We’re celebrating Earth Day with Bingo. If you put these eco-tips (scroll to the bottom) into practice at home, your name will be in the drawing to win a Larimer County Parks Pass

Earth day bingo

  1. Download a bingo card.
  2. Cross off each tip you complete.
  3. Send in your bingo card by May 15, 2020 to be entered into the drawing, at gcohen@larimer.org. We will draw a winner on Monday, May 18, 2020.
SCORING:
  • If you cross off an entire row, column or diagonal, your name will be entered once.
  • If you complete the card, your name will be added twice.
  • Send in photos of your green actions to have your name entered into the drawing once more.
DETAILS:
  • If you are unable to cross off a tip because you don’t own a home, you may substitute your own ‘eco-tip’ to complete a square. For example, I cannot plant a tree, so mending my own clothes is my substitution.
  • If you are already doing one of the eco-tips, you may cross off that square.
  • Participants must live in Larimer County.
  • Questions? Call Gloria at (970) 498-5772 or email gcohen@larimer.org

ECO-TIPS

Clothesline

Hang-dry clothes

It’s a warm sunny day! Take advantage of this renewable resource by hanging your clothes outside to dry.

  • Dryers use 10 times the energy to run than clothes washers (or refrigerators) and use 6% of most household’s total energy. In most areas you save even more when you choose to line dry during peak energy use hours.
  • Line drying can reduce the amount of wear and tear caused by high heat and eliminates static cling.
  • Ultraviolet rays kill bacteria and the sun can naturally bleach many stains away.
  • Air-drying outside on a clothesline adds a fresh, clean smell.

So take those clothes out and enjoy the Colorado sunshine. If you don't have a clothesline, dry your clothes indoors. Use surfaces, towel bars, shower curtain rod and chairs around the house, or purchase a fold-down clothes-drying rack. 


 

Homemade snacks

Make snacks from scratch and avoid packaging

80 million tons of packaging waste is created in the US each year (according to the EPA). Half of that is from food and beverages. Did you realize that half of all plastic has been made in the last 13 years! 

Say no to that plastic-wrapped candy or snack bar. Enjoy making homemade, waste free (or zero waste) snacks! Not only are homemade snacks cheaper, you can regulate the ingredients according to your taste and diet needs.

Here is a link to a recipe to get you started:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/magazine/articles/mix-and-match-cereal-treats

More recipes:


 

Sprout

Garden heroes

Plant a victory garden

In 1944, 40% of the fresh produce eaten in the US was grown in backyard and window box victory gardens by citizens as a way to assist the war effort. Now is a very good time to grow your own food! Not only can you get fresh food without leaving your home, it’s healthier and cheaper too. You can even look to your food scraps for seeds (tomato and pepper) and starts (potato eyes and celery or herb sprouts). Many seeds can be started now indoors on a windowsill and be ready to move outside when it is warmer.

Whether you are planting a window box of herbs, a patio pot or converting yard space to a garden, victory is yours with nutritious, chemical-free food right at home.

Additional ideas/resources:

https://lovelygreens.com/grow-a-rapid-response-victory-garden/

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/victory-gardens-make-a-comeback-amid-coronavirus/


 

Compost

Compost outside

Save a space for composting

Bananas and oranges keep fresh in their natural “wrappers,” but what do you do with those peels when you are done? More than ¼ of most trash is compostable. Creating a compost pile at home is good for the Earth and your garden. Save a spot where you can compost food scraps and yard clippings. It’s a natural way of adding nutrients back to the soil. 

Learn more about turning your natural trash into black gold:

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/composting-way-easier-you-think?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsPrN__zW6AIVTfDACh0IsQlhEAAYAiAAEgKKPPD_BwE


 

Light bulbs

Lighten up your lighting needs

Replace your old light bulbs with LEDs or use more natural light in your house. Sometimes a well-placed mirror or café curtain is enough to reduce your need for electric lights.

Simply switching an old incandescent to an efficient LED light bulb saves 75% of the energy used. One LED bulb can outlast 10 incandescent bulbs, so the savings add up quickly. Your local home improvement store can help you find the perfect size and brightness of LED for your fixtures.

Look forward to dusting your bulbs instead of throwing them away in the trash. And remember- because of their mercury content, recycle fluorescent bulbs at the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off site instead of throwing them in your trash can.


 

Leaves

Backyard

Plant a tree and reap the rewards

We all know that trees are great for the environment and wildlife, but did you realize that well placed trees - particularly around your air conditioning unit - can reduce your home energy costs?

The air temperature under a tree can be up to 25 degrees lower than the unshaded area around it. As your tree grows your energy savings grows with it! Trees also act as a noise control, windbreak and an air filter, so those energy savings continue year round.

Check out this Tree Benefit Calculator provided by the Arbor Day Foundation:

https://www.arborday.org/calculator/index.cfm

For tips on how to properly place trees, read this informative blog:

https://blog.constellation.com/2016/04/01/home-energy-conservation-shade-tree-landscaping/

After you plant your tree, sit back and chill while you look forward to your energy savings!

Other facts:

  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Spending time near trees can help improve physical and mental health, while decreasing stress and blood pressure.

 

Power

Unplug when not in use

When appliances and electronics are off, but still plugged in, they're using energy. This is often referred to as "phantom" or "vampire" electricity. The energy consumed by vampire electricity of multiple devices can collectively make up a total of 10% of household energy use.

Ways to save energy:

  • Use timers and motion detectors to turn off lights.
  • Unplug TV entertainment systems when traveling (use power strips for easy on/off switching).
  • Don’t leave your computer and monitor on needlessly.
  • Assess your home for other appliances and electronics that consume vampire energy (chargers, coffee maker, blender, iron, etc.).

 


 

Recycle bin

Place a recycle bin by every trash bin

Place recycling bins next to each trash bin at home. Common places that are easily forgotten are bathrooms (inside or next to the bathroom), bedrooms, utility rooms and rooms upstairs, if you have a second level.

Common recyclables that are overlooked include shampoo and other plastic bottles, toothpaste and kleenex boxes, aerosol cans (if empty), and toilet paper rolls.

Items that should never be recycled in your household bin include: plastic bags (must go back to the retailer), metal pots and pans, hazardous materials, plastic wrap around toilet paper and paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, paper towels, plastic utensils, clear plastic containers and plastic to-go boxes.