Sunday, April 22, 2012

8 Green Items Every Home Should Have

Greening your home can be a daunting process. With all the options out there for reducing waste, boosting efficiency, and getting rid of toxins, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the eight accessories we here at Greenhome think every eco-friendly home should have.

Non-Toxic Cleaning and Housekeeping
Non-Toxic Cleaning and Housekeeping
1. Green cleaning products
Those colorful bottles of soaps, detergents, and bleaches under your kitchen sink are hiding all sorts of toxic chemicals: solvents and degreasers release dangerous volatile organic compounds into the air while phosphates in detergents can wreak havoc on waterways once they go down the drain. To keep your home safe while you clean, look for natural cleaners that use citrus, enzymes, or oxygen instead of harsh chemicals.

2. An air filter
Did you know that the air inside your home can be 2 to 5 times as polluted as the air outdoors? Fumes from cleaning products and appliances along with allergens like pet dander and mold can become concentrated inside, especially when you’ve got the windows closed. To help clean the air in your home, invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated charcoal that will remove not only allergens but dangerous vapors and odors as well.

3. A water filter
While most of us are lucky enough to have easy access to treated water, there are still contaminants that make their way through water treatment systems and into our homes. Fortunately, dangerous elements like lead and chlorine as well as bacterial contaminants and other organic compounds can easily be filtered out at the tap. Look for a water filter system that uses both reverse osmosis and activated carbon for the safest possible water.
Compost Bins
Compost Bins
4. A compost bin
Reducing waste is one of the most important goals of going green, and composting is an easy way cut down on your trash haul. All you need is a compost bin and some kitchen scraps to get started. If you don’t have access to outdoor space, look for smaller bins designed for indoors or find an industrial compost site in your area that accepts household waste.

5. Reusable containers
Another great way to decrease the amount of trash you produce is to invest in reusable containers. We’re all used to the convenience of being able to chuck out water bottles, plastic containers, shopping bags, and coffee cups, but with a little planning it’s easy to replace all that garbage with eco-friendly, reusable options.

Energy Efficient Lighting
Energy Efficient Lighting
6. Green lighting
Efficient light bulbs aren’t just a good investment for the environment – they can also help reduce your home electric bill. Because it uses 75% less energy than a standard bulb, a single compact fluorescent bulb can save you up to $40 over its lifetime. The initial cost for LED lights, CFLs, and other high-efficiency light bulbs will be offset by the energy you save.

7. A programmable thermostat
Home heating and cooling account for about half of the average electric bill, which makes your air conditioner or furnace the best place to start when you want to reduce your home energy use. One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature when you’re home, away, or asleep.

Eco-Friendly Water Filters
Eco-Friendly Water Filters
8. Low flow plumbing fixtures
Conserving water is easy when you have low flow fixtures. While most showerheads will have a rate of 2.5 gallons a minute or more, low flow options can go as low as 1.5 without sacrificing water pressure. A family of four can save hundreds of gallons a month!

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