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Simple Steps to a Greener Home

energy saving lightbulb Here are some simple, inexpensive tips to make your home more eco-friendly. Creating a green home and lifestyle starts with making eco home improvements. Many are affordable, basic, and definitely good for the environment.

1) Barbeques- Propane barbeques are best for the environment. If you prefer to use charcoal, there are some brands that burn greener than others. Look for green burning charcoal when you shop.

2) Composting- Traditional outdoor composting is great if you have the room. If you’re tight on space, try Bokashi Composting. This simple indoor composting method is cleaner and best of all odorless. Either way you won’t waste a thing and your garden will appreciate it.

3) Use Green Power- Check to see if your state has green power alternatives available. Call your state or local government office or check it out on the web.

4) Shopping Bags- Instead of choosing paper or plastic, bring your own bag instead. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. You can buy them online or even at some local stores. Most are made of recycled materials and save trees as well as prevent plastic from ending up in landfills. 5) The Local Paper- If you take the paper at your home, be sure to recycle it. Another green option is to cancel the paper all together. Read it online instead for free!

6) Change Your Light Bulbs- Whether you change them one at a time or all at once, CFL light bulbs are the way to go. They last 1000 times longer than regular bulbs and use much less energy which saves you money.

7) Candles- Many people don’t realize that some candles can actually pollute the air in your home. Clean burning candles, such as soy candles, are a little pricier, but can make a difference when it comes to indoor air quality. You can tell t he difference because these candles will burn from edge to edge right down to the bottom with no black soot. They burn longer, so in the end they are more economical.

8) Save Water- Replace old faucets and showerheads with newer low flow versions. Today these products are much improved to not only save water but to give you the water pressure you are looking for.

9) Fighting Household Pests- Fight pests like ants and roaches by spraying them with soapy water. It kills them effectively without using the regular toxic, smelly bug spray. It’s also much better for the environment and not poisonous to your kids or pets.

10) Green Cleaners- Replace your old toxic cleaners with ones that are better for the environment. You can find them in most local stores. Non toxic cleaners are also safer to have around small children.

11) Look For Energy Star Appliances- These appliances are much more energy efficient and some even come with a tax break. When you’re looking for new appliances, look for Energy Star brands for the best savings for you and the environment.

12) Green Yards and Gardens- Remember to use organic plant foods and eco-friendly lawn fertilizers. Turn to Mother Nature for pest control. Remember birds and good bugs eat the bad ones in your flower beds and gardens. Get you whole family involved when it comes to planting your garden. Let everyone participate in what you plant and the taking care and maintenance of the garden. In the end, reap and enjoy your organic fruits and veggies together. A sweet reward for everyone’s hard work!

13) Change Your Thermostat- Install a programmable thermostat in your home to prevent wasting energy. Set it to only be on when you are at home and to turn itself off when you are away.

14) Recycle, Recycle, Recycle- Check with your local garbage service to see what programs they have available, or simply do it yourself. Turning in recyclables at your local recycling center can turn into extra cash for you or your kids.

15) Water Heaters- Make sure that your water heater is set at 120 degrees or below. Studies have shown that for every 10 degrees lower that you set your water heater, the savings on your energy bill will be between three and five percent.

It really does make a difference to the environment when each of us make small changes. Some projects are bigger than others, so if you need help with these or any other home improvement jobs, Five Star Consumer Referrals, Inc. is ready to help.

About The Author
Shannon Shimizu is a small business owner of a contracting referral service called Five Star Consumer Referrals, Inc. The Five Star vision grew out of frustration of not knowing any reliable contractors for home improvement and repair projects. The goal of the business was to supply homeowners with excellent contractors who were licensed, insured, bonded and whose references were checked. Homeowners were thrilled with the prospect of having an outside third party who had a vested interest in the outcome of their home improvement project, and contractors were very happy to have a generous source of qualified leads.

In addition to running her business, Shannon is a wife and mother to two young children. Juggling motherhood and a full time business can be stressful, but the rewards of being able to work from home and raise her children is well worth the tradeoff.

For more information on Five Star Consumer Referrals, Inc.

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