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Earth Day conservation tips for home and while traveling

Earth Day is a good time to start your spring cleaning. Make sure you’re properly maintaining home appliances and keeping them clean, which keeps them running at peak efficiency. This saves electricity, which conserves resources and reduces global warming.

* Remove lint and dust from your refrigerator coil and freezer. Clean up lint around your dryer, furnace, and any vents leading to or from them. Also, change or clean the filter in your air purifier or furnace.

* For spring cleaning chores, try to use non-disposable items such as mops and reusable rags or sponges. When using household cleaning products, be sure that you only use the amount you need, and that you read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use and disposal.

* Have a yard sale to find new homes for clothes, toys, appliances, books, and other items.

Whether you’re going on vacation or out shopping, there are a number of ways you can reduce waste and conserve resources.

* If staying in a hotel, check the bedding and linen policy with housekeeping. Some hotels ask that the customer request the bedding or linen be laundered by putting a specific note card on the bed and leaving the towels on the floor. This practice conserves water resources. If your hotel does not follow this practice, use a comment card to ask them to adopt it.

* When you’re at the mall, don’t get a new shopping bag for every item — combine bags or put them in your backpack.

* When you leave your hotel room, switch off the air conditioning, lights, and TV to reduce energy use.

* Before you leave home, adjust the air conditioning and water heater thermostats to conserve energy.

* While on your trip, remember to take only the amount of products that you need from restaurants or lodgings. Take only napkins, condiment packets, free brochures, maps, or coupons that you will actually use.

There are many opportunities to reduce waste when traveling away from home on business or on vacation. From packing and planning your trip, to hitting the road, learn how you can make a difference.

* Before you leave home, adjust the air conditioning and water heater thermostats to conserve energy.

* Rather than buying small, travel-sized toiletries, fill reusable containers with shampoo, soap and other necessities.

* Reuse plastic or paper shopping bags to pack items for your trip and recycle them afterwards. Plastic shopping bags are perfect for keeping dirty shoes and wet bathing suits separate from other items in your suitcase, while paper bags are great for packing snacks for the car.

* Book flights with airlines that offer electronic tickets to reduce paper waste.

— Courtesy of http://www.epa.gov

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