Going Green: Making Your Home Eco-Friendly

It’s not exactly news that Americans use more energy than any other country on the planet. With the conversations over global warming heating up, there are small changes people can make on their way to a “greener” lifestyle.

If you are concerned about the carbon footprint you may be leaving behind? Here are some easy tips in making your household ‘green friendly’.

Get rid of that gas-sucker

Automobiles in the United States are responsible for 25% of the greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. Trading your gas-eating SUV or Hummer for a more fuel-efficient car is the first step in going green. Look into cars that get good fuel mileage or ones that use alternative fuels. Cars with features such as automatic transmissions and four-wheel drive use more gas than the pared down versions.

Recycle

Even if your community doesn’t have mandatory recycling laws, you still need to recycle. Aluminum, plastics, cardboard, paper and magazines need to be separated and disposed of at recycling centers or in your recycling bin.

Why must I recycle? Because recycling decreases the use of toxic chemicals, cuts energy use, helps curb global warming, stems the flow of water and air pollution, and reduces the need for landfills and incinerators.

Buy recycled products. Try and look for products that are made out of post-consumer recycled products.

Use durable goods. Instead of paper or plastic at the grocery store, bring a tote bag. Stop using paper cups, plastic utensils and paper plates and go for the real thing. Trade your disposable razors with reusable ones. Get some Tupperware and cut down on disposable food containers.

Re-energize your home

No country is more wasteful than the United States. Americans sleep in icy-comfort in the summer, in cozy heat in the winter. Lights glare from rooms that people aren’t even in. Start with turning up your AC and turning down your heat. Drafty homes and apartments drain energy. Seal and caulk around windows and doors, and put weather stripping around your windows. Make sure your home has adequate insulation.

Make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home. These eco-friendly bulbs will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air over its lifetime. While they are a little pricier than your average bulb they have a longer life.

Try and buy appliances that have the EnergyStar logo.

Eco-ize your kitchen and bathroom

Cut down on the amount of chemicals you are using in kitchen and bathroom products by using eco-friendly ones instead. Companies like Pureology and Mastey make green shampoos and conditioners. Desert Essence and Moonshine Soap Company make green soaps and lotions.

You can find household items that are green and chemical free at local health food stores.

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