It’s not easy being green,” laments Kermit the Frog. He may be responding to the overload of information about the state and fate of the planet, from global warming to toxic waste. To help make it all a little easier, Hunter Douglas, the leader in custom window fashions, has developed the following simple tips:
Insulate everywhere it counts
And don’t forget the window. Remember that up to 40 percent of a home’s energy escapes through the windows. Select super-energy-efficient products from Hunter Douglas such as Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades, with their honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction, to help reduce
heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer and save on heating and cooling costs. They’re the first and only window shades to qualify for the Federal Energy Tax Credit without add-on insulation systems.
Go on a power strip
Power strips aren’t just for computer gear. Use them for TVs, VCRs and appliances – electronic “vampires” that suck electricity to the tune of $1 billion a year when not in use. Turn them all off with one quick click.
The light from above
Light is most effective when it enters the room from the highest point. Use products such as Hunter Douglas Vignette® Modern Roman Shades and Duette Architella shades in a Top-Down/Bottom-Up configuration that allows light to stream in from the top of the window, effectively lighting the room without electricity, while providing privacy and a view. Hunter Douglas window fashions like Silhouette® and Pirouette® window shadings and Luminette® Privacy Sheers that combine sheer fabrics and adjustable vanes also draw light deeper into the room, illuminating homes with the warmth and beauty of softly diffused light.
How many light bulbs does it take to reduce your carbon footprint?
Replace conventional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They cost a little more, but last up to 10 times longer, use two-thirds less energy and give off 70 percent less heat. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room.
Turn it down
Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can reduce costs by about four percent. Using a ceiling fan in summer and winter can also help lower heating and A/C energy consumption. (In winter, putting a fan on low and reverse helps ensure that warm air doesn’t stay trapped on the ceiling.)
Filter it out
Keep air conditioner and heating filters clean and replace fiberglass filters with reusable, washable ones.
Go low with the flow
Invest in low-flow water fixtures for shower, faucets and toilets and reduce water consumption and electricity costs as much as 50 percent.
For household cleaning, use inexpensive natural cleaning products such as white vinegar with lemon juice, baking soda and borax.
Plastic bags have a lifespan of 500 years. Cut down or eliminate their use altogether by bringing cloth bags to the supermarket, reducing trash and giving garbage new life in a compost heap.
The constant gardener
Even if you don’t talk to them, plants are living things with a job to do – clean the air. Include houseplants in your interiors – one for every 10 yards of space. Outside, plant shrubs and flowers that require less water and replace harsh pesticides with natural substances.
Use renewable resources and recycle
Hunter Douglas Applause® Vintage™ honeycomb shades are made using 40 percent recycled polyester fibers from water bottles and other post-consumer textiles. Hunter Douglas aluminum blinds are also made from 95 percent recycled content and Provenance® woven woods utilize natural substrates and rapidly renewable resources like bamboo, reeds and grasses. Several Designer Screen Shades fabrics from Hunter Douglas are recyclable.