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Take action on Earth Day with household conservation

(NC) Celebrated every year on April 22, Earth Day is the largest environmental event in the world. More than six million people – including nearly every school-aged child – participate in an Earth Day activities in their own communities. It is a valuable reminder to respect the environment and do what we can to protect our planet. So this year on Earth Day, be sure to pledge an act of green.

Even at home, there are ways to take part in the world's most celebrated environmental event. Try these environmentally-friendly tips that will also save you money on your energy bills:

• Cool down your house with a ceiling or electric fan and open up the windows at night. Ceiling fans cost about 1 cent for two hours of use, compared to 67 cents to a dollar for central air. Use your AC only when necessary and be sure to turn it off when you're going to be away from home for long periods of time.

• Invest in a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your house, saving you energy while you're away or sleeping.

• Increase your attic insulation to a higher R-value. Products (like one called Roxul RockFill) are applied by simply spreading it over existing insulation. An up-grade of this kind will keep your house cool in the warm weather and take the stress off your air conditioning unit.

• Check the tightness on your refrigerator seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it's held in place, the seal is still good, if not, it's time to replace the seal or fix the door's alignment.

• Only do laundry when you have full loads. If you have smaller loads, make sure to use the correct settings and if you only have a couple of items, wait it out or wash them by hand.

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