Add green value to your home with smart improvements
There has been much talk lately about green living and what it takes to be green. Environmental groups are constantly working on making our communities and ecosystems sustainable and economically productive, yet to be fully effective their efforts need to be continued by each and every one of us.
As apartment dwellers, we have a multitude of options available to play our part in the quest for sustainable living. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, hunting for new digs, or making home improvements, we’ve collected a few tips to help you live green and create a healthy home environment.
#Surround yourself with greenery. Aside from enhancing home decor, houseplants can do tons of good to your place. According to the Wall Street Journal, “a growing body of global research is showing plants can reduce dust particles and contaminants, such as formaldehyde and benzene, which come from cigarette smoke, paint, furniture, building materials, and other sources.”
Naturally, vegetation options for the indoors come in a wide variety of shapes and foliage. Plants like English ivy, orchids, mother-in-law’s tongue, peace lily, asparagus fern, flamingo flowers and even fig or rubber trees, can instantly brighten any interior while cleaning the air of toxins and releasing oxygen.
#Go green with daily chores. Steer away from toxic or polluting home products and look for healthier alternatives to your cleaning habits. For example, you can easily use white vinegar to clean both fabric and leather furniture pieces such as sofas and loveseats. White vinegar contains acetic acid which can help you get rid of hard-to-remove stains, eliminate foul smells and sanitize at the same time. Also, you can utilize coffee grounds as mulch for acid-loving plants such as roses, azaleas, hydrangeas and camellias. The natural acidity and nutrients found in the coffee grounds will help your plants thrive.
#Be smart and cash-savvy. When buying new products for your home, look for EPA’s Energy Star label to help you make the most energy-efficient decision. You can find the Energy Star label on more than 60 kinds of products, including appliances, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, electronics, and office equipment. According to EPA, products in your home that have earned the Energy Star label can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 130,000 pounds over their lifetime, and save you $11,000 on energy bills.
Additionally, consider replacing your five most frequently used light bulbs with Energy Star qualified products, and you will reduce carbon pollution while saving $75 a year on energy bills.
#Save resources. Pay extra care to your water and energy consumption habits and strive to conserve natural resources. Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! That adds up to more than 200 gallons a month, EPA research shows.
#Trim expenses. Plan your monthly budget carefully and strive not to overspend. Instead focus on buying quality items and services that pay for themselves in the long run. One of the most sensible expenses associated with renting is acquiring renters insurance which, for about 43cents/day, protects against personal property loss.
A standard renter’s policy provides coverage on a ‘named perils’ basis which includes loss due to fire, lightening, windstorm, explosion, smoke, glass breakage, theft, hail, and more. It protects the policy holder against having to shell out thousands of dollars to replace stolen possessions, such as electronics or jewelry, or settle liability claims in the event of accidental physical injury or damage to property brought about by the insured.
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