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Check out these eco-friendly home design tips

Eco-friendlyEco-friendly

Going green is all the rage - not only does it save the environment, but it can significantly lower energy costs in the long run. The green trend has proven to have significant staying power, so the time is now to go all in and try to make your home decor as eco-friendly as possible.

Environmentally friendly lighting
One of the biggest parts of being eco-friendly is also one of the easiest: changing your old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs for high-tech, energy-efficient florescent models. The difference is easy to spot, with incandescent bulbs being the big, round ones that you likely grew up with and florescent ones often looking like curly coils of glass. New technologies allow for these florescent bulbs to use significantly less energy and last for much longer than standard light bulbs.

First, you should pick out new light fixtures for your florescent lights. Real Simple magazine noted that there are literally thousands of options to choose from when it comes to design, but buying a lamp with a vintage feel can help preserve the classic look of your home. Keep it vintage by hooking up your floor lamps to light switches and using switch plates made of environmentally sustainable materials, like bamboo.

Go with green materials
The American Association of Realtors reported that green furnishings are one of the biggest trends that potential homebuyers are looking for in 2013. Whether it's countertops made from sustainable or recycled material or switch plates designed from renewable resources, people have been on the prowl for green accessories.

One option is to use paints in your home that are more environmentally friendly. With the green trend sweeping up just about every facet of home design and decor, it's easy to find odor-free and zero-VOC paints for your home. These come in all the colors that you'd want, and you can feel free to use them guilt-free.

Recycled materials can make for great outdoor settings. Consider using some of the same material that you'll often see in parks and other outdoor areas. These benches are made from a compound of part wood and part recycled plastics which is very hardy, often lasting much longer than standard wood benches. If you have a yard that gets lots of weather, this material can be a perfect fit.

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