03/11/2012 08:43 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2012

Green Home Makeover: Do-It-Yourself Tips For An Eco-Friendly House

From Networx's Sayward Rebhal:

Making a major lifestyle shift can often seem daunting, and sometimes the simple act of getting started is enough to stop you in your tracks. That initial hurdle can be so intimidating. It’s new. It’s foreign. It’s appealing . . . but scary! You want it, but you don’t know where to begin, and you’re overwhelmed.

Whether it’s committing to a gym routine or easing into a plant-based diet, quitting your job to pursue a passion or moving to a brand new city (like Dallas!), the story is always the same. What’s the best way to start?

“Going green” is no different. Even though these days it’s more and more common, with most mindful folks looking to lighten up their environmental footprint, it can all still feel a bit foreign and, well, unfeasible. But if you’re ready to take this eco thing beyond the recycling bin, then you’ve come to the right place.

And don’t worry. Nobody says you need to become a “green guru” overnight. The truth is that lasting life changes don’t happen instantaneously. “Fast and furious” usually leads to “burnt out and abandoned” – just like all those fad diets. Permanent shifts occur in incremental patterns, so cut yourself some slack. Ease into it, turn off your electrical devices when you're not using them and make sure you’re enjoying yourself along the way.

In your quest to keep a greener home, your best bet – both environmentally and financially – is to use up what you’ve already got before you move on to something “cleaner”. Throwing it away just creates more waste, so you might as well finish it off first. The key is to slowly work through all of your old conventional household items, replacing them with new sustainable stand-ins, as needed. Here’s a few pointers to get you started.

List and captions courtesy of Networx

How to give your house a green makeover