When buying a new TV for your living or family room, make sure that it is energy-efficient. You can find standard televisons, HDTVs, flatscreen LCDs and top-of-the-line plasma TVs that are Energy Star qualified.
For a good-size, eco-friendly TV, we like the Sharp LC-46LE700UN 46-inch LED-LCD TV. Using LED backlight technology, it's one of the most energy-efficient televisions available. Also consider the Sony Bravia line and Vizio brand for a nice balance of eco-friendliness, price and performance.
From bamboo cutting boards to home soda makers, you can find plenty of eco-friendly items for the kitchen. One green appliance that everyone should own is an Energy Star qualified refrigerator. These are 20 percent more energy-efficient than the federal standard.
Also, you can save both water and electricity by washing dishes by hand. If you must have a dishwasher in your kitchen, however, make sure it's Energy Star certified as well.
Created from bamboo and recycled aluminum, the SimpleTech by Hitachi (Re)Drive is the perfect computer hard drive for the environmentally conscious home office. Even the packaging is eco-friendly with no CD, plastic bag, extra paper or other waste. This 500-GB Turbo USB 2.0 external hard drive features a compact design and offers fast performance.
If you need a new computer, consider the Dell Studio Hybrid. This ultracompact PC features Intel mobile technology, a load-load DVD, HDMI, optional Blu-ray and much more. It's the greenest (and maybe the most stylish) consumer desktop computer from Dell.
Unscrew the base of the Bedol Water Alarm Clock and fill it with tap water. The clock uses the ions in the water to create clean energy. You just need to replace the water every 12 weeks. This patented, eco-friendly clock is the perfect choice for your bedroom.
If your washing machine is more than 10 years old, you can use about 50 percent less energy and save approximately $135 a year by switching to a new Energy Star qualified washing machine. Look for the yellow sticker -- the Energy Guide label -- to find out how much energy is consumed by a particular model. This allows you to compare washing maches and estimated yearly costs.
When purchasing a new washer, consider its size, too; a larger washer uses more water and energy to heat and run. Factor in the amount of laundry you do every week to determine the capacity of washer you need. If possible, hang your clothes outside to dry rather than using a traditional dryer. Also, remember to only do laundry when you have a full load of clothes.
From low-flow showerheads and toilets to aerated faucets, you can find many products that conserve energy and water in your bathroom. The green appliance that may save you the most is a solar-powered or tankless water heater.
When buying these appliances, remember that you may be able to get both rebates and tax breaks. Use the rebate locator to find special offers, rebates and other incentives for buying energy-efficient appliances and other products for your home.
Don't forget the outside of your home. Consider installing solar panels on the roof or awnings, as well as a rain barrel system to conserve water.
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