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Earth Day freebies, deals and sweepstakes

April 22, 2009 |  2:39 pm

Maui is a good place to celebrate Earth Day Seeing that it's Earth Day and all, retailers and manufacturers are looking to boost their green cred.

In addition to the deals we've already told you about (Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's canvas bag giveaway; Home Depot's compact fluorescent lightbulb handout; Disney stores' mysterious gift), you can get a mail-in rebate for up to $3.99 for Reynolds Wrap foil made from recycled aluminum. Click on "get a free roll" at the company's recycled foil website. The offer expires today but the foil can be purchased until May 4 and the rebate form must be sent in by May 30.

At Macy's, the first 150 kids to visit each store's childrens clothing department today will get an activity book teaching fun ways to keep the planet healthy. Macy's also is selling a reusable tote for $1.95, with $1 from each sto the National Park Foundation, which cares for the nation's 400 national parks. On Saturday, Macy's stores and website are discounting some merchandise by 10% to 20% for those who purchase a $5 "Good Turn" ticket, the proceeds of which will be donated to the National Park Foundation. That $5 will be rebated if the customer spends $15 or more in the store.

The California Energy Commission launched a contest today to test Californians' knowledge of solar energy and energy efficiency. Participants can enter to win a green home makeover and other prizes. The sweepstakes runs until Oct. 31 at GoSolarCalifornia.org. Last year, the sweepstakes attracted 17,000 entries. The winner got a 2009 hybrid car.

For the really dedicated, a big solar-panel installer called SolarCity is discounting the price of putting a 4-kilowatt system on your house. The cost of $4,000, which is good until May 31, represents a 10% to 15% discount on the company's usual installation costs. The system would be big enough to offset about half the electricity usage of a typical three-bedroom home in the Los Angeles area, says the company, which operates in California, Arizona and Oregon. The discount began in March and has been extended to May 31. SolarCity says the discount plus a California rebate ($5,500) and a federal tax credit ($9,000)  could reduce the cost of a typical 4-kilowatt solar system to $15,500 from $34,000.

-- Nancy Rivera Brooks

Photo: Maui's Earth Day celebration logo. Credit: MauiEarthDay.org

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