Category Archives: Tips to Green Your Home

12 Tips to Green Your Dishwashing

GYHTo green your dishwashing, be sure to buy an energy and water efficient dishwasher, wash full loads, avoid hand-washing, and buy eco-friendly detergent.

The following in an excerpt from the book “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

✔ Choose an EnergyStar rated dishwasher – EnergyStar rated dishwashers use advanced technology to get your dishes clean while using less water and energy.  EnergyStar qualified models are, on average, 10% more energy efficient than non-qualified models.

If you have a dishwasher made before 1994, you could be paying an extra $40 a year on your utility bills and wasting about 8 gallons of water per cycle compared to owning and operating a EnergyStar qualified model.

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5 Green Tips for Spring Cleaning

GYHThe following tips are from “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

✔ Find and replace the toxic products in your home - Under almost everyones kitchen sink is a collection of toxic chemicals in the form of bug killer, disinfectants, furniture polishes, and many others. When you are using these products, you are bathing your home in poisons, which eventually could have a negative impact on your family’s health. In addition, household poisonings are one of the highest threats to the health of children. Spring is the perfect time to get rid of these.

An excellent first step in greening your house is to grab a notepad and a garbage bag. Go around to all the cabinets that store household chemicals and take a look at their labels. If it says poison, danger, warning or caution on the can or box, write down what function it performs and throw the unused portion in the garbage bag (if it is sealed tightly). When finished, seal the bag, put it in a well ventilated area (such as outside or in a garage) and look up when the next Household Hazardous Pickup Day is in your neighborhood.

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7 Green Tips for your Garden

GYHThe following tips are from “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

There are several benefits of gardening.  In addition to producing nutritious, organic food for you and your family, gardening can also save you money and provide you with a relaxing, rewarding hobby.

✔ Select the location carefully – Selecting the location of your garden is one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning process.  When choosing a location, keep these factors in mind:

  • Select a location that gets several hours of direct sunlight every day.
  • Make sure the location has access to a water hose. Your plants they may need additional watering, especially when they are young.
  • Try to choose a location where the ground is level (not on a gradient), but also drains well).

✔ Grow foods to replace supermarket food - The most direct way to benefit from gardening is to replace the food that you usually buy in supermarkets with food that you grow in your own garden.  The food that you produce can be grown in an organic manner, will be more nutritious and better tasting and will save you money.

✔ Avoid using weed killers - Weeds can be an eyesore as well as a persistent source of additional work.  Although, the use of weed-killers should be avoided in almost all circumstances, especially in the presence of your garden.  Weed-killers contain toxic chemicals that cannot only kill your vegetables, but could find their way into your food and water supply.  

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5 Green Tips for avoiding Insecticides

The following tips are from “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home“.

78 million households in the U.S. use home and garden pesticides. Suburban lawns and gardens receive more pesticide applications per acre (3.2-9.8 lbs) than agriculture (2.7 lbs per acre on average).

Insecticides are poisons designed to kill insects. Insecticides include active ingredients (chemical compounds designed to kill the target organisms) and inert ingredients which may be carcinogens or toxic substances. They also include rodenticides and wood preservatives.

By following the tips below, you can reduce the effect of insecticides on your health and the environment.

✔ Understand the dangers of insecticides – Insecticides are very toxic and can pose a direct threat to human health. They can be absorbed through the skin, swallowed or inhaled (most toxic). People and pets can also track insecticide residue into the house.  They have been linked to the following health problems: increased risk of leukemia cancers; increase in spontaneous abortions; decreased fertility; liver and pancreatic damage; neuropathy; disturbances to immune systems (asthma/ allergies) and many others. Continue reading

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11 Tips for Green Lawn Care & Landscaping

The following tips are from “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home“.

By properly maintaining your lawn & landscaping, you cannot only save on your utility bills, but you can also save water and significantly reduce your family’s possible exposure to hazardous chemicals.

✔ Water wisely – If you need to water your lawn, consider the following tips:

  • Try to water early in the morning.  Watering early in the morning reduces the amount of water lost from evaporation.
  • If you have automatic sprinklers, be sure that all the water is being absorbed and not simply running off.
  • When watering, avoid paved surfaces.
  • Be sure to check your irrigation system for leaks several times during the growing season.
  • Install a evapotranspiration system to help regulate watering.
  • Consider replacing your above ground irrigation system with a subsurface drip system. Subsurface drip systems can be up 90 to 100% efficient.

✔ Maintain your lawnmower and lawn equipment - Be sure to perform regular tune-ups (1 or 2 times during the season) of your lawnmower to ensure that it is running at its most efficient.  When properly tuned, your lawnmower will use less gasoline and emit less pollutants. Continue reading

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5 Tips to Green your Baby’s Nursery

Making sure your nursery is a nontoxic environment is especially important because newborns spend most of their life in the nursery—an average of 16 to 17 hours a day.

The following in an excerpt from the book “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

By following the tips below, you can help ensure a safe, eco-friendly environment for your nursery.

✔ Paint with low- or no-VOC latex paint – Painting with low- or no-VOC paint may cost more than conventional paint but it will release fewer or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids including paints. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. 

As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect from VOCs depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. These may be more severe in infants. Continue reading

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12 Tips to Green your Dishwashing

To green your dishwashing, be sure to buy an energy and water efficient dishwasher, wash full loads, avoid hand-washing, and buy eco-friendly detergent.

The following in an excerpt from the book “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

✔ Choose an EnergyStar rated dishwasher – EnergyStar rated dishwashers use advanced technology to get your dishes clean while using less water and energy.  EnergyStar qualified models are, on average, 10% more energy efficient than non-qualified models.

If you have a dishwasher made before 1994, you could be paying an extra $40 a year on your utility bills and wasting about 8 gallons of water per cycle compared to owning and operating a EnergyStar qualified model. Continue reading

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7 Tips How to Green Your Home with Houseplants

Houseplants, besides being a relaxing hobby and providing beautiful aesthetics to your home, can also help reduce indoor air-pollution, which is ranked as one of the top five health threats in America.

The following in an excerpt from the book “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

By following the tips below, you cannot only make a beautiful addition to your home, but you can also make your home a healthier place to live.

✔ Choose low-water, low-light houseplants – By choosing low-water, low-light houseplants, you will not only save water, but you will increase the likelihood your plants will live longer.

One of the most common reasons that houseplants die is because people forget to water them. Some of the most common low-water plants include the ponytail palm, china aster, potted marigold, globe thistle, ivy-leaved geranium, natal palm and the blue marguerite daisy. Continue reading

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