1. Keep it Local by actively seeking products that are ideally manufactured locally and sold by a locally owned business.
2. No- or Low-VOC Paints are produced with less harmful chemicals and won’t make you or your family sick. Any manufacturer can color match these days, allowing quality to be your guide.
3. Flooring such as bamboo, cork, FSC or reclaimed hardwoods, marmoleum (a non-toxic sheet material) and tile are easier to keep clean and don’t allow for build-up of toxins. If you must have carpet, use a super-dense, natural wool carpet.
4. Reduce Energy Consumption using Energy Star® certified appliances to save you money in the long-term through reduced energy use, and often in the short-term as well through rebates via city, state, and federal programs. Use “smart” powerstrips with master controls. Put a hot water timer on your hot water tanks. Install solar!
5. Use Water Sense® certified fixtures which reduce water consumption without compromising water pressure. It’s functional, good for the planet, and your pocketbook.
6. Clean Green homemade cleaning solutions create a healthy living space and save money.
· All-purpose Cleaner — 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar, 4 drops of essential oil (optional), a drop of dish soap. It’s a great window cleaner! (You will need to use it 2-3 times before it will cut through the wax build-up from commercial products, after which you can stop using the dish soap).
· Soft-Scrub — 1 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. liquid castile soap, 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (as a preservative), 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary (optional). mix and store in a sealed glass jar.
· Natural Disinfectant Spray — 1 c. distilled water, 1/2 c. vinegar, , 2-4 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, or rosemary.
· Relevant websites:
7. Salvaged Building Materials are sustainable, cost-effective, and unique solutions to home improvement! Your friends and family will ooh and ahh when they learn the story of your salvaged materials.
8. Batten Down the Hatches with insulation and air sealant. Don’t forget above your can lights and behind exterior wall outlets.
9. Abide by the Three R’s: Reduce your consumption. Reuse what you can. Recycle the rest.
10. Educate Yourself and Make Mindful Decisions by using our methodology.
· Is it healthy?
· Is it eco-friendly?
· Is it financially smart?
· Is it functional?
· Is it unique?