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Tackling home improvement projects yourself can be a rewarding experience. You can help the environment, improve the air quality in your house, and reduce energy costs, just by making some environmentally friendly changes in your home. Incorporate as many green options as you can when organizing, repairing and updating your home. Here we will go over some ways that you can make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Let's talk about the bedroom, for example. If your rooms have crown molding, you may want to pry a couple of pieces back and take a look. When homes are constructed, sometimes corners are cut. It is easy for workers to avoid lifting the drywall all the way to the ceiling and simply covering the cracks with the crown molding. You may have an open space back there letting attic air directly into your home. Your power bill could be out of control because of someone act of laziness and disregard. If you do have a gap, insulate and seal the areas before replacing the crown molding.

Painting is a great DIY project that doesn't take a lot of expertise and can really change the look of your home. Most paint products produce toxic chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs are structurally very similar to smog. They hang around in the air of your rooms for months after being painted. A safer option would be to choose a "low VOC" or "no VOC" paint product. Be aware that if you add a color tone to the special paint, that you may be adding more VOCs to it. Some paints, like Freshaire brand paint, are dyed with a powder that stay VOC free after being colorized.

Replacing old windows and doors with energy efficient ones can save a lot of money. You can seal around the windows and doors to ensure that no air is coming into or out of the home through these spaces. You may want to hire a professional to install your windows and doors to be certain that they are properly sealed. Energy efficient windows will insulate and reflect radiant heat from the sun away from your house.

You may also want to look behind your light switch plates and electrical outlet covers. Contractors and builders are only required to meet minimum standards for air draft control in these areas and rarely do more than they have to to insulate the home. It may seem like a small space, but non-insulated outlets and switches are equivalent to leaving an exterior door cracked open 3 inches, 24/7. Turn off the main power to your home, remove the covers, and replace them with insulated covers available at your local hardware store.

When you are done, accessorize and decorate your new rooms with environmentally friendly products. Get rid of plastic and wire hangers that can snap and damage your clothing, replacing them with bamboo clothes hangers or recycled hangers. These are free of dangerous chemicals and are a great environmentally friendly option. Buying closet accessories, like hangers, made from renewable resources, like bamboo, or from reclaimed and recycled products is a good first step towards your Earth friendly lifestyle.

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for premium quality eco-friendly hangers. For more information, please visit