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Tips for Greening Up your Home

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Most people are actively looking at ways to 'green' their homes, but how exactly can they go about the task? Well, many of the most effective tips are extremely quick and easy to implement, saving you both energy and money. They can also encourage you and your family to live a healthier lifestyle.

Green is a set of principles

Adopting a green lifestyle isn't prescriptive, it's a way of life that embraces holistic approaches and old-fashioned, natural principles to conserve the wider environment while promoting healthier and happier lives in the process. It doesn't have to be expensive; there is certainly no need to rush out to sell your perfectly good, working car and buy an expensive eco-car in its place. There are plenty of small and immediate steps to implement for great effect.

Take a look at your home

Switch all old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs for modern energy-efficient alternatives. These use less energy, are safer, more durable and cooler to touch. Importantly, each new bulb could save you £7 a year on your energy bills. Even better, many utility companies offer these bulbs for free or at discounted rates. You can also buy them at supermarkets, but make sure you opt for large value packs for the best prices.

Stop using damaging cleaning products made with bleaches and chemicals. Experiment instead with bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils to make your own natural and safe alternatives. These are usually far cheaper too!

Buy a few bags for life rather than taking home plastic carrier bags from the supermarket. Similarly, introduce recycling into your home rather than throwing everything away. A compost bin can be a great asset for the garden, allowing you to make great use of all those discarded vegetable and fruit peelings.

Also, compare gas and electricity prices to find the best priced green tariffs. These take a proportion of their energy from renewable sources such as wind turbines, hydro power and even solar power. You might want to look at solar panel units for your home too if you're planning to stay there for a long period to realise the cost saving benefit.

Adopt a green approach to life

Green is about more than just recycling and cutting down on energy usage. It's about re-embracing community. Rather than sitting in front of the television or being constantly wired up to digital devices, take the family out for a walk. Stop driving to the supermarket and cycle to the local food market. Join a local co-operative to benefit from local, well-priced foods and support local farmers and producers. Become crafty; learn how to sew, mend and reuse items within the home, or turn them into art. Join a community group to feel part of your local group.

Also, involve your children and make the green drive a family project. Start doing things together in the evening, whether that's walking the dog out in the country or the local park or taking up swimming lessons together. Encourage their ideas and natural curiosity and engage them into making a positive change for their own environment and that of future generations.

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