Efficient And Green Home
In your mission to go green, you don't have to go it alone! There are tons of great gadgets and products that can make your home a greener place. Here, find out about 20 green products that will make your home more eco-friendly and efficient.
- When you need to replace a light bulb, screw in an ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). According to the government's ENERGY STAR web site, "If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalents to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars." Convinced yet?
- If you want a fresh look for your home, consider high-quality paints that are formaldehyde-free, non-crystalline silica, acetone-free, and zero or low VOC with zero VOC pigments.
- You may need to replace your kitchen countertops, but do they really have to be new? Consider a countertop made from recycled materials. Vetrazzo makes some awesome recycled glass surface products such as countertops and tables. Made from 85 percent glass (which is 100 percent recycled), the product is good for the environment, and it looks good, too! See for yourself at vetrazzo.com.
- ENERGY STAR appliances can save the environment and save you some dough! The ENERGY STAR web site reveals that, "ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models."
- Using sustainable building materials for your remodeling project. Consider wood that has been sustainably harvested and is from a local source. Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber is from a well-managed forest that adheres to strict environmental, social and economic standards.
- Energy efficient windows. Look for double-pane and insulated glass material and low-emittance (Low-E) coatings that minimize heat loss in winter and gain in summer, impacting your energy bills in a good way!
- American Clay is a BuilderNews 2008 best products winner for its non-toxic Natural Earth Plasters wall finishes.
- Replace water-wasting toilets with low-flow ones from a brand such as Toto. Look for the WaterSense label, which is equivalent to the EPA's ENERGY STAR label.
- Make sure your home is insulated with a green material, such as the UltraTouch line from Bonded Logic. Made from natural fiber, these insulation produces are Class-A fire rated, contain no chemicals and irritants, do not pose off gassing or VOC concerns and are safe for the environment.
- Put a cork in it or on it, rather. Cork flooring is not only a healthy buy for the environment, the renewable natural material is resistant to mold, mildew and termites. Plus, it looks cool!
- When you buy upholstered furniture, make sure it is untreated. Many finishes added to fabrics to make them resistant to stains and fire can actually emit toxic volatile organic chemicals VOCs like formaldehyde.
- 9Purchase a natural laundry detergent or learn to make your own.
- Make a design statement while you go green with dishware that is made from natural materials such as clay cookware, bake ware and serve ware. Clayware is shaped by hand with natural materials — no glazes!
- Sleep tight with an organic mattress that is resistant to mold, mildew and mites, free of latex, synthetic fillers and chemicals that could potentially be inhaled during sleep.
- Let the sun shine! Go solar at home.
- EcoSmart fireplaces are chic and green! Fueled by denatured ethanol, a renewable modern energy, it burns clean and is nearly maintenance free. The product is flue-less and does not need a utility connection for fuel supply.
- To relax after a long day of going green, light a soy candle, which naturally adds fragrance to your (now greener) home.
- To keep electronic devices from sucking energy even when they are turned off, try an energy-saving smart power strip. Plug your TV into the "control" outlet and the rest (such as DVD, stereo, game console) into the white outlets. When you cut the power to the TV, it automatically cut power to the peripherals.
- The NanoBreeze Air Purifier reduces indoor air pollutants, bioaerosols and volatile organic compounds while effectively killing germs with 99 percent efficiency. Oh, and it acts as a room fan.
- Add skylights to several rooms in your home and take advantage of the natural light!