Since its inception in 1970, Earth day has marked a time for festivals, rallies, and celebrations focused on the awareness of environmental issues that impact our planet’s health. People across the globe gather to plant trees or pledge energy conservation goals.
But what if you can’t find the time? You care about the Earth, and you’d like to do something to promote its well-being.
One of the best ways you can celebrate Earth Day is to inspect your indoor environment for ways you could improve energy efficiency, eco-friendly behavior, and indoor air quality.
You may be asking: how does my behavior indoors impact the health of our planet? While the air you breathe in your home can be drastically different than the air you’re exposed to outside, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consistently ranks indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
Here are a few things you can do indoors to help sustain our planet.
1. Choose Energy Star-qualified products. Dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and air purifiers with the Energy Star seal are more energy-efficient and can lower your energy bill by one third. Find a list of Energy Star-rated products at energystar.gov.
2. Try a green cleaning routine. Use a vapor steam cleaner to clean germs, using only the natural cleaning power of water.
3. Choose appliances that use R-410A refrigerant. It’s more eco-friendly and long-lasting than others.
4. When it comes to preventing mold and mildew, learn how to spot an eco-friendly dehumidifier. An adjustable humidistat allows the fan and compressor to run intermittently, automatically maintaining humidity without using excess energy. A programmable timer lets you set exactly when you want your dehumidifier to run, for more control over your energy usage. And of course, the Energy Star always indicates energy savings.
5. Replace the air filters in your HVAC system regularly to keep it from using excess energy and running up your power bill. The rule of thumb is every 3 months, but you may need to change it more frequently if you:
- Are sensitive to airborne particles
- Have pets
- Live in a home that is under construction
6. Don’t place objects on or near your portable AC to avoid blocking the airflow, which can increase energy usage.
7. Look for products that comply with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, or the “lead-free directive.” This restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment:
- Hexavalent chromium
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
How are you staying eco-friendly indoors?