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At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Green Your Home on a Budget

Think you don’t have the cash required to live green? Think again! These 19 tips will give your home a greener tomorrow with little or no money down.

| May/June 2008

  • Cork bath mats, such as this one from Gaiam, are soft underfoot and have a natural no-slip texture.
    Photo Courtesy Gaiam
  • Hunter Douglas’s PVC-free, recyclable solar shades block UV rays, which helps lower cooling costs.
  • Henkel OSI GreenSeries foam has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds that outgas) and can seal gaps to improve energy efficiency.
  • Rawganique’s hemp shower curtains are made with certified organic European hemp and come in six earthy colors.
    Photo Courtesy Rawganique
  • Search secondhand stores for an interesting mix of complementary dishes to build your own fun, unique set.

Love your living room

These simple tips will lead to a budget- and eco-friendly relaxation space.

Accent your area. 
Lay a few area rugs down on hardwood, tile or linoleum for a carpetlike effect without harmful glues. Choose rugs made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, hemp, bamboo and sisal, and look for vegetable dyes or no dye at all. Rugs made from recycled materials are another green option. Abundant Earth offers durable Recycled Cotton Rag Area Rugs in many colors starting at $55 each.

Set the mood. 
Turning the lights down makes for an inviting atmosphere, and it saves electricity. A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) has a 10,000-hour lifespan. New low-wattage CFLs work with conventional incandescent dimmers and cost about $20 per bulb. Visit GE to find them.

Found it. 
Finding free or cheap furnishings is tons of fun, and your budget will thank you. Check CraigslistFreecycle, thrift stores and curbside pickup for unique pieces that need a makeover. Turn trash into treasure by giving your "new" items a safe, eco-friendly cleaning. Breathe new life into hand-me-downs by reupholstering with fresh, breathable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp or linen.

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