Easy Steps To An Eco Friendly Dining Room

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It seems that just about everything is "eco friendly" these days. If you're on a mission to go green you can start with your own house. One room that tends to get overlooked in the great green transformation is the dining room. Turn your dining room into an environmentally friendly lounge with these tips.

Installing eco lighting

Finding the right eco lighting to brighten up your dining room may be the easiest part of the process. Several light manufacturers are now offering a variety of eco friendly options for any room in the house. Here are a few easy rules to get you started:

  • Opt for compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs)
  • Try LEDs
  • Dispose of your old lights properly

Installing CFLs and LEDs in your dining room is a great way to get the most energy efficiency out of your light installation. Remember that eco friendly lighting isn't entirely about the bulb, you want to make sure you have the proper lamps, light fixtures, switches, and dimmers in your arsenal as well. When it comes time to dispose of your old light bulbs, make sure you follow proper protocol. Check your neighborhood for an energy recycling center and you will do your part in decreasing the amount of mercury making its way into the garbage.

When you get right down to it, remember that the most eco friendly form of lighting is natural sunlight, so make sure your dining room is getting a generous amount of it. Placing mirrors on walls opposite windows will reflect any sunlight coming into the room, instantly doubling the light, and requiring less use of energy and money draining light fixtures.

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Heating and air conditioning alternatives

Keeping the window open and the shades up will not only welcome in the sunlight, but also fill your dining room with natural ventilation and air. Running the air conditioner all summer or the heating system all winter will drive up your electricity bill and ruin your chance at a eco friendly dining utopia. Keep all the doors in your house open to increase house-wide circulation, and strategically place low-energy fans throughout the house.

Eco friendly dinnerware

After a long day at work or school it's easy to want to bypass the dishes, and dive into your stock of paper plates and plastic cutlery. Don't do it! Items like this account for a good percentage of yearly waste products. Make sure you use items like:

  • Reusable plates
  • Metal silverware
  • Cloth napkins

If the dishes turn into too much of a headache, set up a family chore schedule, and take turns shouldering the responsibility. Or look at it the old fashioned way: whoever didn't make dinner handles the cleanup!

Eco friendly meal night

Take your devotion to the environment to a local level, and start instituting locally grown and organic meal nights. Organic farming has become such a trend in the last few years that it is easy to find both the ingredients and the recipes to point your family in the direction of sustainable eating. This can also be a great opportunity to welcome younger family into the kitchen for cooking lessons. Some of the best childhood memories can be formed when transferring knowledge of food prep. If you're really feeling brave, you can even start your own fresh herb window box or small backyard vegetable garden. Get the whole family to participate!

Don't forget to unplug electric items in your dining room when they're not in use, and to turn the lights off whenever the dining room isn't in use. Eco friendly dining rooms are relatively easy to maintain and can be a fun learning experience for the whole family!

Last Updated: July 28, 2011
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com.

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