Recycled Bride: Green Your Nest

By Azure Nelson, Published Jan 27, 2010

About Recycled Bride 4 easy ways to bring sustainability into your marital home Every week in this space, I bring you the latest trends and tips to turn your white wedding green. But what about showing love for the planet after the big day? It doesn't have to be expensive or inconvenient to make changes that will have a big impact on the environment. Here are four simple, affordable steps you can take to make your home better for the Earth, and a healthier place for your family and your marital bliss to grow. Clean Green Did you know that you can clean your entire house using an inexpensive homemade baking soda-based mixture? It's non-toxic, inexpensive, and you'll avoid using the resources that go into production, shipping, and purchasing a packaged cleaning product from the supermarket. Here are recipes for every room in your home. Decorate Wise The cheapest and greenest way to decorate your abode is with preowned furnishings and accessories. Y'all know I'm the queen of all things gently used, and I have decorated and redecorated using nothing but Craigslist and a U-Haul, finding everything from Eames chairs to Modernica lighting. And the beauty of a good eBay or Craigslist find is that it doesn't need to be perfect. A coffee table or couch that needs repairs or a mini-makeover is a great excuse for some DIY fun with your man. Look to Ecofabulous for creative inspriation. Other great resoures for gently used furnishings include Freecycle, where you'll find community groups who gift and swap to reduce waste, and Lushpad, a specialty furniture resale site for stylish mid-century modern finds. Energize Your Home A fast and easy switch for energy efficiency? Change your incandescent lights to compact fluorescent bulbs. They use less power and produce less heat, which minimizes your carbon footprint and your electric bill. When it's time to replace appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, look for the Energy Star label to be sure you're getting a product that saves energy and prevents pollution. Other low cost upgrades to save energy at home include installing a programmable thermostat and low-flow showerheads, and insulating your water tank. Glamorous? Not so much. Worth the effort? Totally. Stock Your Fridge Locally A green home begins in the kitchen. Every time you buy food, you cast a consumer vote that helps determine the future of our agricultural and food standards. The good news is that the food that's best for the Earth is also best for your health, and tastes better too! Choose foods that are organic, sustainable, and locally produced, and reduce your meat consumption as much as possible. Eating greener and cleaner doesn't have to be expensive. Buy your food at the farmer's market, plant a veggie garden, or join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to get fresh, seasonal foods directly from local farmers. There are hundreds of things you can do to go green after your wedding day, and these four are a great start. What are your favorite ways make your home more eco-friendly? Helpful Links: Budget Wedding Ideas Green Wedding Ideas Expert Answers and Top Tips

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