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10 ITEMS TO GREEN YOUR HOME

10 ITEMS TO GREEN YOUR HOME

Home Green Home

Simple solutions to create an eco-friendly abode.

Driving less and eating locally-grown food are crucial ways to reduce your carbon footprint, but going green also means taking stock of your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residential buildings account for a fifth of the energy used in the U.S. as well as a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are 10 items you can add under your roof to open a new world of energy savings.

 

Natural Fiber Carpets

Jute, sea grass, sisal and wool are all natural materials used in carpet and rug making. Why not forgo the synthetic petroleum-based mass produced carpets and go for something inherently green underfoot?

 

Green Slumber

Take getting a good night’s sleep one step further and introduce an organic mattress to your bedroom. Traditional mattresses are often made with chemicals, such as phthalates, that can be harmful. There are a few companies producing organic infant, child and adult mattresses for the home today.

 

Recycled Flooring

Reclaimed wood from deconstructed buildings can be an attractive, low impact option for flooring in your home. The Building Materials Reuse Association has a state-by-state directory of stores offering recycled construction materials, while websites like American Builders Surplus and Planet Reuse match suppliers of reclaimed goods with prospective customers.

 

 

Formaldehyde - Free Cabinets

Just like paint, the materials used to make kitchen cabinets can contain compounds like formaldehyde that can result in eye irritation, respiratory problems and other health issues to a home’s occupants. Opt for materials like formaldehyde-free medium-density fiberboard and use a low-VOC stain.

 

Natural Gas Cooktop

Natural gas cooktops offer a host of benefits over their electric alternatives. They turn on and off instantly, use less energy and cost less to operate than electric and continue to work during power outages.

 

Introduce Antiques 

Mix in flea market finds and heirloom pieces from your grandmother with your new furnishings. Purchasing an antique is inherently green and can turn a hohum space into an exciting eclectic room.

 

Eco-friendly Insulation

Eco-friendly insulation is one of the best things you can do in your home to save energy and boost your green status. Formaldehyde is used as a binding agent in traditional products, so instead look for cotton, wool, cellulose or soy.

 

Low-E Windows

Replace standard windows with panes that feature low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, which are barely visible layers of metal or metallic oxide that help regulate the transfer of heat between the home and the outdoors. The coating reduces the ultraviolet and infrared radiation that shines into a home during the summer and prevents radiant heat from escaping during the winter, reducing energy loss by up to 50 percent.

 

Recycled Roofing

Milk jugs, tires and carpeting, and scrap metal are just a few of the materials being recycled and transformed into roofing shingles. Durable, long-lasting and good looking, these new uses save tons of waste from ending up in a landfill.

 

Natural Gas Clothes Dryer

For homes connected to natural gas, a natural gas clothes dryer could add up to big savings over its electric alternative. According to the American Gas Association, drying a load of laundry in a natural gas dryer costs 15 to 20 cents—roughly half the cost of handling the same quantity in an electric dryer.

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