Each year, Earth Day – April 22nd – marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The idea came to Gaylord Nelson, who was then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after he witnessed the damage to the environment as a result of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA in 1969.
Forty-two years later, more than one billion people around the world will participate in Earth Day 2012 in some way or another. So, want to know what you can do to “go a little greener” this year? Here are some great tips for homeowners that will support Earth Day… and save you money!!!
- Check faucets for drips and leaks. Then make the repairs to save water and money.
- Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add 5 drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, the colored water will appear in the bowl within 20 – 30 minutes.
- Make sure that toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a complete flush or jiggled afterwards to stop the water from running, then you may need to replace some older tank parts. You will notice a lower water bill from eliminating the running water.
- Purchase a dual-flush toilet. This toilet saves water because a full flush is not needed most of the time.
- Check the temperature setting on your water heater. It should be set no higher than 120 degrees F to reduce energy use.
- Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank every 12 months to flush out sediment which causes corrosion and then reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater.
- Consider replacing a water heater more than 12 years old with a newer and more energy efficient model. (Tip: The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made)
- Check washing machine, dishwasher and ice maker supply hoses for leaks. Also, check hoses for any signs of weakness or that may be older than 10 years old. It is a good idea to replace these.
- Stay away from environmentally unfriendly, quick fix drain solutions. These products are extremely toxic for the environment and will corrode your pipes also.
- Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
- If your home has a sump pump, as many do in Atlanta, make sure it is in good working order by pouring a couple gallons of water into it. Make sure that the pump quickly turns on, discharges the water and then shuts down. When the time comes to replace your pump, be sure to check out the newer energy efficient models.
- Make sure your yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open and free of debris.
- Check all outside hose bibs for drips and leaks. Also, check to make sure that the water runs freely the first time you turn it on in the spring. If not, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.