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Journal

February 21st

Tips to Go Green at Home

Recycled glass creates stunning, unique countertops.

One of the skills I bring to Tracy Lynn Studio as the new in-house architect is my LEED certification. If you aren’t familiar with LEED, it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. I earned this endorsement when I was designing buildings for the military, but those larger concepts can be applied to individual residences as well to save you money and preserve our precious resources.

Here are a few ways you can apply eco-friendly strategies to your home:

* Incorporate low-flow water fixtures to use less water and lower your water and electric bills.

* Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, such as Method and Mrs. Meyers. We’ve been lulled into thinking abrasive chemicals aren’t harmful – but we shouldn’t be chancing skin contact with these, not to mention the inherent risks with children and pets.

Cork flooring is eco-friendly and it can add to a room’s design quality.

* Look for sheets and towels made of natural fibers. These fabrics repeatedly come in contact with your skin, so chemical-free options make the best choice. Towels made from bamboo fiber, for example, are sustainable, naturally anti-bacterial and five times more absorbent than typical textiles – plus they’re very soft!

* If you are painting, select paints that have low or zero VOCs (volatile organic compound) to avoid polluting the air, especially in a nursery or bedroom. Benjamin Moore’s Natura line is a terrific choice that doesn’t sacrifice color or durability.

* Bamboo flooring has been very popular due to its sustainability but it can be noisy to walk on. Instead, consider cork flooring for better sound absorption.

* Sometimes only that gorgeous imported Italian tile will do, but try to buy locally as much as possible to cut down on energy emitted for transportation.

* Repurposed materials are in – so why not use them? Reclaimed woods, salvaged pieces and recycled glass give your home a beautiful, distinctive character.

Rainwater harvesting can be accomplished easily with a system such as Aqua Harvest, which require little space and operates from solar energy.

* Install a rainwater harvesting system. These systems collect water that you can then use for irrigation, reducing your water bill and maintaining your lush landscape.

We will apply LEED standards based on your preferences when we remodel or redecorate your home. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation.