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Winter Greens

Winter Greens
By Dawn Southgate

Now that the intense heat of summer has broken, what better time to start planning some green improvements to upgrade your home?

If you’re still trying to figure out which project to tackle this winter, here’s a list of my top 10 home improvements that are easy on the environment, offer possibilities to offset you carbon footprint by reusing, recycling and repurposing, and give your home a wow factor.

1. De-clutter

This is by far one of the easiest ecofriendly and low-cost home improvements. If you’re guilty of having a home full of clutter and storage spaces that are bursting at the seams with stuff you don’t use, now’s the time to dive into clearing out your clutter. A simple way to tackle overwhelming clutter is to create boxes labeled: KEEP, DONATE, TRASH, SELL. As you work your way through your clutter, you can easily identify which box to put it in. This is the perfect way to make sure your junk gets recycled and repurposed. Donate to charities, sell items or ask around. You may find someone in need of the very things you no longer use. Once your home is cleared of the stagnant energy caused by clutter, it will feel lighter and more spacious.

2. Get Organized
Once you’ve de-cluttered your home, it’s time to create an easy-to-follow system for organizing your closets, cabinets, desk and drawers. Make labels for drawer dividers and shelves, add hooks to the wall for frequently used utensils, go paperless with all your bills.

3. Redesign Your Rooms
Changing around and repurposing furniture, ar t and accessories is a great eco-friendly way to make a room feel like new without having to buy new stuff.


4. Repaint
This is an inexpensive way to bring new life and totally transform the look and feel of your home. Use low or VOC-free paint to avoid harmful toxins.

5. Change Your Bulbs
Switch out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These energy efficient bulbs will help you save on your utility bills.


6. Small Job Makeover
Take care of the small stuff, and you’ll find your time spent at home is more relaxed without the constant reminder of projects unfinished. Repair any minor electrical or plumbing issues; clean windows inside and outside using ecofriendly cleaning products; fix any grout issues and other much-needed repairs.

7. Install a Water Filter

One easy way to contribute to a healthier environment is to stop buying plastic water bottles. Install a really good water-filtration system, and not only will you save a lot of money on bottled water, you’ll help save the planet too.

8. Swap Out Your Shower Head & Faucets

Help water conservation by installing low flow showerheads or faucets.

9. Install Energy Saving Appliances
Installing energy-saving appliances will add sparkle to your kitchen and save on your utility bills.

10.Reface Your Kitchen
Time for kitchen ecomakeover? Reface or repaint the cabinets. Choose an eco-friendly countertop in bamboo, butcher block, paper stone or recycled glass. Replace kitchen floors with sustainable cork or bamboo. Change the cabinet hardware. Sometimes the finishing touches are all it takes for a new look!

There’s nothing like the cooler tradewinds to bring the refreshing respite needed to roll up your sleeves and get started. So what are you waiting for?

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