Your Green Life: Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

By KBJR Manager

Your Green Life: Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

The housing market has been in a slump, and it's the reason many people are choosing to stay put and work on some home improvements.

Upgrades often challenge your bank account, but they don't have to damage the environment as meteorologist Shannon Murphy explains in "Your Green Life."

"Both my husband and I are very much environmentalists, and we wanted to do whatever we can to lessen our footprint."

"Whether it's we drive less, or put in eco-friendly products in our home, or we decide that we're going to recycle, whatever it happens to be, let's do our part, even if it's a little part."

For Duluth homeowners Shannon Hoffman and Frank Befera the decision was an eco-friendly home improvement.

"The countertops... are all recycled glass, and they've been fantastic. One of the best things about them is that they are very porous, so we don't end up with stains or anything like that."

"I had the option to put in a regular wood floor or bamboo. Price wise? Really no difference in price. So, it was a really easy decision for me to make."

"It's beautiful. I mean I've had it in here for 8 months and I've had no problems."

"Something to look for is bamboo flooring that's made without formaldehyde adhesives. That's really important so that you don't have those toxic chemicals off gassing into your home."

Those chemicals which make up the signature "new home smell" are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and they may cause short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Since Northlanders spend a lot of time indoors, switching to a greener household product can limit your exposure.

"Indoor air quality is very important to consider. Especially if you have children or auto-immune disorders or if you're just generally concerned for your health, you might want to consider the chemicals you're exposing yourself to on a daily basis."

Buying locally made products is also an ecological decision as it saves energy though reduced transportation.

In Duluth, meteorologist Shannon Murphy, the Northland's NewsCenter.

For more information on other eco-friendly products you can find in Duluth, visit our website at Northlands -NewsCenter -dot -com.