I love Arizona in the spring. We have the best weather, Spring Training, (Go D-Backs!), and our bragging rights are in full swing. What better time to fill our Facebook feed with pictures of our desert in full, colorful, bloom while out on a breath taking hike? It quiets the, “Arizona is so brown” and “how do you deal with the heat” comments for a while. It also makes us want to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. But, how do we participate? What can we do to love our Earth year around? Here are some easy tips to do around the house that will not only help the Earth but your home as well.
Lighting: The quickest and easiest thing to do is change out your old light bulbs. Changing to an LED or CFL light bulb could save up to 66% more energy and they give off much less heat. If you are updating your yard, opt for solar lighting instead. It’s a simple upgrade and they make your yard look great while saving energy!
Plant Trees: Planting a tree has so many benefits. They give your front yard great curb appeal, they shade your house to cut down on air conditioning bills, and they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and release vital oxygen. In the desert, it’s also water friendly to plant Native trees. Palo Verde, Mesquite, Palo Brea, and Desert Willow’s are just a few that are low use water trees and have beautiful blooms and add so much to the look of your home. And, there are many cities in Arizona that will give a tax credit if you convert your grass lawn to desert landscaping.
Programmable Thermostats: My mornings are a little crazy. The last two minutes before I walk, (or run), out the door to get to the office consist of trying to find my keys, grabbing all the files I need for the day, and giving my dog a treat while making sure my shoes match. When I pull into the parking lot at work, a light bulb goes off that I didn’t turn up the A/C and it will be running all day. With a programmable thermostat, not only does it take one thing off your “to do” list, but it can save you time and money in the long run.
Call the Plumber!: There are so many ways we lose water. Leaky toilets, sinks, and shower heads are just a few. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day of water. Running your faucet while brushing your teeth can waste up to 5 gallons. A plumber can be worth his weight in gold when he gets your leaks fixed and calling the plumber before it gets too serious can save you from getting mold damage. While your plumber is at your house, quiz him on low consumption faucets and re-circulating pumps that can save you hundreds of gallons of water.
Solar: Solar credits are harder to come by these days but sunshine in Arizona? We get that almost every day. Therefore, turning sunshine into electricity to save the planet, our ever rising electrical bills, and feeling good about how much we run our air conditioning? This sounds like a win win in my book.
There are so many ways we can save time, money, and our environment. Here are a few websites to get some more tips:
www.epa.gov – Environmental Protection Agency
www.DBG.org – the Desert Botanical Gardens is a great way to get ideas on desert landscaping.