Eco-chic. Eco-fabulous. Green this, green that. Sounds so perfectly politically correct on paper. Sorry, but most of us are just not really that into being green. We just pretend we are.
Years ago, I was talking about "going green" before it was really cool. Always on top of what's hot, what's new, what's on the forefront, I felt it was my obligation to get the Next Big Thing out in front of the masses. Soon enough, I found while people acted like they were interested in all things green, really they didn't give a shit at all. Yep, that's right. Web hits and TV ratings don't lie, folks. It became increasingly clear that most Americans only cared about anything green when it saved them money and didn't compromise their lifestyle. Since then, it is rare that you will find me speaking to green design, green decor or green anything unless I speak to how it will save you money. But there are some things you can do that are so effortless, so easy, so less toxic and so less expensive that you'd be foolish not to be doing them.
So, here are four easy ways you can go green and save money without sacrificing a thing.
Cork The Floor
Cork flooring the most eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood flooring. Oh yeah, and it's way less expensive. With all of us gearing up for summer remodels, this is the perfect DIY project that will leave you happy and feeling like you're actually walking the green walk. Made from 100% recycled material, they can be found in both plank and tile styles and with a simple click-in locking system, moron-proof installation is assured. Clicking into place cork can be installed below grade, over concrete and even over your existing flooring. Not only is it less expensive than many hardwood flooring options, it feels nicer under your feet. Also, I guarantee you'll be very surprised when you see how many fashion-forward styles are available. Definitely worth a look.
Check out http://www.realcorkfloors.com for more info.
Green Fabric? Really?
When we think green fabric, we generally think of cotton, right? Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops worldwide, using over 50 million pounds of pesticide. Gross. I used to balk at labels that read "organic sheets" and "eco-friendly fabric." Now, not so much. Who wants all those chemicals all over your body for up to 8 hours a night? Since they're becoming more widely available, the prices are coming down. Oh and FYI, you can pick them up at places like Target, The Company Store and Pottery Barn. I kid you not.
Do the words chlorine, phosphates, acetone, ammonia and petroleum conjure up warm and fuzzy feelings? Yeah, not for me either. But we go through life day in and day out literally bombarding our homes with them. Some might think that unless your house stinks of bleach, it's not clean. Sorry, it just isn't true. Vinegar, baking soda and lemons are your go-to staples for 99 cents at Shop Rite. Also, I'm a big fan of Best Life cleaning products, which are all natural and smell fab. Green cleaning saves a ton of money. Take that!
Let There Be Light.. and Lower Bills!
I am always amazed at how many people still use regular light bulbs. I don't get it. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 66% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Just the thought of never having to change a light bulb is reason enough. The Walgreens on the corner probably has them, so what's your excuse?
At the end of the day, I am not someone who claims to live this perfect life where my first priority is, at all times, being the greenest girl on the block. Frankly, I find the militant green patrol people more than a little annoying. But if there is a better option or one equally as good, why not? And if I can save a few in the process even better. I know you agree, even if you pretend you don't.
Check your local TV listings for more of Courtney Cachet's style ideas and tips. You can catch her frequent appearances on NBC nationwide where she dishes out all the latest in home and lifestyle! Keep up with her on Facebook and join the conversation!