An eco-friendly home is all the rage right now because of the eco-awareness that is seeping in to the minds of every conscious person. Here’s how you give your home an eco-friendly makeover, but at a budget.
Lay a few area rugs down on hardwood, tile or linoleum for a carpetlike effect without hurtful glues. Choose rugs made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, hemp, bamboo and sisal, and look for vegetable dyes or no dye at all. Rugs made from recycled materials are another green alternative. Abundant Earth offers tough Recycled Cotton Rag Area Rugs starting at $55 each.
Save electricity by installing compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) which has a 10,000-hour lifespan. New low-wattage CFLs work with predictable incandescent dimmers and cost about $20 per bulb.
Check Craigslist, Freecycle, thrift stores and curbside for unique items that need a makeover.
A healthier kitchen
Skip the prerinsing and save even more. For caked-on food, soak in cold water .If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, choose an Energy Star model which start at about $500.
There’s no beating pure, unadulterated water. Invest in an under-sink filtration system or a water-filtering pitcher, it’s significantly cheaper in the long run.
When buying dishes and flatware, avoid plastic. Instead, buy metal flatware from a secondhand or consignment store. Opt for lead-free, fair-trade or local ceramics .
A bathroom boost
Malfunctioning toilets can leak hundreds of gallons of water a day, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. An inexpensive toilet repair kit, such as the MJSI HFX120 Hydrofix, costs less than $20. A 1.3–gallon-per-flush model will save $100 a year on your water bill. For less than $10 ,you could use 16 percent less water. A Rain Saver Inline Shower Shut-off Valve is $6 from Green Logic.
Exchange your PVC-vinyl shower curtain or liner for one made with hemp. Hemp curtains start at $69.
Replace your old synthetic-fiber bath mat with a sustainable cork one. Gaiam sells a mat made from sustainably harvested cork for $24.
The Natural Sleep Store offers a full-size wool mattress topper for $260.
For the whole house
Zero-VOC sealant: $25 for 33 ounces.
A wide variety of sun- and heat-diffusing choices are available at $30 to $50 per window. Try Hunter Douglas’ shades made from PVC-free, recyclable and Greenscape fabric.
Get rid of standby draw by using a surge protector, which you can buy for $20 or less. Also, look for electronics with an energy-efficient standby feature with the Energy Star certification.