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Impress your friends with your sustainable living! Impress your friends with your sustainable living!
Aloe can help filter formaldehyde out of the airRecycle your old TV!Go green in the living room

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Sustainable Living Room

Top Ten Ways to Go Green in Your Living Room

            Whether you call it a living room, lounge room, or family room, there are many things you can do to go green in this central part of the house.  The living room is a central hub for all activities in the house, and it is the place where your guests will spend the most time. Don't you want to bask in the glory of your eco-friendly efforts while snuggling up with a nice book on the couch? That's what I thought. Here are some tips then, to get you started down the road to going green in your living room.

 1.  Unplug Your Electronics

Did you know that just like a dog your TV eagerly awaits your return from work, and is raring and ready to go with just the touch of a button? That's right, all of our electronic doodads suck up phantom energy when we aren't using them, sitting in a standby mode just waiting to be used. Stop their greedy sucking by going green in your living room and unplugging the TV and VCR, as well as other gadgets, when you are finished using them.

2.   Recycle Your Electronics

When you dump electronics into a landfill you contribute to chemical buildups in the land that don't break down over time. Some of the chemicals found in TV's that go into landfills include lead and mercury, which can cause brain damage and in the case of mercury, death. If the device still works sell it on Craigslist or give it away. If not, dispose of it properly with a recycling company, which may cost a little money, but will save you the guilt of seriously polluting the Earth.

3.   Invite the Light In

There's no reason to have lights on during the day time unless it is the dead of a very overcast winter. Natural light is abundant, clean, and brings out color beautifully. If you have windows, open up those shades! If you plan to do some remodeling in your home go green in your living room by installing skylights.

4.    Invest in Blinds

Of course, sometimes when it gets too warm, the sun is not our friend. Instead of cranking up the AC and guzzling up electricity open some windows and lower the blinds. Good blinds will block out sunlight and prevent the glare from creating more heat in your home.

5.    Insulate Well

A well insulated home is a home that eats up less energy in heating and cooling. This is because insulation traps warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. Your local utility district may even help you go green in your living room by discounting or subsidizing costs to insulate your home.

6.     Renewable Flooring

If you are remodeling or building fresh, consider renewable flooring such as bamboo. It is easier to clean than carpet, prevents dust mites (which love to live in carpet), and is a renewable resource that grows quickly and is easy to maintain. Bamboo may cost more than cheap carpet, but going green in the living room is also about longevity, and bamboo floors will last many years after carpet wears out.

 7.    Buy Furniture That Will Last

The Amish have a saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it work, or do without!" The same applies to your furniture. Going green in the living room means not filling up landfills, and there's a ton of great used furniture out there. Whatever you buy, make sure it will last you at least the next ten years. Is the upholstery out of date? Try a slip cover; they're a cheap way to get a "new" couch.

8.    Buy Houseplants

Houseplants not only make lovely decorations, they also provide you some very handy favors. Besides turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, some plants also leach nasty chemicals out of the air. Both aloe vera and ficus plants take formaldehyde out of the air, and the spider plant helps remove carbon monoxide. I think that's a bargain!

9. Place a Welcome Mat by Your Entry Door

According to the EPA the inside of your house is two to five times more polluted than the outside is. Go green in your living room and help cut down on indoor pollution by using a welcome mat to prevent more chemicals and toxins from coming inside.

10.    Play a Game

Instead of watching another TV show, get your family together and play a game. Or, if you live alone, cuddle up with a good book. It may seem like common sense, but going green in the living room is more about common sense than expensive gadgets and fancy finishes. By doing activities not centered around electronics you'll save energy and grow closer to your family.


Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Sep 30, 2008