When Lisa Sharkey and her husband Paul Gleicher decided to remodel their Manhattan townhouse, they decided to construct an eco-friendly home from top to bottom. Not only did they create a home environmentally sound but they made sure it was done elegantly. And it was.
Sharkey, senior vice president and director of creative development at HarperCollins and Gleicher, a LEED-accredited architect share 17 beautifully designed green homes, including their own, in their new book Dreaming Green: Eco-Fabulous Homes Designed to Inspire.
Here's a slideshow featuring photos from the book and tips from the authors for you to start and maintain a green healthy home -- and a more complete list of tips, straight from Lisa, is below.
Replace wall-to-wall carpet with area rugs. I recommend using Interface FLOR carpet tiles which require no carpet pads, stick directly to the floor and can be washed individually
Install motion sensors, so lights that you might forget to turn off when leaving a room, turn off automatically
Consider a spare and simple style that doesn't require buying too many expensive home accessories
Bamboo and lyptus are less expensive and more renewable alternatives for flooring
When buying a rug look for the RUGMARK label, which insures that no child labor was used in the production of the rug
When installing cork floors, consider buying sheets of cork and cutting them to make your own mosaic. This option is far less expensive than buying cork mosaics.
Install ceiling fans to cut down on your air conditioning costs
Lower your thermostat and instead sleep in warm organic pajamas and pile on the blankets!
Buy bamboo and beech sheets for your beds
Investigate mattresses that contain no formaldehyde
Use organic baking soda and organic vinegar as cleansers in your kitchen and around the house
Auction off your old appliances on eBay or craigslist, giving them a new life and saving you money
Marmoleum is the way to go if you're looking for an inexpensive and eco linoleum which is installed with no toxins
Limit meat on your menu to save money for organic food
Whenever you can, buy locally grown food
Place shoe racks at your front door, so you don't track dirty toxins from the street into your home.
Recycled doorknobs and cabinet fixtures can be found in local salvage stores, and they're cheaper than buying new
Paint all walls with low VOC paints
Air drying your laundry saves energy and adds a nice fresh scent to your clothes
Salvage wood from local demolition sites to use in your own home
If you have limited yard space, plant a mini-organic herb garden in a large metal pot outside
If you must cut down a tree on your property, think of creative ways to use its wood in your home
Replace your bathroom fixtures with low flow fittings
Insulate, insulate, insulate your windows to reduce both waste and your home heating and cooling bills
When refinishing your floors, use non-toxic wood finishers
Placing shades on your windows will help keep your house cool in the summer sun and will keep your furniture from fading in the winter