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5 Easy Tips for Making Your Home Green

Having a green home does not mean you have to cover your roof in solar panels or install a whirling wind turbine in your backyard. There are economical and easy ways to save energy by making minor changes in your energy use. Take a look at these simple ways to make a big impact on your carbon footprint.

1. Change your light bulbs:
While lighting might not make up the biggest portion of your energy bill, costs can add up with a flip of the switch. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient. The majority of energy goes toward heating the bulb while only a small portion of energy produces the light. If you're looking to make green upgrades to your home, lose the incandescent bulbs and switch to LEDs. While they may seem pricey at first, they pay for themselves in energy savings and are much better for the environment. LED bulbs are 75 percent more efficient and last 25 times longer than your basic light bulb.

2. Install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can help cut the energy use and costs associated with running your air conditioner. It's a common misconception that fans cool a room. In fact, they only cool a person through the draft they create when circulating. However, by turning on the ceiling fan while you are in the room, you can turn your AC up by four degrees without giving up your level of comfort. Each degree could save up to 6 percent of energy consumption, which could help you save money and the planet!

3. Plant a garden
Planting a garden can make your home green in more ways than one. Sure it can add to the beauty of your landscape, but it can also make your home more eco-friendly. Consider planting fruits and vegetables that you can eat or give to neighbors. You will save money and energy by not buying them at the store and you will always know what chemicals were used. In addition, plant native vegetation because it requires little water to thrive in your yard. This can reduce your yard work and potential water waste.

4. Buy green energy
If you live in an energy deregulated area of North America, you have the right to choose your own electricity supplier. Many of these retail energy suppliers offer green energy options, derived from the generation of wind and solar energy. A few suppliers can even let you offset up to 100 percent of your home's energy use. To find out if you can get green energy for your home, visit

5. Make your cleaning products
You might be surprised how many "green" cleaning products out there are really full of harmful chemicals. Government regulations only require cleaning supply companies to have a hazard label if a product includes something seriously dangerous. Otherwise, ingredient labels are not regulated or required. While some companies tout themselves as green and print ingredient labels on their products, take it with a grain of salt. Your best bet for a clean home and better air quality is to make your own cleaning products. Simple ingredients such as lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar can make strong cleaning agents. And best of all, they are inexpensive to make!

Jane Hughes is a writer/editor for Her true passions hinge on the germination and advancement of the energy industry as a whole. In her free time, she enjoys making necklaces and shopping.

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