By Arianna Huffington
After reading Green Goes With Everything, Sloan Barnett’s book about greening our homes and lives, I decided to take a closer look at mine. I arranged to have Deep Green Living, a New York-based company founded by Susan Short, come to my home and do what is known as an eco-analysis. Every step of the way, her team helped remind me that going green is a process, not something that happens overnight. Among the changes we made:
■ Replaced conventional lightbulbs with energyefficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which use a quarter of the electricity and can last 10 times as long.
■ Installed power strips in the office and kitchen. Many appliances, including TVs, computers and phone chargers, still use electricity even when not turned on. About 5 to 10 percent of all electricity used in America is drawn by appliances that are on standby. With power strips, it’s easier to “unplug” appliances and save energy.
■ Installed digital thermostats. Heating and cooling, on average, accounts for as much as half of a home’s energy use. These thermostats allow us to set the temperature at the most efficient levels.
■ Replaced the wood logs in my fireplace with ones made of compressed coffee grounds. You get warmth—and a contact caffeine buzz.
(Okay, just kidding about the buzz.) The Deep Green Living team also reminded me of some of the simple changes we can make in our daily habits that can have a big impact on the environment, including turning off the water when brushing your teeth and only running the dishwasher and washing machine when they have full loads.
Most of these changes were easy to make and have been easy to maintain. Of course, there is a lot more that can be done to make my house— and my lifestyle—even greener. As I said before, going green is a process, but doing anything worthwhile takes time.