Sustainable Saturday - 10 Tips for Getting to Green in the Living Areas (Living/ Dining/ Family/ Office)

1.   Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

2.   Replace light bulbs with more efficient CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs.  Check out programs like AEP's (American Electric Power) gridSMART program in which you can purchase CFLs at a discount at participating retailers (like Home Depot).

3.   Install occupancy sensors.

4.   Install a programable thermostat.

5.   Place electronics on a surge protector and power off when not in use. 

6.   Purchase Quality Furniture - If you are purchasing new furniture, look for furniture that is made of solid wood and is preferably FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified wood.  Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests.

7.   Consider Hard Surface Flooring - If you have hard surface flooring underneath wall-to-wall carpet, consider removing the carpet to expose hard surface flooring such as hard wood floors.  If you are remodeling, consider replacing wall-to-wall carpet with hard surface flooring.  Carpet is full of all kinds of dust and other contaminants because it can NEVER be cleaned 100%. 

8.   Use Green Cleaning Products or make your own

9.   Promote Good Indoor Air Quality - Skip the air freshener in the living areas (and everywhere else unless it's environmentally friendly product).  Remember to open a window even in the winter months to allow some fresh air.  If you have dry cleaning make sure you to allow to properly air out before placing in your bedroom closet.  

10.  Minimize clutter by donating unwanted or unused clothing and shoes to charity.

This week's Sustainable Saturday is the third part of a new Series called Getting to Green.  This Series will focus on easy, cost-effective ways to implement green ideas or concepts throughout your home and life. You can read the first two parts of this series here:  Sustainable Saturday - 10 Tips for Getting to Green in the Kitchen and Sustainable Saturday - 10 Tips for Getting to Green in the Bedroom.  

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