Apr
21

Honor Earth Day Where You Nest

April 21, 2012

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day. How are you going to observe it?

hands holding a bird's nest with three heart stones in it.Want to learn something new? Check out Chicago Real Estate Forum for local events going on this weekend celebrating Earth Day.

Want to learn something new without leaving your house? We’ve put together some tips on how to live more environmentally friendly in your own home, which will not only help the Earth but also save you money.

How many of these tips do you already do in your nest?

*Save energy: There’s more to this than hitting the lights when leaving a room. Turn off and unplug unused appliances, such as computers and televisions, which still use energy while off but plugged in.

*Save on heating and cooling: Close doors to rooms you don’t use as often and save the heat or air conditioning for parts of the house that need it. Open blinds and shades during winter to let in heat from the sun; close them during summer to keep conditions cooler.

*Save on cooling and heating: Check for air leaks around windows and doors and insulate where necessary. Save more by lowering the water heater to 120°F and taking down the thermostat a bit; for every degree it’s lowered, you’ll save 3 to 5 percent.

*Save while cleaning: A little baking soda and water clean as well as the chemical-laden cleaners you spend hard-earned money on at the stores. Check out some homemade recipes at chicagorealestateforum.com.

*Save on food: Save money on food by buying locally in bulk and cooking at home. Reinvent leftovers and stretch one meal into two or more. If you are making something small or just warming it up, use your toaster oven instead of the actual oven and use less energy.

*Save on water: You can install a low-flow toilet or you can work with what you have. There are kits that will make existing toilets low-flow, or put something heavy — a brick or a plastic bottle filled with sand or water — into the tank, which will weigh down the water and use less with each flush. Low-flow faucets and shower heads will also save you money on water bills.

*Save on lighting: Have you changed all your lighting to energy-efficient light bulbs yet? The initial investment might be greater, but they last 10 times longer than the old bulbs and use about 75 percent less energy. And, you can get one for free: Home Depot is giving away 1,000,000 free CFLs on Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day, Homeowners!

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