April 1, 2010

30-Day Healthy Home Challenge

Ready to make your home a healthier place for your family while also helping the environment? Take our 30-Day Healthy Home Challenge, and we promise big results with little effort (or cost). Make the commitment to take one action a day to rid your home of toxins, save energy and reduce waste, and at the end of one month, you’ll have a healthy haven for yourself and your family.

Day 1: Filter Your Water.

Instead of purchasing expensive and wasteful bottled water, invest in a filter. Choices run the gamut, from economical carbon filter pitchers that you store in your fridge (starting at $15) to whole-house filters (filterwater.com). Then pour that clean water into a reusable, toxin-free bottle like those from Sigg or Kleen Kanteen, and go about your day well-hydrated.

Day 2: Green Your Dry Cleaner.

For starters, try to avoid buying clothing that requires dry cleaning. For those duds that just can’t be laundered any other way, go to a green dry cleaner — one that avoids perchloroethylene (PCE), a highly toxic cleaning fluid. Find a green cleaner near you with this EPA document, or by searching greenearthcleaning.com.

Day 3: Move Your Thermostat Two Degrees.

Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to decrease energy use. By automatically adjusting your home’s temperature, you’re able to save money whether you’re at home or not. Once it’s installed, decide what you think your comfortable temperature is and change it by two degrees. For every two degrees you raise your cooling system temperature or lower your heating temperature, you save 6–8 percent in energy costs.

Day 4: Replace Lights.

Replace your light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, which last six to 10 times longer than incandescent and require much less energy. While you’re at it, add sensors to your outdoor lights, ensuring that the lights are only coming on when you need them to — and not when you’re gone in the middle of the day. Solar powered outdoor lights are also a good option, especially for gardens or pathways.

Day 5: Reduce Your Flow.

Your shower can still be luxurious, yet eco-friendly, once you install a low-flow showerhead, which saves a family of four nearly 20,000 gallons of water a year. Shorten the shower to five minutes or less (set a timer), and the same family of four will save another 20,000 gallons of water!

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