Earth Day can inspire positive, cost-saving actions
by J. Fulkerson —
Earth Day is on April 22, and whether or not you celebrate Earth Day, it serves as an important reminder about the condition of our planet, and also about the steps we can take to make a positive difference in the environment.
As the twin whammies of climate change and peak oil production advance, it is no longer a luxury to be Earthwise — it is critical. The good news is that being good to the environment can also be good for your bank account.
The following are some cost-effective and earth friendly ideas:
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They can last for 10 years and use only a quarter of the energy incandescent bulbs use. Prices are coming down, making them a very good investment.
- Use rechargeable batteries. Each rechargeable battery replaces from 50 to 300 throwaway batteries.
- Use cold water for your laundry. It saves up to 50 percent on your washing costs and gets the clothes just as clean as warm or hot water.
- Use popcorn or old newspaper for packing. Reuse the fronts of old greeting cards for gift tags, art projects or to make new cards.
- Reduce your water consumption. You can save as much as 50 percent by using low-flow showerheads and low-volume flush toilets.
- Use a filter device on your home faucet. A $5 filter will treat approximately 40,000 8-ounce glasses of water. Refill your own bottles and take them with you instead of buying expensive disposable plastic bottles that will ultimately end up in a landfill.
- Purchase shade trees and plant them on the sunny side of your house. This worthwhile investment in the future can save you between $100 and $250 a year, because as the trees mature, their shade will substantially reduce your cooling needs. Make sure to use native or drought-tolerant trees, or the electrical savings will be offset by water costs.
- Purchase products with less packaging or buy in bulk. These products usually cost less. Choose paper or cardboard packaging rather than plastics.
Imagine, saving some money while you save the Earth — not a bad deal.
J. Fulkerson has been concerned with the environment since his scouting days long, long ago. He is editor of The New Horizons Journal,
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 2, April/May 2005.