We live in a new world. The time for paying attention to our natural resources is now. We have woken to the realization that our world is not the inexhaustible support system we believed it to be.
Thankfully “going green” does not require extreme and costly changes. Making a significant difference in the worlds natural resources, only takes small decisions made one step at a time. We can decide to:
Recycle Reuse Restore Reduce
With these 4 words in mind we have a few of the most wonderful ideas, tips and secrets to present. Simple and affordable going green ideas. And, if you choose to implement any or all of these suggestions you can be assured you are contributing to the over all health of the earth now and toward a more sustainable living environment for our future generations.
1. Going Green by Changing Your Lights. If every household in the U.S. replaced just one light bulb from the standard incandescent to the highly energy efficient luminescent bulbs being promoted today we would
Save A national average of $600,000,000. a year in energy costs.
Save Enough energy to light more than 3,000,000 homes for one year.
Save Green house gases equivalent to the emissions given off from over 800,000 cars.
Save Significant amounts on your energy bill. My husband spent one day replacing all the bulbs in our home. Not totally convinced it would make that much of a difference on our bill I supported his efforts more for the conservation aspects (and because he had turned off the TV) rather than the money saving pitch.
Boy was I surprised when the next electric bill came,
it dropped approximately 20%! or about 10 cents per
This change in bulb has one characteristic that may take some time getting used to. When you first turn on the lights – they appear dingy due to the fact they need to warm up a bit before they are at peak – light up the room – performance. They also initially cost a bit more but the standard life span far outlasts the basic bulb – from months to years.
Another energy saving tip is to install dimmer switches. Years ago these dimmers did not provide any benefit other than creating ambient light in a room. Today they are designed to minimize your electric consumption as well.
2. Going Green by Choosing an Eco Friendly Floor. If you are planning to replace your floor with hard wood there are two options that are delightfully green, look beautiful, perform well, and cost less than most hard woods. Cork – Cork has come a long way from its original purpose of wine stopping.
It comes from the bark of a tree that can be harvested once every 10 years and does no damage to the tree at all. Like sheering a sheep! It’s typically sold in tile or sheet form and is easy to install. Because cork contains millions of air bubbles – it is comfortable to walk on and easier on the feet when standing for long periods of time in the kitchen. It is also hypoallergenic, absorbs sounds, and acts as a thermal insulator which means warmth on the feet.
There are fabulous color and grain options available today so be sure to shop around!
There are a few drawbacks to consider. Cork does need to be sealed to moisture protect and is not very resistant to fading or punctures however, it does bounce back well when a heavy blunt object is dropped on it.
The other floor covering option is Bamboo – bamboo is definitely more competitive if you need a harder wood floor. Harder than oak yet it is made from a fast growing Asian grass that matures in about 6 years. It can be refinished numerous times with dye-based stains. Very eco-friendly.
Bamboo also offers a wonderful variety of color, grain and style. Have fun looking for the color and grain of this beautiful hard wood option. Did I mention it’s priced lower than most oak options?
3. Going Green by Recycling or Restoring Your Furniture. Must you buy new furniture or can you refinish, restore, repaint or recycle?
Wonderful design projects can result from painting, restaining or reupholstering that piece that is dated or worn. The most exciting aspect of recycling furniture is the money saved.
Sandpaper, paint and associated supplies are relatively inexpensive. Door knobs, drawer pulls can really change up the look of that tired piece of furniture also with minimum expense. A picture says a thousand words especially in this case. Visit the web site listed below to see some fantastic examples of these furniture restoring options.
Design applications usually last about 10 years. The neutral – earthy colors we have been seeing so often has been around since the late 90’s so it’s on its way out. This year you will start seeing bold, bright colors being applied to accent walls, furniture and textures. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with color, fabric textures and brush techniques. This is the year for bold, bright and beautiful! Go for it.
Another idea you may want to entertain is a fantastic option to buy “slightly used” from your local Good Will or Salvation Army. With a bit of frugal redesign “know how” you can create remarkable results.
4. Going Green by Buying Energy Star Appliances. Energy Star is the U.S. Governments Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy Seal of approval system to confirm a products ability to avoid/limit greenhouse gases without sacrificing quality.
When you purchase an Energy Star item you can be assured you have a product that will reduce energy consumption and save you money when used in your home, guaranteed through the entire life span of the appliance.
2007 stats from energystar.gov reports that consumers “saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars – all while saving $16,000,000,000. (16 Billion) on their utility bills.
Wow – Good Job! Let’s keep up the good work!