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1. Use VOC-free paints. These paints are earth- and people-friendly because they don't emit potentially harmful gases. But a word to the wise: You may need to apply three coats instead of the usual two to get the desired color on the walls.
More about low-VOC paints
Wall paint: Pale Oak, Benjamin Moore
2. Choose Energy Star appliances. All the new appliances in the kitchen are Energy Star certified
4. Source environmentally friendly companies. These kitchen cabinets are made here in the U.S. by Elmwood. The company participates in the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s Environmental Stewardship Program, which promotes resource management.
The countertop is hard-to-find white granite. For a similar look, Prugar recommends Silestone or Caesarstone, two environmentally friendly surfacing brands.
8. Save money, gas, time and car mileage with a home espresso station. Small changes can make a big difference. An espresso bar provides the homeowner a space to serve drinks without interfering with her cooking zone. It is also a great place to sort mail or homework.