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na. Using local products reduces shipping costs, supports American businesses and can give the home a unique design. “Logs salvaged from the bottom of the Penob- scot River turn into flooring, ceilings and accent walls,” advises Tom Shafer, co-owner of Maine Heritage Timber, in Millinocket. “Te cold temperature preserves the wood and gives it a natural patina. It’s now available in peel-and- stick, affordable planks called timberchic. Planks have an eco-friendly, UV-cured finish.” For more flooring tips, see


Tinyurl.com/Eco-FriendlyFloors.


In the Bathroom Instead of air freshener sprays, hang pet- and child-safe plants. Use fast-drying towels up to four


times before washing. Hand towels see more frequent use, so change every other day. Longer wear makeup stays longer on a washcloth; to prevent reintroducing germs


to the face, use a facecloth only once. All-natural cleaning products are easy


to find or make. For some tips, see Tinyurl.com/LovelyEcoLoo.


In the Bedroom From sheets and bedding to a fluffy robe, choose eco-friendly organic cotton in white, or colored with environmentally safe, non-metallic dyes. Blue light from a smartphone, com-


puter, tablet or TV can foster sleeplessness.


“I keep all devices out of my bedroom and block all unnatural light,” says Leslie Fischer, an eco-minded mom and entrepreneur in Chicago, who reviews mattresses for adults and babies at SustainableSlumber.com. “I sleep on a fantastic mattress that won’t fill my room with pollution.” A good pillow is a necessity. Citrus


Sleep rates the Top Ten Eco Options at Tinyurl.com/NaturalPillowPicks. Mattresses should be replaced every eight years. In the U.S., an average of


50,000 end up in landfills each day. Califor- nia law requires manufacturers to create a statewide recycling program for mattresses and box springs. An $11 recycling fee, collected upon each sale, funds the Bye Bye Mattress program. Connecticut and Rhode Island also recycle them. “An alternative is extending mattress use with a topper,” says Omar Alchaboun, founder of topper-mak- er Kloudes, in Los Angeles.


What and Where to Recycle Find out where and what to recycle at Earth911.com. Enter the item and a zip code or call 1-800-cleanup. Going green is money-saving, en-


vironmentally wise and coming of age, which makes eco-friendly products easier to access. Earth Day is a perfect time to make simple changes that can have long-lasting and far-reaching results.


Connect with the freelance writer via AveryMack@mindspring.com.


April 2018


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