Happy Earth Day!

Today we celebrate planet Earth!

With the way the world is and especially since we’ve got people in charge who don’t care about protecting our planet, it’s essential that we don’t give up and continue to fight for a better world for EVERYONE.

So here are some posts for the occasion:

To learn more about today’s celebration of Mother Earth head over to the Earth Day Network site.

Here’s an article about Environmental Racism titled Trump’s EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real written by VANN R. NEWKIRK II over at The Atlantic.

Visit Greenaction’s site to learn more about Environmental Racism and what you can do to stop it.

Here are two Earth Day related posts of mine for you to enjoy:

Infographic: Earth Day 2017 10 Facts About Our Planet

Living Green: 7 Tips to help you have a green home

Every year on this day there are usually musical festivals to celebrate so in the spirit of that I end this post with Michael Jackson’s Earth Song:

And remember:

 

Living Green: 7 Tips to help you have a green home

I originally wrote this for Uncanny Pop.

Having a green home gives you a lot of benefits. You‘ll save money, you‘ll have a healthy place for you and your family to live, and it‘s good for the environment. So here are a few things that you can do to fight high energy bills and climate change.

1. Check your insulation:
Insulation is important in that it keeps your home from losing heat. If you live in a house, make sure that there are no areas in your attic floor that have inadequate insulation. Follow the Department of Energy‘s recommendations.

Photo courtesy: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing
Photo courtesy: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing

2. Use Low-VOC products:
Always check that the paint you‘re using is a low-VOC or a no-VOC paint. When purchasing paints, you should look for the green seal. Also when you clean your home use non-toxic natural products or make your own green cleaning products!

3. Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products: Here are a few recipes courtesy of PathNet.org!

  • All Purpose Cleaner:
    Add 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/3 cup washing soda to a gallon of warm water. Use to clean floors, tiles, and painted walls.
  • Window and Mirror Cleaner:
    Put 1/4 cup white vinegar in a spray bottle, and fill to the top with water. Spray on desired surface, and rub with a newspaper or a rag. Squeegee dry.
  • Toilet, Tub and Tile Cleaner:
    Mix 1/2 cup borax and add enough lemon juice to make into a paste. Wet the sides of the surface and add the paste. Let stand for a few minutes, then scrub off and rinse.
  • Rug Stains:
    Dampen stained area with water, and rub in borax. Vacuum when dry.
  • Oven cleaner:
    Mix 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to surface and let stand for a few minutes. Scrub the surface with a scouring pad. Do not use this recipe in self-cleaning ovens.
  • Drain cleaner:
    Three words – Use a plunger. A hand plunger used every time the drain slows down will take care of almost any problem. In you need a cleanser pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, and then 1/2 cup
    vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water. Repeat if necessary.
  • Mildew:
    Make a paste from salt and vinegar and rub into affected area.
  • Furniture polish:
    Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1 cup vegetable or olive oil. Apply with a soft rag.
  • General air freshener:
    Simmer a pot of water with cloves, an orange peel and cinnamon.
  • Natural Pesticide:
    To naturally keep ants and other insects away, add a few
    teaspoons of orange oil to your green cleaning products. To kill
    ants that are already around, just spray them with diluted orange
    oil.

4. Plant a Tree:
No you don‘t have to wait for Earth Day or other holidays such as Tu B‘Shevat or Arbor day to plant one! Planting a tree can lower your cooling costs by up to 25% while reducing heating costs by 20%! They also make your home even more comfortable and provide a habitat for birds. Trees and shrubs that are placed properly can act as windbreaks shielding your home from the cold winds.

Photo courtesy: http://www.clipartbest.com/tree-planting-clip-art
Photo courtesy: http://www.clipartbest.com/tree-planting-clip-art

5. Optimize Your Water Heater:
If you don‘t have one, purchase an insulative jacket around your water heater. The jackets cost between $10-20. You can also insulate the pipes around the water heater. You can purchase pipe insulation for less than a $1for six feet. Lastly, turn the water heater down to 120 degrees. This will save you money
and prevent scalding.

6. Program Your Thermostats:

thermostat
When you set your thermostat back when you‘re not home or while you‘re sleeping, you can save 10% on heating and cooling costs. Program your thermostat to 78 degrees F or higher during the summer and 62 degrees F or lower during the winter. You can even recycle your thermostats. For example the state government of Maine has a program. Check online to see where you can do this.

7. Change Your Bulbs:
Replace those incandescent light bulbs with CFLs bulbs. The CFLs might cost a little more than the incandescent bulbs, but you‘ll save $100 per year with them while using less electricity!

cfls
CFLs, photo courtesy of the Department of Energy