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Eco-friendly products for your home

Books repurposed as a coffee table at the Milan International Furniture Expo
Books repurposed as a coffee table at the Milan International Furniture Expo
(AP Photo: Luca Bruno)

Celebrate Earth Day's 40th Anniversary this month by making a commitment to purchasing Eco-friendly, sustainable materials for your home.  The availability of Earth friendly home products has increased rapidly over the past several years.  In fact, most of your go to stores carry a line or two of products, but before you shop, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Product labeling may be misleading with false claims, however, the packaging also gives many clues. Visit the Eco Friendly Emporium site for a great listing of the labels to look for and descriptions of what they mean to you.

There are several organizations who have begun to regulate these claims. To be considered an "Eco-friendly" or "green" product, a certifying organization takes into account the total environmental impact of a product during it's entire life cycle, from raw material through processing, transporting and to the final disposal at the end of the products life. 

Materials like Bamboo, palm wood, straw board, linoleum, cork, steel, recycled glass and reclaimed materials are all considered Eco-friendly.  Anything you buy that is recycled or repurposed is helping reduce the amount of emissions from manufacturing, saving precious natural materials, and keeping the item out of a landfill.

If you are shopping for furnishings, Cherry Creek's Crate and Barrel and West Elm both have impressive Eco Furniture lines.  West Elm also carries a luxurious line of organic bedding as well as a range of home accessories.

An earth friendly alternative is to purchase items from a garage sale or second hand store.  You can find great quality items that just need a little TLC to bring them back to life.

Celebrate this Earth Day with one small earth friendly purchase, and then make it a point to do so once a week, or once a month. You can consider it a little gift to Mother Nature!


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