Green@Home: Lara's Gone Green

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Name: Lara Location: Clarksville, TN Profession: Realtor

Welcome to Lara and her family, who have made many meaningful green moves already, with plans for more. From the basics to big plans, this is the way we've noticed that "going green" works - you start out with a few little things and find yourself inspired to make more and more changes as you realize how good it feels to implement an eco-friendly lifestyle. Check out Lara's green moves below the jump...

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Green Move #1:The Basics: Zero VOC Paint, CFLs, Green Cleaning and Recycling

The things I do on a day to day basis are the things that most people do. I paint with zero or low VOC paint. The most recent room is my middle child's bedroom as seen in the photos (Olympic premium). I use CFLs, I clean with green products I try to replace items the greenest, most efficient way possible. The number one thing I do is to reuse and recycle. I recycle everything. Unfortunately, where I live trash pickup is a service you pay for so the city does provide recycling bins and the trash services do not recycle. They do have recycling centers to take everything from paper, cans, glass to most recently, used vegetable oil. When purchasing items for my home I try to find quality used items when possible.

Green Move #2: Green Bathroom

In our recent bathroom addition we chose the Toto eco 1.2 gallon bowl. Adding another bath would seem wasteful but because we are a family of 5 ! ( with two teenage girls-it was a bathroom or my sanity) I tried to compensate for the bathroom by limiting my showers to under 5 minutes. By doing so, I haven't had any increases in my water bill.

Green Move #3: Lose the Paper

I kicked the paper towel habit and use towels and newspaper to clean my home, I also bring my own bags to grocery shop.

Next Biggest Challenge/Frustration: Composting, Lawn and Transportation

There is a lot that I would like to do in the future. I would like to compost my leftovers which should be easy to do for my own food as I don't eat meat (the rest of my family does). I would also love to lose the lawn and replace it with a xeriscaped, native landscape. My biggest green challenge is the awful SUV I drive. It's paid for and while the market is slow I will have to wait to replace it with a Jetta or Passat TDI that will be converted to run on waste vegetable oil. In the meantime, I try to carpool with co-workers to meetings and other work related activities when possible.

Inspiration: Path to Freedom
In my inspiration photo the home featured is from the Path to Freedom website. These folks produce ALL their own food plus food to sell, over 6,000 lbs annually on 1/5 of a acre on a city lot. They are truly amazing.

Thanks, Lara!

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INFO:

Please send us photos and info on how you live green@home. This is not a contest, just a way to build up an AT inspirational database of sorts on how real folks are living greener at home.

Simple, straightforward ideas are welcome, like how you deal with your recycling bin in a small kitchen, and so are ambitious projects - like your amazing green roof. We hope to have a big archive of ideas to inspire us all by the end of the month.

PRIZES:

6-26-ecover1.jpg6-26-ecover3.gifIn exchange for sharing your green@home ideas, Ecover will reward the first 100 ApartmentTherapy readers, who submit photo/essays demonstrating ways in which their lives are green, with their choice of Ecover Liquid Laundry detergent, Ecover Dishwashing Liquid, or Ecover Glass & Surface spray cleaner. Each of the first 100 will also receive Ecover Heavy Duty hand cleanser.

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Raksha Bella will reward one lucky sweepstakes winner with a complete bedding set made from all certiefied Indian organic cottons. The set includes a queen-sized duvet cover, quilt, two pillow cases and two European shams in the winner's choice of three designs. The Classic Collection from Raksha Bella features sumptous textiles in traditional Indian prints, handblocked with lowimpact and vegetable dyes. Choose from the Raj Paisley (available in Indigo or Rum Raisin), Tree of Life (in Canton & Mimosa) or Indian Rose (in Dusty Cedar, Cress Green or Indigo). A retail value of $1,165.00.

HOW TO ENTER:

To enter the Green @ Home Giveaway, please submit below. Submissions will be posted from July 7th to August 1 and winners will be notified by August 8th.

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RULES:

Please, only one submission per person. Duplicate submissions will be discarded.

This is not a contest.

The first 100 posted submissions will receive a gift from Ecover.

The winner of the Raksha Bella Sweepstakes will be randomly drawn from all complete entries (even those that aren't posted).

Winners must claim their prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. A Sweepstakes winner's failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three business days will be considered such Sweepstakes winner's forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries.

To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older to enter. Employees, partners and vendors of Apartment Therapy and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. When applicable, the winner may be required to execute and return within five business days an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner will be selected.

All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that Apartment Therapy reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Sweepstakes Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Apartment Therapy, 22 Howard Street #4i, New York, NY 10013.