3 simple and effective Earth Day resolutions

It's April 22, and you know what that means: It's Earth Day! Starting in 1970, folks across the world have been celebrating this important event. Now, more than one billion people in 192 countries participate in it, making Earth Day the largest civic observance in the world.

But, being conscientious about the way our actions affect the planet we call home requires a steady commitment that spans throughout the year and not just on this special day. With this in mind, here are some simple resolutions you can make to reduce your carbon footprint going forward:

Go paperless – These days, most companies – including banks, utilities and more – offer customers the option to receive their bills and any other necessary communication through email rather than via the postal service. Making the switch is an easy way to save trees and fuel.

Install a programmable thermostat – There's no reason to have your heat or air conditioning blasting when you're not even home, and these devices allow you to control the temperature of your house remotely so that you can save energy. 

Switch to LED bulbs – According to Energy Star, these fixtures use at least 75 percent less electricity than incandescent lighting and can last 35 to 50 times longer, making them a worthwhile investment in the long-term.

Also, thanks to the state of Maryland's multiple rebate offerings, including those available from Pepco and Potomac Edison, celebrating the Earth every day by making energy efficient upgrades to your home may be easier and more cost-effective than you think. To get started, contact a home inspection contractor to request an energy audit. These experienced professionals can help you determine the best way to get started.