These days we all want to find a way to create a more earth-friendly and green way to live in our homes. How do we know what is really green? Here are some tips to help you really stay green around your home.
- Choose to use low maintenance materials. This means the materials that will last the longest with the least amount of effort. Try to choose products that won’t need to be repainted, refinished or reconditioned after a few years.
- Choose FSC-certified products. Make sure the wood you use to build in and outside your home is certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. There will be a label on the wood to check for this. The wood is managed to ensure future growth.
- Choose LED lighting. The quality of these lights matches natural light which is better for your eyes and they use much less energy. For awhile these lights were very expensive but in the last few years as the popularity has grown the price has decreased.
- Choose non-toxic cleaners. Many cleaners we commonly use contain toxins that are released into the air and they also degrade the materials we use them on. Looks for non-toxic cleaners or even go back to the basics with water and vinegar.
- Check on the recycled content. Many times the labels say recycled materials but the percentage could only be a small portion of the overall product. At least 85% recycled materials is what you want to see.
- Choose natural materials. When it comes to choosing between recycled or all natural go with the all natural so you make sure the materials are non- toxic. For example recycled flooring could release toxic gases.
Source: Sunset Magazine | December 2013 | pg. 52
*Sunset experts: Jeff king, architect Eric Corey Freed and Kelly LaPlante