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Story Updated: Apr 19, 2012

Green Goes Simple: The Green Scoop

By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

With just a little eco-savvy, creating a greener home can be a breeze for busy moms. Here, Terra Wellington, author of The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green, shares seven simple solutions for planet-friendly living.

  1. In the daytime, leave the lights off and let the sunshine brighten up your home. Because they bounce light around the room, hanging mirrors can help liven up darker spaces without lightbulbs, notes Wellington. And for nighttime lighting, rely on compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, which are known to use about 75 percent less energy than conventional lightbulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  1. Skip disposable batteries and choose the rechargeable variety to power up toys, remote controls, flashlights and other electronics.
  1. Curb your energy consumption by plugging TVs, DVD players, desktop computers and stereos into a power strip, then leaving the strip switched off when the electronics aren’t in use.
  1. When you’re done juicing up your cell phone, digital camera or laptop, unplug the charger to keep it from leeching electricity.
  1. Select the cold-water cycle as often as possible: Water heating accounts for about 90 percent of energy used while washing clothes. To make your laundry even greener, Wellington recommends line-drying your clothes when weather permits.
  1. Load up your dishwasher instead of scrubbing pots, pans and plates by hand. You’ll not only save time and protect your fingers from pruning, you’ll also conserve a considerable amount of water. For more savings, shut the dishwasher off after its last rinse and open the door to let your dishes air-dry.
  1. In the winter, keep your thermostat at 68 degrees while you’re at home and lower the temperature when you leave the house or hit the sack. To stay cozy, seal off any drafts in your windows and flip the switch on your ceiling fan to drive warm air down and heat up the room.

Elizabeth Barker is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and executive editor of fashion blog NoGoodForMe.com. Her work has appeared in Body + Soul, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Variety and Kiwi. Her articles have previously appeared on Green Goes Simple.

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