10 Ways to Greenify Your Home



It has become easier than ever to recycle with the introduction of single-stream recycling, which allows you to put all of your stuff in one bin to leave at the curb. But exactly how much of this will get recycled largely depends on you. Tossing an un-rinsed laundry detergent bottle into the recycling bin probably won't amount to any recycled plastic. The residue will make the plastic the container is made from less pure and maybe even keep it from being sold. Clean waste is much more likely to be recycled; after all, it's easier to reduce back into its original parts. So, cleaning out your laundry detergent bottle and discarding its cap before you toss it into the bin will increase the likelihood it actually gets recycled. Just a head's up.

Recycling applies to not only what goes out of your house but also what comes in. Everything from roof shingles to drywall can be made with some recycled content. Just keep an eye out for the words post-consumer recycled material. This means that some of the ingredients lived a former life as something else and were recycled into what you're purchasing. The higher the percentage of post-consumer recycled material in an item, the greener it is.

Related Articles


  • "Adjust your thermostat." Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. http://dnr.louisiana.gov/sec/execdiv/techasmt/ecep/home/e/e.htm"Air seal and insulate with Energy Star." Energy Star. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_seali"
  • Average retail price of electricity to ultimate customers by end-use sector." U.S. Energy Information Administration. June 10, 2008. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html
  • Doyle, Leonard. "U.S. power company linked to Bush is named in database as a top polluter." The Independent. November 16, 2007. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-power-company-linked-to-bush-is-named-in-database-as-a-top-polluter-400561.html
  • "FLO International raises Fairtrade price for coffee farmers." TransFair USA. December 12, 2007. http://www.transfairusa.org/content/about/pr/pr_071214.php
  • Gangemi, Jeffrey. "Selling power back to the grid." BusinessWeek. July 6, 2006. http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jul2006/sb20060706_167332.htm?campaign_id=search
  • Hoak, Amy. "The 7 deadly sins of home "remodeling." Market Watch. July 22, 2006. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2003143274_remodeling23.html
  • Hodge, Stephanie. "Knowledge innovation systems and technology diffusion strategies for ecosystems management in Africa - case study: Lake Chad Basin Commission." Harvard University. Fall 2006.http://www.hks.harvard.edu/kssgorg/apj/issues/fall_2006_issue/Hodge.htm
  • "How to green your recycling." TreeHugger. January 31, 2007. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/how_to_green_your_recycling.php
  • "Insulating a new house (do it right the first time)." Oak Ridge National Laboratory. http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_05.html
  • Jha, Sonora. "Sonora Jha - keynote speaker, Academic Day, September 20, 2004." Seattle University. Sept. 20, 2004. http://www.seattleu.edu/academicsalons/zz_archive/salons_0405/sonora%20jha.asp
  • "National Organic Program." USDA. January 3, 2012. http://attra.ncat.org/guide/n_z/nop.html
  • "Ready. Set. Save! EPA encourages Americans to save on summer cooling costs through proper use of programmable thermostats." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. June 5, 2008. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/5C93DE5EE64F1B2E8525745F005DA293
  • "Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket." CNN. April 14, 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/04/14/world.food.crisis/
  • Shack, Elizabeth. "USDA 'organic' seal doesn't seem to stick." Fox News. March 5, 2003. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,80241,00.html
  • Shedlock, Mike. "U.S. Housing Market." The Daily Reconing. 1/2/12. http://dailyreckoning.com/us-housing-market/
  • "The common questions of the curmudgeon." Minnesota Recycling Program. http://www.recycleminnesota.org/htm/ReCurm.htm
  • "United States advances $1 billion for clean coal projects." America.gov. Nov. 30, 2006. http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2006/November/20061130172755SAikceinawz0.3671076.html
  • USDA. "Cooperative Extension Office Locator. Jan. 3, 2012. http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/


10 Things You Should Never Throw Away

10 Things You Should Never Throw Away

There are items we consciously recycle and items we toss without a second thought. Here are 10 things you should never throw away at HowStuffWorks.