Earth Day is a day when people all over the globe take some time to appreciate the planet. The tradition began in 1970 when Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson wanted to educate the American public about the environment, and how their actions can take a toll on it, according to LiveScience.
Nelson was inspired to begin the tradition after he learned about the damaging effects of an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. That first Earth Day brought together 20 million Americans to learn about the environment and how we can help to preserve it.
It is now an international event that occurs every April 22. According to Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people take part in Earth Day events. However, you don’t have to travel far and wide to pay homage to our planet. Whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, there are likely some improvements you can do around your house to make it a little more green.
“More than 1 billion people take part in Earth Day events.”
Here are three great ideas to start you off:
1. Start recycling
This is something you should already be doing. Depending on where you live, there might even be laws in place requiring you to recycle certain items.
The San Francisco Chronicle recommended homeowners check to see if their city has a curbside recycling program. If so, you’ll probably have to get a designated recycling bin from the city. Once you have this, keep it next to your trash so you never have to sift through garbage to pull out your newspapers and plastic bottles.
Be sure to educate yourself on what your city will accept through its recycling program. Many don’t accept things like light bulbs or large plastic items, but your city could be one of those that do.
If there isn’t a curbside program available to you, seek out the nearest recycling center. You’ll likely be able to bring things like paper, aluminum and certain plastics here.
2. Fix your leaks
Odds are, somewhere in your home, you have a leak. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leaks in the average home amount to 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. American homes lose a combined 1 trillion gallons of water annually due to leaks. To put this into perspective, The Washington Post pointed out that this quantity could fill 40 million swimming pools plus 24 billion baths.
Some wasted water can be prevented, of course, simply by fixing your leaks. The first step to doing this is determining whether you do have one in your home, and then finding where it is.
The best way to figure out if you have a leak is to watch your water meter. Check your meter and tell everyone at home to not use any water for the next two hours. Then, check it again once the two hours are up. If your meter has changed, you likely have a leak.
Next comes finding where it is. Some are easy to spot – a leaky shower head, toilet or faucet, for example. But some might be more difficult. Professional leak detection agencies can help you in these cases.
Even if you don’t have a leak, you can still update some areas of your home to use less water. According to Energy Upgrade California, a WaterSense-labeled showerhead can save you 2,900 gallons of water a year, plus it reduces the amount of energy that goes into heating your water. WaterSense faucets can save you about 40 showers worth of water every year – about 700 gallons.
3. Plant a garden
Gardening can be a fun and rewarding activity and can put some fresh food on your table. Regardless of how much space you have, there are some creative techniques that can help you begin providing your own vegetables or herbs. Vertical and windowsill gardens are both tried and true methods that have brought gardeners everything from ripe tomatoes to fresh herbs to add to their cooking.
Another way you can celebrate Earth Day and benefit your own home is by planting trees or a flower garden. U.S. News & World Report said you can save money on your energy bill by planting trees in the right places in your yard, too. Plus, by landscaping your yard properly, you can reduce the risk of a leaky basement.
To learn about how you can become a first time home buyer, talk to the professionals at Lenox/WesLend Financial or call 844-225-3669. As heard on the radio, it’s the biggest no-brainer in the history of mankind.