It’s Earth Day! Join the Movement

What is the Earth Day Movement?

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million North Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 50,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

When is Earth Day?

Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22, although larger events such as festivals and rallies are often organized for the weekends before or after April 22. Many communities also observe Earth Week or Earth Month, organizing a series of environmental activities throughout the month of April.

Why do we need an Earth Day?

Because it works! Earth Day broadens the base of support for environmental programs, rekindles public commitment and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in our campaigns every year.

What can I do for Earth Day?

The possibilities for getting involved are endless! Volunteer. Go to a festival. Install solar panels on your roof. Organize an event in your community. Change a habit. Help launch a community garden. Communicate your priorities to your elected representatives. Do something nice for the Earth, have fun, meet new people, and make a difference. But you needn’t wait for April 22! Earth Day is Every Day. To build a better future, we all must commit to protect our environment year-round.

What is Earth Day Network?

Founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network (EDN) promotes year-round environmental citizenship and action, worldwide. Earth Day Network is a driving force, steering environmental awareness around the world. Through Earth Day Network, activists connect, interact and impact their communities, and create positive change in local, national, and global policies. EDN’s international network reaches over 22,000 organizations in 192 countries, while the domestic program assists over 30,000 educators, coordinating thousands of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year.

Happy Earth Day!

http://www.earthday.org/takeaction/index.html

Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

springclean

After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Winter can wreak a lot of havoc on a house; regular consistent maintenance (inside and out) is the best way to preserve the value of your home.

The attached checklist will help you target some of the areas that may be in need of maintenance in and around your home:

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
  • Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
  • From the ground, examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
  • Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
  • Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of your heat pump system. Clean units operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
  • Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier.
  • Inspect the caulking around your doors and windows to make you do not have any air leakage or water penetration.
  • Clean air filters and vents and replace or clean HRV (ventilation) and furnace filters.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils.
  • Clean out your dryer vent.
  • Check your washing machine and dishwasher fill hoses to make sure that there are no cracks developing.
  • Inspect window screens for damage – repair if necessary, and clean them.
  • Inspect your attic – make sure no critters have made their way in over the winter. Also be on the lookout for mold and/or mildew.