
Recycle electronics: Any kind of computer disks, video tapes, batteries and use less hazardous rechargeable Nicke;-Metal Hydride batteries
Reuse whenever possible: drink more water and use reusable mugs, bottles and dining-ware
Recycle everything else: Recycle aluminum, glass and plastic products as well as newspaper and mixed paper
Source: Conservation International, conservation.org/act/simplesteps/green_home/Pages/tips_home
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Change out the most frequently used lights in your home with ENERGY STAR qualified products to help the environment and save on energy bills.
Look for ENERGY STAR label on more than 60 kinds of products like appliances, lighting, electronics and office equipment to reduce greenhouse gases and save on bills.
Heat and cool smartly by changing air filters regularly, properly using a programmable thermostat and having heating and cooling equipment maintained annually by a licensed contractor.
Use caulk, weather stripping and insulation to seal your home’s envelope to block out heat and cold.
Use water efficiently: Don’t let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth, repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away, run dishwashers on a full load and irrigate landscaping during the coolest part of the day.
Calculate your home’s carbon footprint on the EPA’s site: epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html
Spread the word: Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for their homes and for the environment because it lowers greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, epa.gov/climatechange
-Compiled by Tara McElmurry