Women's Health MARCH 2009 > Renée Loux, GREEN your PAD
Planet-Proof Your Pad:
Make your home more eco-friendly without spending too much green.
Green Guru Renée Loux's
5 simple, wallet-friendly tips
Fix Your Drips
A faucet or shower that spills just one drop per second can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year. A leaky loo can squander 200 gallons per day. Add a couple drops of food dye to the tank. If it's leaking, the color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes.
Ditch Your Kicks
Many of the pesticides you're exposed to are those you track into your home, say some scientists. Hazards include synthetic lawn fertilizers, lead, and wood preservatives used on decks and patios. Shed the treads, or use a doormat: It can collect up to 25 percent of toxic hitchhikers.
Use Renewable Energy
About 87 percent of the electricity in the U.S. is generated from nonrenewable resources such as coal, which spews tons of pollution every year. For a small premium, your local utility company may offer wind power and other clean alternatives. Go to epa.gov/greenpower/pubs/gplocator.htm
Pamper Your Air-Conditioner
Change your air conditioner filter every three months. A clean filter can not only cut energy use by 10 percent but also prevent dust buildup, which will extend the life of your chill box. Place the unit in a shaded spot and it will consume 10 percent less energy than it would in full sun.
Just three well-positioned trees can save the average homeowner $100 to $250 per year in heating and cooling costs. Bonus: Studies have found that trees boost your property value by an average of 5 percent. For summer shade, plant two trees on the west side and one on the east side of your house. For a winter storm shield, plant against the prevailing winds- typically from the north, sometimes the west (the side of the house any leaves now collect on will tell you where to plant).