Celebrate Earth Day!

— Written By and last updated by Adrian Gaskins

Tomorrow is Earth Day, an annual event celebrated on April 22 each year, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection and educate the world about what we can do to protect it. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

 

Worldwide, every major scientific agency or institution that studies climate, oceans or the atmosphere agrees that the global climate is warming rapidly and the primary cause is greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity. Read on to learn what we can do in our homes to be proactive in decreasing our part in greenhouse gas emissions.

By replacing the five most frequently used light fixtures or the light bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR® qualified products, you will help the environment while saving an average of $70 a year on energy bills. ENERGY STAR lighting provides bright, warm light; generates 75% less heat; uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting; and lasts from 10 to 50 times longer.

When buying new products for your home, look for EPA’s ENERGY STAR label to help you make the most energy-efficient decision. You can find the ENERGY STAR label on more than 60 kinds of products, including appliances, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, electronics, and office equipment. Over their lifetime, products in your home that have earned the ENERGY STAR label can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 130,000 pounds and save you $11,000 on energy bills.

Heating and cooling accounts for almost half your energy bill–about $1,000 a year! There is a lot you can do to drive down this cost. Simple steps like changing air filters regularly, properly using a programmable thermostat, and having your heating and cooling equipment maintained annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and increase comfort, while helping to protect the environment. Depending on where you live, you can cut your annual energy bill by more than $200 by replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR-qualified equipment.

Reduce air leaks and stop drafts by using caulk, weather stripping, and insulation to seal your home’s envelope and add more insulation to your attic to block out heat and cold. A knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs and significantly enhance home comfort with comprehensive sealing and insulating measures.

It takes lots of energy to pump, treat, and heat water, so saving water reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Saving water around the home is simple. Three percent of the nation’s energy is used to pump and treat water so conserving water conserves energy that reduces greenhouse gas pollution. Reduce the amount of waste you generate and the water you consume whenever possible. Pursue simple water-saving actions such as not letting the water run while shaving or brushing teeth and save money while conserving water by using products with the WaterSense label. Did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away. Running your dishwasher only with a full load can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and $40 per year. See EPA’s WaterSense site for more water saving tips in and around your home

Read more ways to make changes in your home to reduce greenhouse gases at http://epa.gov.

Source: epa.gov

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.