Looking to cut back on your household bills? Well, affordable and green now go together.
On The Early Show Friday, eco-interior designer Robin Wilson performed a green home makeover, pointing to products, then suggested even more offerings you could use.
Wilson, who was recently named one of the top green designers by Oprah magazine, is based in Manhattan. She's been turning living spaces into green dreams for eight years.
On the show Friday, she reported on taking a 1950s one-family raised cape-style house in the northern New York City suburb of Westchester and making it green and efficient. Then she shared even more tips.
One of the first places to save money? The living room.
When Wilson walked into the makeover home's living room, she spotted a big rear-projection TV. "I realized I could save them 30 per cent of their electric bill with an LCD TV," she says. (Sony Bravia LCD TV)
There was cold air coming through the entry door mail slot, so we replaced it with a solid Masonite door.
There were curtains on the dining room windows. If you change to solar shades, you can save 35 per cent of electric bill, and they're beautiful. (Hunter Douglas pirouette window shades)
All of the paint in the house is low VOC, which means one hour later, there is no paint smell. (Aura paint by Benjamin Moore)
The kitchen was updated with recycled glass countertops and new money-saving appliances. (Icestone recycled glass countertops; LG appliances)
We replaced all appliances in the house with Energy Star, efficient appliances. People should know that an old refrigerator wastes as much power as it takes to power an entire home for four months.
Upstairs, the old plastic floors were removed. We installed recycled carpet and reclaimed hardwood floors. (Shaw Anso carpet and Custom Classic hardwood floors)
They needed a new closet, and we installed one that's recyclable and formaldehyde-free. (EsyClosets)
When changing the furniture, identify companies with sustainable practices. Many companies today replant trees for the ones they cut down. (New furniture from ABC Carpet & Home)
"Eco-friendly can be beautiful and affordable. " Wilson says. " ... I think people recognize that the place that they sleep, that they eat ... has to be a healthy place."
ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS WILSON SUGGESTED:
Bathroom: Water savings in the basthroom for the whole home can be quite dramatic. Sixty percent of a family's water bill goes down the drain in the toilet. The first thing to do is install a low-flow showerhead. (Oxygenics Shower Low Flow Shower Head $30).
Installing a dual-flush toilet is crucial. The Kohler Persuade dual-flush toilet flushes can save the average family of four more than 6,000 gallons of water per year compared to today's standard toilets. You have a small button for a quick flush, and you get a longer flush with a big button.The price is $350.
Solar lights and fans: Solatube Daylighting Systems capture sunlight on the rooftop, redirect it down a highly-reflective tube, then diffuse an abundance of pure natural light throughout the interior space. Integrating daylight into home designs can slash interior lighting costs by as much as 80 percent. And this product creates, in essence, a skylight in your house, even in a closet, or a hallway.
And a solar attic fan is very important to distribute heat throughout the house. (SolarTube Attic Fan and Lighting Sytem $300 and up)
Recycled resin panels: These could be used as backsplash to protect the kitchen walls or a shower door. They're beautiful and affordable. 3-Form could be focused on the backsplash. Save money on doing an expensive backsplash or shower door by using 3-Form. Some look like glass, others use bamboo, grass and leaves in the resin. So cool You can see it at http://www.3-form.com/materials-varia.php.