19 Ways to Go Green

  1. Conserve energy by purchasing major appliances with an Energy Star rating, and by adding timers and automated thermostats to control usage. Also,consider switching to fluorescent light bulbs and adding more natural lighting with additional windows or skylights
  2. Repair leaky fixtures and install low-flow showerheads and  faucets.
  3. Use water-based paints, finishes and sealants. Some milk-based paints are available, also.
  4. Look for wall coverings that are made of paper or natural fiber, rather than synthetic materials, and printed with natural inks.
  5. Choose carpeting, rugs, window treatments and other textiles made from natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, which are untreated and free of toxins, such as pesticides or chemical cleaners.
  6. Ask for flooring products made from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo or linoleum.
  7. Select solid woods, when possible, for furniture or cabinetry, rather than pressed woods or composites that may contain formaldehyde or other chemicals that may be toxic.
  8. Reuse materials, such as brick, stone, glass, tile or metal, in new and interesting ways. Old wood also can be
    safely treated and used for accents.
  9. Consider the "lifecycle” of furnishings and accessories before purchasing: Are they made of materials that can be reused or recycled when the item eventually wears out or is not longer needed?
  10. Recycle packing and shipping materials from any newly purchased items, and safely dispose of paint cans and other containers whose contents could potentially contaminate the ground or water supply.
  11. Install lights with sensors that turn on when they detect movement and automatically turn off after a few minutes.
  12. Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  13. If every household in the US replaced 1 roll of 1000 sheet bathroom tissues with 100% recyclable rolls, we could save 373,000 trees, 1.48 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 155 million gallons of water.
  14. Scrape – don’t rinse! When using a dishwasher, pre-rinsing is no longer necessary with today’s technology and detergents.
  15. Check your refrigerator’s seal by closing the door with a lit flashlight inside. If you see light seeping out, the door should be adjusted or the seal replaced to stop energy leaks.
  16. Buy locally produced products and materials whenever possible to reduce additional energy use and pollution
    associated with transportation.
  17. Eliminate waste by choosing products that are biodegradable or recyclable.
  18. Look for reclaimed wood products salvaged from older structures and certified wood harvested from sustainably managed forests.
  19. Hang damp laundry on an outdoor clothesline or indoor drying rack instead of using an electric dryer.

"19 Ways to Go Green" was produced in collaboration with the ASID Foundation of the American Society of Interior Designers.
excerpted from http://www.nbm.org/Exhibits/greenHouse2/go