Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22 and there are many things you can do that are great for the planet and are free or inexpensive for you. They will also help lower your energy bills, saving you money!

earth day

FREE LOW COST
Cut your shower each day by 2 minutes Switch your light bulbs to CFL’s
Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth Purchase a programmable thermostat
Turn off lights when you are not in the room Lower your heat at night and while away at work
Carpool or take the bus to work 1 day a week Use reusable bags for grocery shopping
Recycle your food scraps in the yard waste (if available in your area) or start your own compost bin When you can, try to shop and eat locally.
Pay all your bills online Replace your shower head with one that is low flow
Unplug appliances (coffee maker, toaster, printer etc) when not in use. When buying new appliances, make sure thy are energy efficient(not always low cost but it will save you money on your utility bills)
Rather than drive walk to dinner at your local restaurant (weather permitting of course) Purchase products that use minimal packaging
  Buy compostable trash bags for kitchen waste.
  Buy biodegradable products (cups, napkins, plates, etc)

Nylons?

This one is a bit of Beauty, Green tips and household all rolled into one. When you have fine particles and you need to strain them in a colander cut off a piece of old clean (of course) pantyhose (yes, pantyhose!) secure them over the bowl or cup to make a sieve, and flip it over to strain. I know it sounds weird but it works great!

Here’s one more nylon tip. If you run out of Swiffer pads use a pair of nylons! Preferably an old pair just cut them and put it over your swiffer pad. Works Great on the floors and really picks up the fuzz and dog hair!

Taxes- What to Keep and for how long

With Tax day upon us I thought this would be a great reminder.

Taxes

Tax Returns- 7 years- Keep tax returns and all supporting tax docs. including W-2s, 1099 forms, property tax info, bank statements, mortgage interest statements, cancelled checks, receipts, home purchase, home improvement info.

Paycheck Stubs 1 year- Shred after confirming info matches W-2.

Home Ownership- Mortgage docs 10 years, After property has sold 7 years Mortgage statements 7 years, After property has sold 10 years, Repair bills/contracts 10 years.

Insurances- Home 5 years, Life of policy + 3 years, Medical 5 years

Investment/Retirement Accounts- IRA contributions permanently, 401K annual summaries- Keep until you close the account. Investment statements 7 years after last account is sold.

Permanently- Never Shred- Adoption/Guardianship Papers, Birth Certificates, Citizen/Naturalization,Health/Immunization, Lawsuits, Marriage/Divorce Decree, Pension Plan Docs.Veteran Papers.

If it is time to get rid of some of those old docs look for a shredding event near you. Here is one sponsored from BECU this Saturday.