Boost Your Efforts for Earth Day 2011 by Greening Your Home

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There are changes, big and small, you can make to help the planet. As the 41st anniversary of Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the following is a list of motivational facts and helpful tips from CertainTeed Corporation, North America’s largest provider of sustainable building products and solutions, to inspire you to preserve our environment for future generations.

There are changes, big and small, you can make to help the planet. As the 41st anniversary of Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the following is a list of motivational facts and helpful tips from CertainTeed Corporation, North America’s largest provider of sustainable building products and solutions, to inspire you to preserve our environment for future generations.

Here are some interesting facts on the state of the environment:

  •     According to a study by the Container Recycling Institute, since the first Earth Day in 1970, Americans have thrown away 910 billion aluminum cans worth almost 25 billion in current dollars.
  •     On average, the 140 million cars in America are estimated to travel almost 4 billion miles in a day, and according to the Department of Transportation, they use more than 200 million gallons of gasoline each day.
  •     The average house releases twice the pounds of carbon dioxide than the average car, as per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  •     According to a study conducted by Harvard University, more than 45 million U.S. homes are under-insulated. This, coupled with high costs of natural gas – the primary heating source used in more than half of all American homes – shows that there is no better time than now for people to evaluate the energy efficiency of their homes.
  •     According to the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Living Green Consumer Survey, 36 percent of respondents cite “cost” as the top reason they won’t go green, yet half said they have paid more money for an energy-efficient product. What’s more, 30 percent would be willing to spend $5,000 or more on green home improvements to increase a home’s appeal to potential homebuyers.
  •     According to the EPA, in the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.
  •     Through The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4853), homeowners can qualify for a tax credit of up to $500 on energy-efficient building materials like insulation and roofing.

Here are some things you can do around the house that can have a significant impact:

  •     Increase comfort with insulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates a homeowner can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating around the home. Installing InsulSafe SP® Premium Fiberglass Blowing Wool in your attic is an easy, effective way to save energy.
  •     Replace leaky toilets and older appliances. By installing more high-tech solutions including dual-flush toilets and water-saving washers and dishwashers, homeowners can save money and help the environment.
  •     By installing the EnergyEdge® Insulation System to the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save 10 percent or more in heating costs.
  •     Go solar with roof enhancements. Options such as EnerGen™ photovoltaic solar roofing panels and Landmark Solaris™ solar reflective asphalt shingles by CertainTeed make it easy to brighten your roof with solar technology without sacrificing curb appeal.
  •     Replace leaky, single-pane windows with high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® qualified windows. With more efficient windows, you use less energy, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Here are some small things you can do that can have a big impact on preserving the environment:

  •     Replace plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups with reusable cups and mugs.
  •     Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
  •     Pay bills online, eliminating paper statements, invoices and promotional material.
  •     Use public transportation more often to take one more car off the road and save carbon emissions and gasoline.
  •     Recycle plastic and paper at home and at work.
  •     Save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes by using cold water.
  •     Conduct a home energy audit to locate obvious air leaks around baseboards or electrical box outlets and learn where you are losing energy in your home. Find out how at http://www.energysavers.gov.
  •     Use a smart power strip to shut down all stand-by power in electronics and appliances because many still use energy even when switched off.
  •     Plant a tree in your backyard. One tree can offset tons of carbon over its lifetime.
  •     Get involved in local Earth Day activities. To find events in your area visit earthday.org

About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010. http://www.certainteed.com

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Michael B. Loughery
CertainTeed
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