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Published September 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

Five ways to ‘go green’

Joshua Foss suggests these five easy ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint at home while also saving money:

By: Tammy Swift, INFORUM

Joshua Foss suggests these five easy ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint at home while also saving money:

  • Have an energy audit done on your home. It costs anywhere from $40 for a general audit to $200 for a more comprehensive checkup by a local utility company. This small up-front fee will pay for itself when you are able to pinpoint and fix areas that aren’t energy-efficient, Foss says.

  • Replace regular light bulbs with more energy-efficient compact fluorescents or the new LED light bulbs.

  • Ban the “eco-villain” – bottled water. Enormous resources are spent to make the containers, which are quickly filling the planet’s landfills. Foss also cites a study that 40 percent of bottled water comes from city tap water. “So the companies are taking what’s free and charging you for it,” Foss says. “It’s a pretty obnoxious system.”

  • Keep your eyes peeled for a new federal program, which – like Cash for Clunkers – will allow consumers to replace old, energy-efficient appliances with new, Energy Star-rated ones.

  • Try “zero-VOC” house paints, which are devoid of the strong chemical odors that can exacerbate allergies or asthma, Foss says. Most major paint companies and major home-improvement stores now offer a zero-VOC line.

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