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Great Green Home Tips


Many of us have heard some great tips on how to make your home more ecologically responsible - install low flow toilets and showerheads. Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Switch to windows optimized to save energy. But what are you to do when you're renting and most likely can't mess with your appliances or windows? Here are some tips for renters interested in making their homes more eco-friendly.

Switch to CFL Bulbs
Yes, you've heard it before - but there's a good reason for that. CFL, or compact fluorescent, bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. According to Wikipedia, "a CFL can save 2,000 times [its] own weight in greenhouse gases." Though these bulbs can cost more than traditional bulbs, the money you'll save on energy and replacing burnt-out bulbs will make up the difference.

Optimize Your Fridge
Refrigerators are major energy consumers, but there are ways you can fine-tune your fridge without replacing it. Defrost the freezer regularly, keeping frost levels under 6mm. Keep your fridge full so that less air escapes when you open it - but don't fill it so much that circulation is blocked altogether. Don't keep the fridge cooler than is necessary. Clean the coils behind the fridge and the grill below the doors about four times a year.

Keep Radiators Clear
Make sure that couches, tables and other furniture's aren't blocking radiators and thereby preventing the right levels of heat from circulating. Additionally, keep those radiators and vents clear of build-up - not only will dust and dirt prevent heat from being released, they'll absorb it.

Start a BalconyVegetableGarden
No matter what size balcony you have, you can start a garden full of your very own locally-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs. It's inexpensive to start and can be productive for years. Even if you don't have a balcony, there are many things that will be happy to grow by the light of a window. Visit your local library and look for books on balcony or container gardening