Saturday, November 15, 2008

Live Within Your Means and Go Green!

For many Americans, the current economy is a wake-up call to change their spending habits. For some, there is no choice, as people face layoffs, and banks that are unwilling to lend them money.

Concurrently, Americans are becoming increasingly aware that our environment is in danger, that global warming and pollution threaten the planet and our health.

The good news is that making green—or environmentally friendly choices—is a great way to cut your spending, too!

There are literally hundreds of ways to cut spending and go green in every spending category:

• Reduce electrical usage; replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s, replace old refrigerator with Energy Star efficient model
• Reduce heating usage; lower thermostat, seal drafty windows and doors
• Reduce cooling usage by adding fans
• Purchase second-hand quality furniture if you cannot afford good quality new
• Use VOC free paint instead of expensive and polluting wallpaper
• Replace worn carpet that degrades air quality with sustainable bamboo or wood that will last a lifetime
• Instead of buying impulse stuff made from nonrenewable materials, indulge in houseplants that clean the air of your home or flowers.
• Compare the cost of buying whole foods that are organic, and local with conventional prepared food. Organic is healthier for you and the planet and whole foods are less expensive than prepared food.
• Get a filter system for your tap water and use a stainless, reusable water bottle instead of buying expensive, wasteful bottled water.
• Limit eating out. Learn to cook, if you don’t know how.

• Limit purchases to what you really love and buy quality, natural fabrics that are better for the environment
• Consider swapping clothes, especially for children

• Always purchase products made from renewable sources rather than nonrenewable (avail plastic whenever possible)
• Buy best quality you can afford—stuff that lasts, stays out of landfill and that you buy once—not repeatedly, like furniture. Buy second-hand or go to for free things.
• If shopping is a hobby, find another one.
• Swap stuff with friends and family, either temporarily or permanently.
• Don’t buy on impulse.

For many more tips, read the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet by Norma Lehmeier Hartie. Harmonious Environment is the Grand Prize Winner of the 15th Annual Writer's Digest International Book Awards and won the coveted 2008 USA National Best Non-Fiction Book Award.

Norma Lehmeier Hartie is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence and Parsons School of Design and has been an interior designer for over 20 years. She is the creator of the practice of Harmonious Adjustments™. Ms. Hartie resides an hour from NYC. This is her first book.

Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet by Norma Lehmeier Hartie
ISBN 9780977963300, 300 pages, 8.5 x 8.5 trade paperback, $19.95, 2007
Lingham Press,
Contact: Norma Lehmeier Hartie at: 914-739-8966 or
Norma Lehmeier Hartie
Lingham Press
Crugers, NY
Phone : 914-739-8966

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