How to celebrate Earth Day 2018

April 22 is Earth Day, the largest environmental event in the world, with more than six million Canadians participating in Earth Day activities and initiatives.

This year’s theme for Earth Day is “End Plastic Pollution”:

Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, today announced that Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.  EDN will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems. [Earth Day Network]

Here are some simple tips for being more environmentally-friendly around your home too:

  • Purchase a water filter for your fridge: keep water cold and filtered without plastic waste by keeping a portable water filter/jug in your fridge.
  • Install a smart thermostat: try new technologies like NEST Thermostats, a smart home innovation that allows you to control your home’s heating via smartphone. These amazing devices keep your heating bills down and the Earth greener, with its eco-friendly features.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: an alternative to a smart thermostat, these allow you to schedule temperature drops when you’re not home. This will cut your heating costs significantly.
  • Air dry dishes: instead of using the drying cycle on your dishwasher.
  • Turn off electronics: opt for turning off electronics and devices when you’re not using them: lights, television, computer, etc.
  • Seal air leaks: spend an afternoon going through your home and sealing and/or caulking plumbing lines, windows, electrical wires, attics and anywhere you feel a draft or see a crack. Preventing air/energy from escaping your home will save you money instantly.
  • Plug electronics into power strips: so you can turn off all devices at once (easily).
  • In sunnier seasons, use your windows: as an alternative method of heating your home by keeping the blinds open during the day.
  • Replace your bulbs: switch all of your bulbs to LED lights or energy-efficient alternatives. Experts say doing this will save you not only energy, but upwards of $75 a year.
  • Reduce your water heater: according to experts, most water heaters are automatically set about 10-20 degrees warmer than they actually need to be. By dropping the temperature, you’re saving both money and energy here.
  • Buy a new home: if you’re looking at moving, consider opting for a new home. Updated construction practices mean homes are already built with green applications in mind.

Some numbers to consider:

• Heating takes up the biggest portion of your utility bill
• Homes built before 1950 use about 60% more energy per square foot
• CFL bulbs use about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional lightbulbs