By: Danny Lipford
Better Homes and Gardens has teamed up with Green Works to sponsor the Living Green Tour. This fifteen city traveling exhibit is designed to raise awareness of green living and showcase environmentally friendly products and ideas. Here are a few of the innovative solutions on display.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
Installing an energy efficient vent fan, like those from NuTone, in your kitchen or bathroom can improve the air quality in your home by removing moisture that can lead to mold and expelling potentially harmful chemical fumes.
Known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) these gases can be given off by everything from cabinets and countertops to flooring and paint. When buying new products for your home, look for ones that are labeled either low VOC or no VOC to reduce emissions.
Made from natural plant based ingredients like coconut and lemon oil, they’re biodegradable and non allergenic.
Saving energy in your home can be as simple as washing clothes on cold water and hanging them out to dry rather than using a dryer.
A more expensive option is to switch to a tankless water heater that heats water only when you need it. While the initial cost can be up to three times that of a conventional water heater, a tankless unit uses up to 30% less energy.
When buying a new appliance, look for the Energy Star logo certifying that it has met the criteria for energy efficiency.
Energy Star is a joint project of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. You can find a list of qualified products, along with a wealth of energy saving info, at the Energy Star website.
Here are some of the ways to save water in your home:
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Install a low-flow showerhead.
- Run only full loads of wash or dishes.
- Replace old toilets with water saving models.
- Install a water efficient front loading washing machine.
Furniture from the Natural LEE line uses sustainable wood frames, water based finishes, natural organic fabrics, and soy based cushions.
Many of the products featured on the Living Green Tour are made from recycled materials, including these countertops made from recycled glass.
Another way to reduce the strain on landfills is by repurposing or reusing old items to a give them a new life, such as turning an old door and sawhorses into a desk.