Replace Your Furnace Filter

filter-winterize-mdWith heating season around the corner, it's time to check your furnace filter. It's one of the most important parts of annual furnace maintenance.

A dirty filter will allow more dust and other contamination to circulate through your home. It also cuts down on the efficiency of your furnace, costing you more in energy expenses.

Different filters require different action at this time of year. Disposable fiberglass filters, which are the cheapest and most common filters around, should be replaced now, and regularly (usually monthly) throughout the heating season. While cheap, be aware that these filters remove as little as 10-40% of the dust, mold, allergens and other debris floating through your home's air. (more…)

Green Tip of the Week: Pick Your Own

upickWith apple and pumpkin seasons upon us, it's the classic time to pick your own produce.

Pick-your-own farms, of course, operate year round. Some offer berry picking in the spring or peach picking in summer in addition to apples and pumpkins in the fall. But there's no more popular time to enjoy the fresh air and stroll through orchards or farm fields than fall, when apples sweeten on the branch, and pumpkins fatten on the vine. You can often find other interesting fruits from the fall harvest, like gourds, cider and root vegetables. (more…)

Let ‘No Child Left Inside’ Be Your Mantra

kidsoutsidePlaying and learning outside can strengthen kids' minds and bodies, encourages creativity and scientific exploration, and may pay dividends for attention spans and educational achievement, not to mention longterm environmental quality: If kids don't learn to love nature when they're young, they're unlikely to support environmental protection as adults. (more…)

Green Tip – Opt Out of Catalog Deliveries

junkmailAt no time do American mailboxes fill up with more catalogs and coupons than around the holidays. Do the planet, and yourself, a favor and get your name off direct mail lists. It's been estimated that we use as much as 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water to produce junk mail for just one year. Each American household received an estimated 850 catalogs, credit card solicitations and other junk mail.

You can stop 75% of all junk mail by registering for the Mail Preference Service on the Direct Marketing Association Website. For a fee of $1, they will help remove your name and address from prospective mailing lists. Be patient, as it may take up to 90 days for most mail to stop. But you will be glad you did. (more…)