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Celebrate Earth Day: Conserve energy today and every day

4/17/2018 12:14:37 PM

In 1970, the first Earth Day inspired 20 million Americans and launched the modern environmental movement. It rallied support from people of all walks of life and led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

Today, 48 years later, the annual Earth Day celebration on April 22 is both a chance to renew our commitment to a healthy environment and a reminder of how easy it can be to improve our natural environment by conserving energy (and saving money in the process).

Earth Day 2018 is focused on reducing plastic pollution. The Earth Day Network offers a toolkit to help individuals and organizations take action to end plastic pollution.

On Earth Day, and every day, the Minnesota Department of Commerce encourages Minnesotans to save on energy use and reduce carbon pollution. Here are 10 simple ways that Minnesotans can make a difference

  1. Turn off lights, appliances and electronics when not in use. Sometimes the simplest things are really effective!
  2. Use your window shades. Close blinds on the sunny side of the house during summer and open them in winter.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat. It can save 10 percent or more on cooling and heating costs
  4. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, the symbol of energy efficiency, when purchasing new appliances, lighting and electronics.
  5. Use LED bulbs. Replace old incandescent light bulbs with much more efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes).
  6. Clean or change furnace filters regularly. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make your system work harder to keep you warm.
  7. Reduce water heater temperature to 120° F
  8. Wash clothes in cold water
  9. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads
  10. Carpool to work or school.

More on saving energy can be found in the Home Energy Guide published by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. To receive a paper copy, email to energy.info@state.mn.us or call the Energy Information Center at 800-657-3710.

Minnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Contact the division’s Energy Information Center at energy.info@state.mn.us or 800-657-3710 with energy questions.

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