Tips and Guides

RL Tips: 5 Simple Steps toward a Greener Lifestyle

Interior designer Jennifer Adriano-Martinez shares more eco-friendly ideas for your home


Read the original article ("Project Greenlight”) in the May 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Save your gas

Aggressive driving is not only dangerous, but it also wastes fuel. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60mph. For better fuel economy, accelerate and decelerate gradually, and turn off your engine if stopping for more than 11 seconds.

An even better idea? Walk or use public transportation whenever possible.


Unplug your chargers

Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions suck energy. So unplug your chargers and other energy drainers when not in use. With the help of a power strip, it's easy to turn off a bunch at once. Lights, fans and air conditioners should be turned off when leaving a room. 


Be more responsible in the kitchen and dining areas

These areas generate most of the waste in the home. Instead of using paper towels, use dishtowels. Instead of paper napkins, use nice cloth ones at the dinner table. Stop buying disposable containers and use washable glass or porcelain food storage.

Buy food in bulk -- it's cheaper and it uses less packaging. And do you really need to stock individual water bottles in the fridge?  Consider assigning every family member a refillable, washable drink bottle instead.


Find more eco-friendly alternatives

When printing a document, use both sides of the paper. Whenever possible, save and send materials electronically to reduce your printing needs. You can also use a mug instead of using Styrofoam cups.


Reexamine your disposables

Look for the small things you can replace. For example, get a razor with refillable blades rather than single-use plastic shavers. You can also switch to refillable pencils and pens. 

See more photos and view the full home here:


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