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20 Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Being a good steward of the earth doesn't have to cost a lot. Follow these simple tips to do your part in caring for the earth. You can preserve the environment and keep your wallet intact.

Earth Day

1. REUSE SHOPPING BAGS

Choose Reusable shopping bags instead of paper or plastic.

2. DRINK RESPONSIBLY

Replace pricey plastic water bottles with a reusable one filled with filtered tap water and you’ll save money and free up landfill space. Home water filters, like the Idylis filtered pitcher (#148922), replace as many as 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles.

3. DON'T FLUSH AWAY MONEY

A leaky toilet can waste 3–7 gallons of water per flush. That can add up to as much as $400 a year in water bills. To check for leaks, add a couple drops of food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. Fix the leak (faulty flappers, floats, and handles are the usual suspects) or better yet, buy a new AquaSource Dual-Flush toilet (#274044). Source: United States EPA.

4. CONSERVE WATER

Conserve water with a high-efficiency showerhead without sacrificing performance. That means less work for your water heater, too. Our favorite: Moen’s chrome single-spray-pattern showerhead (#221711) with an eight-inch diameter for full-body coverage.

5. SWITCH TO DIMMERS

Dimmers let you control light, set the mood, and save on electricity. How do you top that? With a designer-style dimmer for dimmable CFL and LED bulbs. It also works with halogen and incandescent bulbs. Try Lutron’s Diva 150 Watt CFL/LED dimmer (#11765).

6. RETHINK TRANSPORTATION

Walking, biking, or riding the bus to work just one day a week lowers your carbon footprint and is good for your health.

7. PAY ONLINE

Eliminate paper waste by paying bills online.

8. CHANGE AIR FILTERS

Change air filters regularly for optimim furnace performance. Source: United State EPA.

9. MONITOR ENERGY USE

Audit the energy use of your appliances with an inexpensive energy monitor: Kill A Watt EZ (#322553).

10. PLANT A TREE

Add beauty to your home—and save money—by planting a tree. Shade trees can keep buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer and help lower your air-conditioning bill. Source: United States EPA.

11. COMPOST YOUR WASTE

Compost nourishes gardens by improving the quality of soil and its water-holding capacity. Good soil means less watering. Added bonus: less garbage in the landfill.

12. ROLL OUT A RAIN BARREL

Reduce your water usage by collecting rain and using it to water your lawn and garden (check local regulations). Try Fiskars’ 48-gallon khaki plastic rain barrel (#306222).

13. USE NATIVE PLANTS

Native plants use less water, require less maintenance, and attract wildlife. Ask a Lowe’s Garden Center staff member to recommend plants for your area.

14. INVEST IN APPLIANCES

Help the environment and your budget with ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances. You’ll use 10–50 percent less energy than standard models. Ask your utility company if rebates are available or check out our rebate finder at lowes.com/rebatefinder. Source: United States EPA.

15. OPT FOR LED BULBS

LEDs last longer than compact fluorescents and standard incandescent bulbs reaping long-term savings. LEDs contain no mercury, use only 2–10 watts of electricity, and are cool to the touch. Source: eartheasy.com.

16. SHOP FOR SMART WINDOWS

Replace single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR-qualified models, such as Pella’s ThermaStar, and you can save up to $500 a year in energy costs. Source: United States EPA.

17. VOLUNTEER

Volunteer to pick up trash in your neighborhood.

18. MIND YOUR THERMOSTAT

Heating and cooling costs account for nearly half of most households’ energy bills. Try a programmable thermostat like the Honeywell Deluxe 5-2 Day (#39500). When used correctly, it can save you up to $180 per year. Source: United States EPA.

19. CLEAN GREEN

Cleaning products made with plant- and mineral-based ingredients have a rep for being wimpy. No more. Green is mean thanks to brands such as Green Works and Greenology. One of our favorites: the French Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner (#283156).

20. BUY LOCAL FOOD

Most of the energy that goes into food production is used in transporting the food to its final location. Locally grown produce, eggs, and meat have a dramatically lower impact on the environment. For farmers’ markets in your area, go to localharvest.org.