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Go Green at Home and Save Money

Make a few small changes around the home and you'll be helping the environment while saving money

More and more of us are making simple changes in our lives that will have a significant impact on the environment. Some have been practicing "being green" for years, while others have been reluctant to get it in gear.

It makes sense to look for products that are not only biodegradable and recyclable, but to get in the habit of using organic products when possible. There are plenty of other easy ways, however, to go green.

One of the simplest ideas to help the environment is to pay bills on-line. You save on stamps and the paper it takes to write checks. Be sure, though, that you have up-to-date security and virus-protection software.

How many coffee filters do you purchase in a year? The white versions are bleached and, according to the EPA, are leaching poisons into the brew. Unbleached or recycled filters are better and permanent screen-type filters are best.

On the lighting side, check out the latest in compact fluorescent bulbs. They are more expensive on the front end, but are Energy Star approved and save a very considerable amount on energy usage. They stay cooler and last longer (up to 10 times more).

Water savings can be greatly increased with aerators on sink faucets and low-flow heads in the shower. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Even if you're not sure of the pressure, try one for a few weeks - you may get used to it.

Cleaning and laundry supplies are heavily laced with chemicals. Think about what that does to the water when rinsing, mopping, and washing. You can find many green products on-line and in some stores. Also, it's easy to use common - and less dangerous - products such as vinegar for everyday messes. Before you use a particular product, though, be sure it's appropriate for the project. For instance, vinegar is an acid and will etch tile floors. Also, never mix and match cleaners; dangerous fumes may result.

While some experts urge you to save water by not rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, this is not always a wise choice. The fact remains, some dishwashers simply aren't up to the job of removing food, especially the lower-end tower-style dishwashers. You can go green wisely - and in other ways - without sacrificing health.

These are just a few indoor green ideas to get you started. Look around your home and see how you can make a difference.

Check out our Green Home Remodeling Tips here.



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