How will you Celebrate Earth Day?

By Anne Prince

Earth Day is considered one of the world’s largest civic events, and on April 22, we can all be part of this global movement to help the environment.

There are many ways we as individuals can help the environment, and some are easier than you’d think. Here are a few simple actions you can take now to reduce your energy use.

Audit your light bulbs. Swapping out any remaining incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs can make a big difference in home efficiency, and it’s one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bill.

Maintain your HVAC system. Replace your home air filters to allow your HVAC system to run more efficiently. Air filters prevent dust and allergens from clogging your HVAC system. Changing the filters makes your unit run more efficiently – keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Examine your smart or programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed for the current season and family schedule. This is one of the best tools at your fingertips, however, you can only achieve these efficiencies and savings if it is programmed properly and adjusted periodically to keep pace with changes in household routines.

Seal window and doors. Seal leaks with weather stripping and caulk to keep cool air indoors during warm months and prevent cold air from penetrating the indoors during colder months. Sealing gaps around piping, dryer vents, fans and outlets also helps to seal the envelope and increase efficiency.

As we celebrate Earth Day this April, let’s continue to work together and make a positive impact on our local community – and our beautiful planet.

Anne Prince writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.