Changing the World One Room at a Time

It is a new year and change is undoubtedly occurring in our homes. Our new president said it best, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Being greener on the homefront is a process of change with a mission. Committing to living a straightforward life as simply and as economically as possible at home, when all trends point to home economics being the biggest concern, will no doubt be the defining voice of your home and mine in 2009. It might scream, change!

For my home, this change will be upbeat and hopeful. While there will be economic challenges, 2008 brought eco-friendly possibilities in every facet of home. Not sacrificing aesthetics for clean, green design is the inspiration for green living. As we change our approach on how we green our home, we embrace the planet.

Responsible choices in the sustainability of home furnishings, appliances, products and decorating reflects not just a lifestyle, but an ongoing change in habits.

Greening a home does not mean throwing out and starting over. In fact, this ongoing change is attributed to thinking consciously about your home. There will be times when our homes need new products, appliances and furnishings. Home change now incorporates repurposing, reducing, remodeling, reusing, repairing, rebuilding refurbishing, refinishing, reselling, recycling, redesigning, remixing and rediscovering new ways to love what we have.

Green design has become mainstream. It’s a subject in every home design and building magazine from Domino to Dwell. Here’s a sampling of some eco-friendly changes for the home, room by room from EcoNesting and Care2:

Living Room. Refurbish and reuse furniture with eco-friendly upholstery.

Kitchen. Recycle appliances. Energy-efficient models can be purchased used or free from Craigslist, Freecycle, eBay or a supplier like Green Demolitions when you need to replace an appliance.

Bedroom. Rethink of your bedroom as a sanctuary. Serene, natural bedding is a relatively inexpensive way to uplift the decor.

Bathroom. Reduce water consumption with low-flow toilets.

Children’s Room. Repaint children’s rooms. Kids’ tastes change as quickly as they grow. Changing the wall color of a child’s room is an easy and healthy fix. Think little bodies, healthy paint.

Guest Room. Repurpose a guest bedroom to do double duty. Maybe it’s the area to find some personal space when the room is not in use.

Home Office. Redesign your office and incorporate feng shui for stress relief (and we can hope–prosperity too!)

Laundry room. Reduce your carbon footprint by using eco-friendly cleaning products and washing with cold water.

Outdoors. Rediscover your backyard and soak up some Vitamin D. Outdoor rooms were a huge trend in 2008. Consider enhancing your backyard with a garden labyrinth.

My changing hope for home is to be able to continue to implement humble green principals at home. What are some of the ways your home changed or will change?

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton7 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers8 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O8 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh8 years ago

Thanks for the article.

gail d.
gail dair9 years ago


Tara M.
Tara M.10 years ago

Great blog with many good...and simple ideas! Thanks! And thanks to Laura R too - that's good to know.
After the holidays, we've now got quite a bit of "used" items we are packing up for the Salvation Army to make room for "new" stuff. We like to donate clothes, toys, household items, etc to ensure someone else gets use out of them rather than just trashing items that still have use in them.

Laura R.
Laura R.10 years ago

most people don't know but ANY old clothing can be donated to Goodwill, even yucky stuff like old underwear. THis is because they sell any donated fabric to make paper. So next time don't throw it in the trash. GIve it to goodwill.