Helpful Tips to Make Moving Easier

You might be a home’s first owner, but maybe you’re the fifth. In any case, moving into a home that’s new to you is exciting but also a time to make many decisions. Get prepared before moving day with these helpful hints. Do you have any moving tips you’d like to share? Share them here.

  1. Start a notebook for the new house. Jot down items to purchase or activities to handle. Include quotes from movers, contact info for your utilities and others, pictures from magazines for decorating/colors, floor plan with where to place what boxes and furniture, etc. Carry your notebook with you to have data handy when you need it.
  2. Sketch a floor plan of your new home when you don’t have blueprints. Record measurements of rooms, windows, closets and doors in your notebook. Include distance of window moldings from corners, floor and ceiling. Use measurements or blueprints to make a “to scale” floor plan and determine your furniture placement for moving day. Your movers will love your organization!
  3. Record your account numbers and contact info for all your utilities, magazine subscriptions, services, banks, government agencies, doctors, insurance companies, voter registration and anyone else who sends you mail. Don’t forget to tell your friends and family (at least the ones you want to know!)
  4. Visit the post office and fill out a mail forwarding and change of address form.Moving Snoopy
  5. Take pictures of each room in your house from multiple angles. This will help you remember placement of items as well as what’s in which room. Take an inventory too.
  6. Paint rooms, closets and ceilings before the move if existing colors don’t suit you. It’s easier when there are no heavy furnishings to move.
  7. Clean and paper the inside of kitchen cupboards and drawers, even closet shelves.
  8. Replace floor coverings or clean carpets before furnishings arrive if a house was previously occupied. Your home will be fresh and new for your family! Call us and we’ll help you with all your flooring needs.
  9. Watch a room’s light. Which window coverings will make the room most usable and comfortable? Check out our selection of Hunter Douglas blinds.
  10. Donate furniture, clothing and accessories that no longer suit you. Why pack and move stuff you don’t need when you’re starting life in a new place?
  11. Pack essentials like toiletries, supplies for cleaning and tools for small repairs in a box or 5 gallon bucket. Separate the human necessities into a different box or bag. Don’t take the whole toolbox – just hammer, nails, screwdrivers, screws, etc. Be sure you have these at least a day or two before you plan to stay overnight at your new place.
  12. Do laundry and clean your old home before you pack up your washing machine and dryer. You and the rest of your family will be glad you did.

Five Tile Trends in 2017

If you’ve not been in the market for tile in 10-15 years or more, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at all the new options in 2017. Daltile, producer of some of the most high-tech and unique tile ever made, has written an article about five trends for 2017 you need to see. If you are planning a bathroom or kitchen redesign with the hottest trends in the tile industry, here’s what you need to pay attention to this year.


Wood-look tile has already been established as a favorite and that won’t change. In fact, wood-look tile is looking better and better with each new product introduced. But the trend will shift

slightly this year toward some creative uses of wood-look tile.

Layouts and Applications
Look for tile planks in all sorts of interesting patterns, especially herringbone. You’ll also find wood-look tile making a strong appearance on the walls.

This weathered, distressed look is hot and it will continue to grow in 2017. Everything from barn wood looks to aged painted planks will make more of an appearance than in previous years.

Painted wood will be the next bold thing in wood flooring. Tile will follow suit with whitewashed looks and even some brightly hued geometric patterns and floral designs on a classic wood grain texture.

Cross Grain
A new idea in wood is the cross grain. Most wood in the home shows the grain, but some manufacturers are showing interest in highlighting a new perspective. Think of what you’d see if you looked at a tree stump—that’s the cross grain. All those rings and texture will create a whole new wood-look in tile for 2017 and beyond.


Cement-like tile flooringCement, like wood, isn’t a new idea for floors and walls. But this trend is going to hit its stride in 2017. It’s a look that doesn’t date itself so it’s here to stay.
2017 will see the paring of cotto and concrete—something only tile can give you. This gives a plain concrete look an upgrade by adding depth and character. The rustic and slightly aged look lets this look work in more classic designs rather than being exclusive to modern designs.

Soft Tones
Cement-look tile in 2017 will be softer and warmer, making it suitable for all kinds of design. Concrete isn’t just for modern design anymore. Look for it in warm grey, taupe, and beiges.

Size and Shape
Concrete-look tiles will begin to be available in many different shapes and sizes in 2017. Mosaic, planks, hex, and large format will become popular. This upgrade elevates cement-looks in design.


Brick-like tile room sceneBrick-look tile is an easier-to-maintain option than actual brick and you’ll get the same look and feel. 2017 will see the classic Chicago loft look taken to the next level.
Most brick installations are for the wall. But 2017 will see brick on the floor. Brick-look tile on the floor is a great idea because porcelain is already a proven winner for floors.

Painted Brick
Just like wood, brick is getting a face lift with some paint. Painted brick has that retro look that is coming back into vogue but it still has a flair of the contemporary. Look for tile with graphics, text, and highlights in metallic colors.

Aged brick, like the kind you’d find in an old downtown loft, is available in tile and probably the most popular choice in brick-look for 2017.


The classic high-end look of marble is what everyone wants and in every imaginable format. Porcelain tile is ready to deliver.

Porcelain makes it possible for the marble look to go where it has never gone before. In 2017 it will be popular on the floor, wall, mosaic, and mixed with other materials.

This enduring, classic marble look with its white background and grey veining is going to be huge in 2017. When it comes to tile, the marble look is more realistic than ever.



Wall tile isn’t limited to a backsplash anymore. It’s replacing paint and wallpaper as the favored wall covering in 2017.

Metallics as an accent make a design lean toward the dramatic. Even in small doses, metallic is a hit. It will be everywhere this year, but it will play a supporting role.

Tile will jump off the wall in all kinds of 3D designs this year. While trends will still favor neutral colors, textures will be anything but neutral. Look for geometric pattern, waves, handcrafted look, and high-low mosaic patterns.

Tile on the wall is getting bigger and getting away from classic mosaic backsplash. It won’t be unusual to see large format tile, including planks. The new favorite will be tiles 24 inches or more in length.

The year ahead is full of promise for design and for new developments in tile. Visit to see the latest and greatest.

Designing a Room With Tile

When planning your tile layout, think color and pattern and coordinate the whole room, floors, furniture, walls, accessories. Consider your whole design scheme at the same time. The more powerful your tiling decor is, the more restrained your other elements should be.

Artigiano from Daltile is a glazed ceramic subway tile.

This is a good time to consider how thick or thin, how dominant or restrained you want your joints and grout lines to be. Unless you want joints to be a dominant part of your pattern, they should be as tight as possible, with no grout lines, or use light-colored grout.

Assess the size and scale of your tile, its individual design and the overall pattern – as well as your layout – within the context of your room.

A busy border around a busy field of tile can be confusing and distracting. However, a strong frame around a plain field makes a more tasteful, significant and chic statement.

Florida Tile Room Sample
Florida Tile

Thick or multiple borders will help reduce the spacious feeling of a large room.

Skip borders around the room if you intend the installation pattern to run through a doorway.

The key to selecting grout color is to determine if you want to match the grout to the tile so it blends and makes the area you’re working in look larger. Light grout colors will help, too.

Article courtesy of the World Floor Covering Association.

Design Defines Karndean LVT

Composition Wood flooring in a lobby

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”]

Canadian Maple with Weave border

Karndean Designflooring is not your typical luxury vinyl – at all. Design versatility sets it apart from other luxury vinyl floors. It’s not limited to great visuals and durability; Karndean Designflooring goes far, far beyond. You can mix stone and wood; you can add curves and features; borders and corners; you can add personality. When you discover a floor that you really, truly want, versus a floor that you are simply willing to settle for, that is a special moment.

Why should someone choose a Karndean floor from us? First, you’ll get a floor that looks identical to the natural products they replicate. It doesn’t stop there; you’ll also get a floor that is durable, easy to maintain, versatile, stylish, and completely customizable. Choosing Karndean means you can choose the look that you truly want for your space. There is no limit to the design capabilities of these floors. Plus, our relationship and training with Karndean ensures that we are the experts at design and installation. We will help you customize the design you want.

Star feature being installed

How to Create Your Perfect Floor in a Few Easy Steps

  1. Choose from stone, wood, mosaics, pebbles or even metallics. In wood, choose from a wide selection of planks, each featuring realistic grain and knot details and textures. Or in tile and stone, choose from a palette of natural beiges and browns to cool blues and greens.
  2. Add a decorative strip. Once you have chosen your main floor color, you have the option of adding a decorative strip. In wood, add a strip between wood planks to create a ship’s attractive decking effect.
  3. Add a border. To personalize your floor even further or to help define your space, why not add a border?
  4. Add a standard or even a custom feature. With seven standard designs to choose from and the ability to design your own, a feature creates a focal point in your room. These are similar to medallions you might see in a tile or wood floor.

To see all that Karndean  has to offer, visit their website at

[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”]
[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Carpet Color and Design Trends for 2015

Now is a perfect time to consider new carpet for your home. Today more than ever, there’s a tremendous range of pattern & color variety available in carpet due to design and yarn innovations.

Today, Suzanne Zurfluh, Product Marketing Manager for Tuftex Carpets of California, provided some insight about new carpet trends.  She has worked at Tuftex for over 17 years with her first 16 years spent working in Product Development. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Design and an MBA in Marketing.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Darryl.

Tuftex has always been on the forefront of innovative design and fashion-forward color trends. Tuftex’s product line offers a fantastic selection of the hottest patterns and colors for the consumer that is looking for something unique.

CarpetsPlus COLORTILE: Thank you for taking time to talk. With so many other flooring options today, is carpet still an option for today’s home owners and why?

Suzanne: Carpet is definitely an option.  It’s setting the pace in home decor and often becoming the focal point for a room. With more homeowners taking a longer-term view of their homes, there is a move toward bolder designs for the floor and more of a willingness to let the floors set the tone for their rooms.

CPCT: Wow. So homeowners are becoming bolder in their choices, whereas in the past, they may have chosen some shade of beige. What are some trends you’ve seen with carpet design that have become popular lately?

Tuftex Pattern SampleSuzanne: Right. Since they’re choosing to stay in their homes longer, they are tending to choose something they really like – that suits their taste. For instance, patterned carpet continues to be extremely popular because of advances in machine technology and design preferences. The mix of multi-dimensional cut/loop constructions, bold designs, and yarn variations can create a beautiful product. Geometrics and stripes are very popular pattern trends in carpet.

These patterns can be sophisticated, timeless, contemporary or globally influenced. Many of these carpet designs can make a dramatic statement in a room, in an entry way, or on a staircase. Organic patterns with floral and scroll designs are also popular carpet choices for consumers who may want to bring the look of the outdoors inside the home.

CPCT: I’m really glad to see so many great patterns available today – affordable choices too. I’ve always been interested in how culture and technology influences design. Environmental responsibility is a perfect example.  We saw the emergence of Anso nylon several years ago as a recyclable, carpet-to-carpet-again fiber. But what about the way it looks? Are more natural looks emerging in today’s carpet design?

Suzanne: Absolutely. As green design continues to gain ground in mainstream design, carpet that is inspired by natural wool and sisal continues to grow in popularity. Carpet designs which are created with nylon yarn are constructed to mimic a rustic and distressed aesthetic similar to natural fibers. Striated carpet designs that have a gradual fading of light and dark shades give the floor an aged or antiqued appearance. These carpet styles add a sense of hominess and warmth to the floor at a greater value than natural fibers and are also easier to maintain.

CPCT: I notice that some of the yarns appear to be a mix of colors. What’s the purpose of doing that?

Suzanne: Yes. Two-colored or tone-on-tone carpets continue to be a popular design trend whether incorporated into a patterned carpet or simply used in a cut pile texture. This beautiful mix of tonal colorations adds visual and textural interest which allows for more design versatility and flexibility for the room. The tone-on-tone and two-color designs give a multidimensional look to the floor while also helping to hide dirt.

CPCT: Love it. Anything with a dual-purpose is a real bonus.  Now what about the feel, the texture of carpet today? How does carpet design use texture?

Suzanne: Touch and texture is a popular design trend in carpet. Carpet that emphasizes on the sense of touch and texture, such as, soft textured loops, cut and loop patterns, and shag carpet inspires warmth and comfort on the floor while blending a variety of tactile qualities in the home. The blend of different yarn mixes also creates visual appeal and textural interest on the floor.

CPCT: Now for the hardest choice of many shoppers – color. What color do I choose? Many are afraid of making a wrong choice. Are you seeing any color trends for next year beginning to emerge?

Suzanne: Tuftex Carpets of California is known for its beautiful array of West Coast inspired neutral shades as well as a luxurious mix of fashion-forward color choices.

Gray and taupe continue to be the carpet colors of choice. These new favorite neutrals are extremely trendy in furniture, fabrics, and paint. Both of these neutrals are very Taupes and Grays Popular in 2015versatile and make a glamorous backdrop for other home furnishings. Both gray and taupe can work well alone, with a bright pop of color, or with white.

A beautiful variety of blues and teals are also popular in home décor. These hues are showing up in bold and sophisticated ways. The colors can be bright and energizing or soothing and tranquil.

Tones of orange, coral, pink, and plum are also popular accent tones in home décor today. These optimistic and exotic colors are inspired by vintage florals and tropical retreats. These glamorous hues are perfect accents that help to liven up neutrals such as, gray, beige, and taupe.

Fresh greens like emerald, lime, and moss are also being used in home interiors. These green tones which signify growth and renewal are often associated with nature and the outdoors. They also represent the trend toward eco-friendly and natural design.

Suzanne, thank you for sharing so many incredibly helpful tips and insights into carpet trends to look forward to in 2015.

Custom Rugs Now Available at CarpetsPlus COLORTILE

I interviewed Suzanne Zurfluh from Tuftex a few days ago and decided to break up the interview into two parts – 1) carpet and 2) rugs. The discussion continues…

CarpetsPlus COLORTILE: You’ve shown we really can customize a room’s decor around the carpet. So many designs today will fit right in with anything from traditional to modern decor.  I’ve heard Tuftex has come out with a new custom rug program. What do you see on the horizon for area rugs?

Suzanne: Yes and the possibilities are almost limitless. Tuftex is known for creating the most beautiful, cutting-edge carpets and colors in the flooring industry. While once only known for luxurious wall to wall carpet, Tuftex has opened up the possibilities of creating standard sized and custom area rugs with their unique assortment of exquisite products.

From heavenly shags…to detailed designs…to simple bordered rugs, Tuftex Custom Rugs offers an array of options that allow you to create the rug that’s right for you. So, whether you are looking to fill a hard-to-fit space with a rug made to your measurements, or just want to coordinate an area rug with your favorite broadloom carpet, your search is over.

CPCT: How does the custom rug program work?CarpetsPus Pattern Destination Stairs

Suzanne: All of the Tuftex styles and colors are available as area rugs. Simply select the size, shape, style, color, and border and Tuftex Carpets of California will do the rest. Tuftex offers a vast selection of colors in several quality border finishes, such as, leather, cotton, serging, and binding to accentuate your rug. Standard sizes include: 4×6, 5×8, 6×9, 8×11, 9×12.

Vacuum Recommendations for UltraTouch Satin Carpet

What kind of vacuum cleaner should you use on your new UltraTouch® Satin carpet made with super soft Anso® nylon? A good vacuum will be both simple and effortless in operation, and also gentle enough.

What is unique about UltraTouch Satin carpet from CarpetsPlus COLORTILE® that requires special vacuuming considerations?

Soft Anso nylon is the latest in advanced extrusion technology that make these extraordinarily soft carpets possible. Because the fibers are so soft and plush, the total surface density is much higher. This density translates to a more complete seal for a vacuum cleaner head, increasing suction at the point of contact with the carpet surface. The farther the vacuum head sinks into the carpet, the greater the suction and difficulty in maneuvering the machine.

The ultra-soft fibers also require a gentler cleaning action so as to avoid unnecessary wear. Be aware that some vacuums have overly aggressive action which may damage the surface of your carpet.

What makes a vacuum a good fit for UltraTouch Satin carpet?ultratouch-satin-logo-300x111

The following characteristics should be considered to help identify vacuum cleaners that work most effectively on these luxurious, plush carpets:

1. Adjustable height brush roll: A manual height adjustment allows the user to accurately set the height of the brushing action to the proper level for both better cleaning and mobility.

2. Light weight: A lighter weight vacuum will exert less weight in hand, will not sink as deeply into the carpet’s surface, and will thus be easier to maneuver.

3. Adequate wheel size: A large enough wheel size will help the vacuuming head stay at the proper height and not sink into the face fibers.

4. Adjustable motor speed: An adjustable motor will often times lower the speed of the brush roll, allowing both easier operation as well as gentler on the carpet fibers.

5. Optional brush roll control: On loop products, it is recommended to disengage the brush roll action on vacuums with this feature to avoid excessive damage to the fibers. For ultra-high pile carpets, it may also be necessary to disengage the brush roll as the long fibers may entangle in the brush roll, causing damage to both the carpet and the vacuum.

Will I need to purchase a new vacuum for use on my carpet? Many vacuum cleaners perform well on UltraTouch Satin carpet, so it’s possible that you already own such a model. To verify that your vacuum will work well, test it in an inconspicuous area, such as a closet, or on a scrap piece left over from the installation. If the vacuum has any of the features mentioned above, use them as recommended and see if the machine moves easily across the carpet’s surface. Examine the test area carefully to determine if any abrasion of the fibers has occurred. If the vacuum can be maneuvered easily and no abrasive damage is seen, sprinkle some dry dirt or other small pieces of debris and see if they are efficiently removed by your vacuum.

Of course, a quality vacuum cleaner that works effectively on UltraTouch Satin carpet will only benefit you by extending the life of your carpet by keeping it looking newer, longer. Below is a list of recommended vacuum cleaners to fit any budget, and use of such cleaners is highly recommended:

$50 & BelowPanasonic MC-UG725-700

Bissell Powerforce 71Y7-W
Dirt Devil Windtunnel UD70115
Eureka Airspeed AS5203A
Hoover Nano UH70120

$50 – $150

Hoover Windtunnel UH70120
Hoover Windtunnel Plus UH70205
Hoover Windtunnel UH5780-950
Hoover Whole House UH71214
Bissell Total Floors Pet 61C5W

$150 – $250

Hoover Windtunnel Max UH70600
Kenmore Progressive Canister 21514
Kenmore Progressive Canister 21614
Panasonic MC-CG917 Canister
Panasonic MC-UG725
Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum 16N5
Bissell Heavy Duty Vacuum 50C9, 93Z6
Bissell Lift-Off Multi Cyclonic Vacuum 89Q9, 18Z6
Bissell Total Floors Complete 52C2

$250 & Above

Oreck Magnesium LW100
Kenmore Progressive Canister 21714
Electrolux Precision EL8807A
Panasonic MC-UG727
Oreck Quest Pro Canister
Panasonic MC-UG729
Hoover Canister S3855
Panasonic MC-GG523
Oreck Magnesium RS LW100


UltraTouch Satin carpet is available only at CarpetsPlus COLORTILE stores.

How to Clean Mud Out of Your Carpet

Water and dirt make mud.

Those April showers that bring May flowers are also bringing mud that could be tracked into your home. Would you be prepared if you saw one of your kids sprint across your carpet with muddy shoes? Here’s some recommendations of what to do from the Carpet and Rug Institute. The key is to BE PATIENT WHILE CLEANING and DO NOT SCRUB! You may have to repeat some steps to fully remove the stain. You may also have to send someone to the store for white paper towels and liquid dish detergent.

Follow the instructions below to clean mud-stained carpet:

Act Quickly! Delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain. Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or white paper towels. Gently scrape up semi-solids with a rounded spoon. Break up solids and vacuum.

Pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another solution.

Apply a small amount of the solution to a white cloth, and work in gently – do not rub — working from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Allow to remain on the spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot.

Continue to use the first agent as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Or, you may need to move to the next solution.

When the spill is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry cloth until all moisture is removed.

A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to minimize drying time.

Detergent Solution

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove Liquid Dish Detergentdetergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions below.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Warm Water

Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Call a Professional

Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. If you’re not sure you want to tackle the job, you can always call us regarding any spot removal question.

Residue Precautions

Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist type sprayer is recommended to prevent over-wetting. Blot with paper towels and pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than those recommended.

Sizing it Up – How to Choose the Right Size Rug

One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing a rug is buying one that is too small for the space. Area rugs come in all different sizes – 5′ x 8′, 6′ x 9′, 8′ x 10′, 8′ x 11′, 9′ x 12′ and many more. You can even have a custom rug designed for you in almost any shape or size.

Come in today to see all the stunning options you have. If we don’t have the rug in our showroom, we can usually order it for you. Use the illustrations in this post to help you choose the right size rug for your room. Furniture settings are shown in white.

Living, Family and Great RoomsCarpetsPlus COLORTILE living room rug

Designers suggest that each piece of furniture is placed, in whole or in part, on the rug. To help you visualize just how big your rug will be in your room, try using blue painter’s tape or something similar to mark the edges. This will give you a good idea how the size will work in your room. Suggested sizes are 8′ x 11′ or 9′ x 12′.

Dining or Breakfast RoomsCarpetsPlus COLORTILE dining room rug

Just as in living rooms, be sure each piece of furniture is at least resting partly on the rug. The biggest rule here is to make sure you have enough room to pull a chair from under the table and it still be on the rug. Suggested sizes are 8′ x 11′ or 9′ x 12′ for dining rooms and 6′ x 9′ for breakfast rooms.

BedroomsCarpetsPlus COLORTILE bedroom rug

The area rug should be large enough for you to be able to take a step or two on it when you get out of bed. You don’t want cold feet in the morning! Suggested sizes are 8′ x 11′ or 9′ x 12′.

The most common reason rugs are returned is because the size didn’t work. So to avoid that hassle, be sure to measure your room and distance between your main furniture settings.

Celebrate Earth Day With These Money-Saving Tips

Politics aside, good stewardship is always a good policy. I think playing nice with the green ball we all live on has more to do with being smart than it does with any government agenda.

kids-on-rocks-at-lake-300x242The best thing about practicing green options is that, the majority of the time, they are the more cost-effective option. It seems to me that being eco-friendly will just plain save you money.

Here are a few low-cost or no-cost ideas. I practice many of them and will try to implement others. Let’s all be eco-smart (eco-nomically and eco-logically).

  • Plant a small garden in pots or in a raised bed.
  • Create a compost bin.
  • Cut down on lunch packaging. Avoid “snack size” foods by buying in bulk and filling your own snack containers.
  • Reduce the new toys you buy. Swap toys with other parents as kids outgrow them (cardboard boxes are fun too).
  • Switch to CFL lightbulbs (or at least a few).
  • Use reusable bags at the store – or make your own.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle instead of plastic disposable bottles.
  • Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room. Big one in my house trying to get the kids to do!
  • Save gas by driving the speed limit and check the air pressure in the tires. Combine errands in one trip.
  • Shop at your farmer’s market – support your local farmers.
  • Pay bills online if possible.
  • Stop unsolicited mail — opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
  • Reuse scrap paper. Good for couponers too. Let your kids use it for crafts or drawing.
  • Before buying new, check Craigslist, Freecycle, thrift stores and yard sales.
  • Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores.
  • Support restaurants that use locally-grown food.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Line dry laundry.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Repurpose something – like egg cartons for crafts or glass jars for leftovers.
  • Collect rainwater – use it to water your houseplants and garden.
  • Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
  • Carpool. Set up carpools with friends to shop or to take kids to their activities.
  • And now my favorite… Get outside. Many kids spend very little time outdoors each week playing. Maybe go hiking and camping as a family, or simply play in the yard.