Celebrate Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Changes

Earth Day is this Saturday, and people across North America will gather at festivals to learn more about their ecosystem and celebrate everything that’s great about the natural world. But while there’s so much nature to enjoy, there’s also much work to be done to protect and heal our environment. And you can do your part by starting a few new habits this weekend.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing encourages everyone to conserve water, a precious resource, but there’s no reason to stop there when committing to a greener lifestyle. Here are just a few ways you can help the planet on Earth Day and all year long!

Drink more tap water. Bottled water may be convenient, but that convenience comes at a terrible price. Tens of millions of plastic water bottles are disposed of every day in the U.S., but only a fraction of those end up in recycling bins. Those bottles take loads of oil and energy to produce, and much more to transport across the country. Use household water filters and durable water bottles to enjoy fresh water on the go without adding to unnecessary energy use and landfill waste.

Wash your clothes in cold water. Today’s washing machines are capable of getting out tough stains without the need for hot water, allowing you to save energy on water heater use. To make cold water washing even more effective, look for detergent formulas designed specifically for cold water.

Air dry your clothes when you can. Like most appliances that produce heat, clothes dryers are among the biggest consumers of household energy. Clothes will dry quickly and smell fresh when hung to dry on the clothesline on a sunny day, but you can also hang-dry them indoors on a drying rack for all-weather convenience. Plus, it’s easier on your clothes -- all that lint you pull out of the dryer trap? Those are bits of your clothes you aren’t getting back!

Try a lower water heater temperature. Turn the dial back a notch for the day and see if you notice a difference. If you can live with the lower temperature, keep it there to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And if you live in a sunny area, look into solar water heaters before it comes time to replace your current unit.

Grow your own herbs, fruits and vegetables. Spring isn’t over yet -- there’s still time to plant a garden, however small, so you can fill your table with your own home-grown food. Home gardens have a positive environmental impact and can help you appreciate what it takes to get fresh food to your local grocer. And if you grow too much, freeze or can what you can’t eat in time to ensure zero waste.

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, be sure to include at least one good habit that will make you feel great, keep money in your pocket and serve the planet well. Reach out to your local plumbing professionals for even more ideas, like the installation of low-flow toilets, greywater recycling systems and water-saving faucets and showerheads.

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