Earth Day 2014 is/was April 22, 2014. On this day individuals, businesses and communities from around the country are given a reminder to take a look at their personal and business practices to see how they measure up when it comes to environmental issues.
While there are many rules and regulations handed down to manufacturers, builders and other businesses to adhere to, the ordinary person can also make a contribution to the environmental movement; thereby making this world a better place to live for current and, maybe more importantly, future generations.
- Perhaps the easiest way to live a green life is buy locally--locally grown, locally manufactured and locally created. This not only reduces transportation costs and energy usage, it benefits the local economy by keeping your dollars in your own neighborhood and keeps your neighbors employed.
- Even easier than buying locally is to monitor your thermostat. Turn the heat down during the colder months and place an extra blanket on the beds; and turn the heat up during the warmer months. Experts recommend a comfortable 68 degrees during the daylight hours in winter (and a good ten degrees lower when you go to bed) and 78 degrees when you are home in the summer and completely off when you leave the house.
- These days water conservation concerns are at an all time high. Many states, including California, are suffering from drought conditions that have been present for years. There is no better time to replace water wasting fixtures like toilets, faucets, shower heads and appliances, with energy efficient products. This might even result in some tax savings next year so check your individual state and local regulations and requirements.
- Properly dispose of electronic and toxic waste. Many communities and businesses offer electronic waste "fairs" that make it possible for you to drop off old computers, televisions, cell phones, printers and other electronic equipment as well as empty paint and varnish cans, and other toxic materials that could harm the environment if placed in the landfills.
- We have all seen the commercials wrapping the earth in disposable water bottles. Reusable water bottles and shopping bags will reduce this waste by the ton.
Other ways to live an eco-friendly life:
- Recycle as much as possible
- Repurpose or reclaim old wood and metal into other usable items
- Use natural fibers in upholstery and rugs such as hemp, wool, cotton.
- Use natural latex and/or recycled foam in upholstered items
- Choose low VOC paints and stains
And, best of all, plant a tree!
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