The place where you and your family spend the most time other than your kitchen is most likely your living room or family room. This means it is very important to make this your “green center” to make sure you and your family have the best opportunity to enjoy the benefits of going green.
Here are some tips to going green in your central room in your home:
When it makes sense, buy secondhand furniture. Did you know that furniture accounts for over 9 million tons of garbage in our landfills? You can help lower this number buy keeping it out to begin with and buying used furniture. “Shabby Chic” is the new way to go these days and it is amazingly easy to do by just looking on Pinterest. Just make sure to get rid of any lead paint that may be on vintage furniture.
If you must buy new furniture, buy sustainable furniture. This means buying furniture that is upholstered in hemp or organic cotton and is stuffed with a sustainable fiber like bamboo or organic cotton. Sustainable furniture is often made from recycled wood as well.
Rather than tossing any furniture you already own while craving a new look, refurbish what you have. Recreating something new from something old can be as simple as putting on a new coat of paint to match your new decor.
Speaking of paint, go for low-VOC. You know that “new paint smell”? It is actually toxic chemicals that are leaching into your clean air. Choosing a low-VOC style paint will save your health and the environment.
Buy Eco-friendly TVs. There are new TVs on the market today that use way less power and also are not as dangerous to the earth the dispose of, unlike the old tube TVs.
Watch your heat and air-conditioning. If you have large windows in your living room, invest in some thick energy saving blinds or curtains to keep warmth in and cold out. Not only will your electricity bill thank you, but your wallet will. Here are more tips for saving money on utilities in the winter and specific tips for saving on utilities in the summer.
Clean with Eco-friendly cleaners such as vinegar and water. They are cheaper and work just as well, if not better.
Along with not adding to the landfill with your old furniture, think about your electronics. Rather than just toss them, if they still work, give them away to domestic violence shelters, half way homes and other charities to be put to good use when people are getting back on their feet or sell them online.
Change all your light bulbs to longer lasting and lower power using CFL bulbs. One 60 watt bulb can be replaced with a 12 watt CFL for just a couple dollars and will last may longer. Here are more tips for cutting back on electricity use.
The best place to have houseplants is in your living room. Not only do they look beautiful, but they improve the quality of the air as well.