Becoming eco-friendly has become a priority for many homeowners who are considering upgrading or retrofitting their dwelling. It is understandable, as everyone is more conscious about their impact on the environment. And the truth is that many eco-friendly decisions also end up saving you money in the long run.
Here are eight smart products that can help you achieve a more eco-friendly home.
 SmartStrand Carpeting
Flooring materials are a great place to start with making your home more eco-friendly. A very durable and comfortable material that uses corn within its fibers, SmartStrand carpeting can be a very aesthetically pleasing, durable, and environmentally friendly flooring option.
SmartStrand carpeting features a soft surface and is highly resistant to staining. Mohawk SmartStrand Silk is one of the popular options in this space.
 Cork Flooring
If you are searching for eco-friendly floors, then you should consider cork as a green material. It is completely natural, renewable, lightweight, and very versatile. It is naturally comfortable under foot, enjoyable to look at, and should last a very long time in your home.
According to the U.S. EPA, toilets can account for 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. And older toilets can use an even higher portion of your water as they use as much as 6 gallons per flush. They are not nearly as efficient as current ones, which must comply with the federal standard for new toilets at a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush.
Going with a dual-flush toilet will give you even higher efficiency. These models have two flush modes, one for liquid and one for solid waste. For example, products from Kohler offer 1.1-gallon and 1.6-gallon flush buttons, enabling you to easily choose when to conserve more water.
 Reusable Bags
Whether you are going shopping, on a picnic or going to the supermarket, you can easily use reusable bags on those trips, foregoing throwaway bags to decrease your impact on the environment.
These reusable bags should be a key addition to any home, as they can enable you to completely get away from using problematic plastic bags for any reason. Reusable bags can also be insulated and custom branded to add to their appeal, such as these cooler bags from CustomEarth Promos. They can only add to your efforts to make your home and life more eco-friendly.
 Bioethanol Fireplace
If you want the charm and the warmth that comes with a fireplace, you can still be eco-friendly by using one that is run on bioethanol. These fireplaces use denatured alcohol, a fuel that is a fully renewable resource and generates heat and flame while producing no dangerous fumes.
The fuel is made from sugar and starch components, and the fireplace can be anywhere in your home as it does not require a chimney.
 Solar Photovoltaic System
Instead of relying entirely on the electrical grid for the energy that is used in your home, consider adding banks of solar photovoltaic panels to your roof. While it can be a large upfront investment, a solar setup can help free you up from costly monthly energy bills for the life of the system.
Federal and local tax credits can also go a long way toward reducing the initial cost of the system, and some municipalities enable you to route excess energy production back to the utility to get credits on your power bill.
Solar systems typically have a life span to 25 to 30 years or more, but be sure to perform seasonal maintenance to keep the panels producing as much energy as possible.
 LED Light Bulbs
Compared to any other light source, LED light bulbs are the way to go. They are longer lasting, much more efficient, and more versatile than compact florescent (CFL) and standard incandescent lamps. And the cost of LEDs has dropped significantly in the past few years, making them a slam-dunk for your home.
 Solar Hot Water Heaters
Along with your solar panels, you could add a solar hot water heater to your roof, which will allow you to have hot water in your showers without the high utility costs of a traditional water heater. According to energy.gov, you can save from 50 to 80% on your water heating costs by installing a solar water heating system.
With these eight products, you can have a home that is not only smarter, but more eco-friendly as well. The time to start is now.
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