Celebrate Earth Day and Lower Energy Costs, Help Save the Planet

Annual 'go green' day is approaching and consumers are encouraged to get involved

Apr 19, 2013, 10:50 ET from Direct Energy

PITTSBURGH, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This upcoming Monday, April 22nd marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It's the perfect time to begin taking steps to help make the environment a better one.

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According to Earth Day Network, last year's Earth Day generated an astonishing one billion "Acts of Green" worldwide. These acts are considered anything from planting trees to cleaning parks and other green spaces to riding a bicycle instead of driving a car or using public transportation.

"Today, with gas and oil prices skyrocketing, families everywhere are being forced to tighten their budgets. Therefore, it is important for everyone to learn how energy conservation can save you money," said Rob Comstock, senior vice president for Direct Energy. "Participating in Earth Day and practicing 'green' initiatives everyday will not only benefit planet Earth, but it can also benefit our wallets."

Direct Energy recommends its own "Acts of Green" for you and your family to do on Earth Day, as well as every day:

  • Plant a tree. Trees improve air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide from the air we breathe.
  • Bike, walk, jog or carpool whenever possible. When greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles are released into the air, they cause air pollution and harm to the ozone layer.
  • Make your home an Energy Star. Performing an energy audit on your home regularly can help lower energy bills. For a complete checklist of how to perform an energy audit, please visit http://bit.ly/HomeEnergyAudits.
  • Run your dishwater and washing machine only when full to avoid wasting water. Water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and streams. Additionally, water pollution not only damages the environment but also harms pipes and septic systems.
  • Make a compost. Composts make nutrient-rich soil that holds more water so your plants will grow better. Paper, egg shells, grass clippings, fruits, vegetables and coffee grounds can be added to a compost to make a cheap and easy fertilizer.
  • Utilize reusable bags when shopping. Keep them in your car and near doors so that they can be easily reached when you are on the go. Plastic bags are not biodegradable and can take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. If you only have a few items, skip the bag altogether and carry them instead.
  • Swap out incandescent light bulbs in your home for compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. CFLs use less electric power and can last up to 10 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

Furthermore, Direct Energy is utilizing its energy expertise to make a difference in people's lives by donating up to $100,000 to nonprofits through its Reduce Your Use For Good program. Nonprofits are encouraged to create a short video about the good work they do in the community and submit it to www.reduceyouruseforgood.com for a chance to win a $2,500 grant.

"Starting with the 43rd annual Earth Day, be conscious of how you can be more eco-friendly and encourage your friends and family to do the same," Comstock said. "Earth Day is just one day a year but you can choose to 'go green' each and every day. Together we can make the Earth a cleaner and healthier place to live."

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with more than 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. For more information, visit www.directenergy.com 

SOURCE Direct Energy