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Top 10 ways to go green and get clean

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, levels of organic pollutants in our homes – the place where we spend about 90 percent of our time – are between two and five times more polluted than the air outside. And all along you thought not smoking, buying an air purifier and that can of Oust air sanitizer you keep next to your lounge chair for moments when you just aren’t feeling clean enough, were all making a big difference. Indeed, this statistic is frightening, but it’s not one we have to live with.

The Daily Herald online has outlined 10 of the easiest, most effective and cost-friendly ways to get greener – and cleaner – in you home.

1) Dump the dry cleaning. Dry cleaning requires harsh chemicals, and those chemicals don’t stay at the dry cleaners when you bring those clothes home. Try steaming your clothes while you’re in the shower and buying more washable fabrics.

2) Think green and concentrated. For products that you use on the surfaces in your home, look for organic, toxin-free and those without the bold disclaiming “dangerous” tag. The toxins in household products, at least many of them, contain such caustic chemicals that can cause severe skin reactions and asthma.

3) Trade water bottles for water filters. Americans go through 3.3 million plastic water bottles a year, and recycle only one in five. Try buying a water filter system and using a metal water bottle. If you want to save even more money with water, drink from the tap.

4) Put paper towels in the past. Instead of using hundreds of these addictive sheets per month, use sponges and old t-shirts to clean up those messes. You’ll save some trees and some space in the local landfill.

5) Make a trip to your local library. Save paper by going to the local library to check out books instead of spending money on filling your bookshelves with books you might not even read from the bookstore.

6) Bring your own coffee. Think of all those coffee chain lovers out there who visit coffee shops at least once a day. That’s a lot of those plastic and Styrofoam cups. Buy a travel mug and make it at home to save.

7) Change those bulbs. Use energy-saving lights in your home. They use at least two-thirds less energy than regular bulbs, so they’ll definitely save you money in the long run.

8) Leave those pesky papers online. Instead of getting a paper bill in the mail each month for every bill you receive, go green, go paperless, and ask your billing company for online-only bills.

9) Pump up those tires. Proper tire inflation can save you up to 3 percent on your gas mileage.

10) Power rooms with power strips. By plugging in all electronic devices in a room into a power strip, you save on energy. You save even more when you unplug the strip when you’re not using the devices.

All in all, these tips could save you around $1,000 a year. So you can go green, get clean and save money? Wow, what a concept.