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Earth Day 2013: 11 Easy Tips for a Greener Home

We’ve all heard about “going green,” but what does that really mean? Going green is all about making smart choices that promote environmental preservation and a sustainable future. Going green might sound intimidating, but a few simple lifestyle changes around the house can reduce your carbon footprint. These little improvements can also help you save on your energy and water bills. Save money, save the world—it’s a win-win!

This Earth Day, try these 11 easy tips for a greener home:

  1. Turn off the lights. Our mothers have been telling us this for years: “Turn off the lights when you leave the room!” It’s easy to forget, but this simple action can save significant energy.
  2. Use green cleaning products. That lemony-fresh smell is often associated with a clean home, but you’re actually smelling toxic chemicals and harsh cleaning agents. Use homemade cleaners to a natural, healthier and less expensive alternative. Try equal parts vinegar (a natural disinfectant and deodorizer) and water for an all-purpose cleaner.
  3. Repurpose furniture and fixtures. Work with what you have to save money and cut down on waste—reupholster worn living room furniture or transform your cabinets with a coat of paint instead of buying new ones.
  4. Grow a garden. Organic, local produce can be expensive. Start a garden instead! Grow your own fruits, vegetables and flowers. Novice gardener? Begin with an herb garden (perfect for urban dwellers, too).
  5. Use less waste! Cut back on using paper towels, plastic baggies, disposable water bottles and other items that will just end up in a landfill. Use washable dishrags, reusable storage containers and cloth grocery bags instead.
  6. Reduce water use. Install a low-flow shower head to reduce water consumption. Also, take shorter showers and turn off the faucet when scrubbing the dishes or brushing your teeth. Simple, but effective.
  7. Donate and shop at local thrift shops. As the old adage states, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. When buying new living room furniture or patio furniture, donate your used furniture to the local Salvation Army or sell them to a consignment shop instead of throwing them out.
  8. Switch to smarter lighting options. CFL and LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. CFLs and LEDs may be pricier up front, but they last longer and cut down on energy costs.
  9. Control your climate. Drop your heat and bundle up in the winter. In the summer, cut back on the A/C by a few degrees. Alerting your heating and cooling by a mere two or three degrees put less strain on your electricity. Better yet, install a programmable thermostat, so you don’t even have to think about controlling your home’s temperature.
  10. Fix leaky faucets. Dripping pipes can add up to hundreds of wasted dollars. No need to call a plumber; get handy and fix it yourself!
  11. Turn off your computer. Save on your energy and power down when you’re not using the computer. Shut it off at night or when you won’t be using it for at least two hours. Not only will this conserve energy, but it will help preserve the quality of your computer.
  12. Have any other green living tips? Tweet us at @DefySupply!