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How to 'green' your home in 48 hours

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(BPT) - Our lives are more hectic than ever. In addition to working more than eight hours a day and caring for others, the average person (ages 25 to 54) spends approximately one additional hour per day on household activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. With everyday maintenance tasks depleting your free time, you may think it’s impossible to fit in bigger home improvement projects.

It’s time to change your mindset and re-evaluate your home improvement to-do list. While it may seem overwhelming, one weekend is the perfect amount of time to tackle a few cost-effective and eco-friendly home improvement projects that can add style and functionality ... and even save a little “green” as well. The following projects will help to ”greenify” your home in just 48 hours.

Kitchen convenience 

Decorative details, such as faucets and fixtures, can go a long way to improve the style of your kitchen, but what about functionality and eco-friendly options?  Wave “hello” to your answer with MotionSense from Moen. Imagine the convenience of having a kitchen faucet that can sense what you’re trying to accomplish, and with a simple wave of the hand, immediately responds to your needs.

MotionSense utilizes advanced sensors to detect a user’s movement in two sensing zones, immediately setting water flow in motion. Simply place an object – like a cup or your hand – near the base of the faucet to turn the water on and off automatically, significantly reducing water usage and eliminating the possibility of leaving the faucet running when not in use. Or, simply wave your hand above the faucet to start water flow – and a second wave to stop. You can also adjust the faucet’s temperature and flow the traditional way, using its convenient side handle. MotionSense faucets are easy to install and can be purchased at your local home improvement retailer or wholesale showroom.

Warm up with cool savings

Did you know that yearly heating and cooling costs average more than $1,000? Installing a programmable thermostat takes only a couple of hours and can significantly help reduce your energy costs. And, programmable thermostats have come a long way with new, sophisticated technology. New systems resemble mini-computers and offer users an interactive experience. After answering questions about your preferences and usage, programs are set accordingly, letting you adjust settings from any room in the house. Not going to be home? Programmable thermostats are available to control settings from smartphones and you can set separate programs for each day of the week, giving you complete control over your heating and cooling and helping to reduce wasted energy.

Shower in the savings

Any homeowner would agree that saving water to help the environment and to lower their water bill is a great idea. However, many may not agree if these savings interfere with the enjoyment of their daily shower. Luckily, the Moen Caldwell Four-Function Eco-Performance Showerhead is an ideal solution that offers water savings without sacrificing a quality showering experience. Installing in just minutes, you can shower in the savings, as Caldwell has a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm), 20 percent less than the industry standard of 2.5 gpm, and meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense criteria.  

Freshen up

Paint can add an instant facelift to any room. For as little as $20 per gallon, you can add some color, refresh the walls and help pull the room together. Painting an accent wall is also a great idea to add a ‘wow factor’ to your room while also saving time and money. And today, many paint manufacturers offer non-toxic paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) formulations to reduce these pollutants in your home. Plus, unique formulations, such as Refreshfrom Dutch Boy, also offer added mildew resistance and are Indoor Air Quality certified by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, providing a paint that is not only healthier for you, your family and the environment, but is vibrant and durable as well. 

Not sure how to tackle this project or want inspiring ideas? New apps for your smart phone are available, such as ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ How to Paint Anything, to help with your room transformation.

Although you may not be able to add more hours to your day, in one weekend you can easily tackle some environmentally friendly projects to help "greenify" and improve your home – and hopefully keep some money in your pocket.

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