Green Piece

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: At Home Issue: June 2013

How much money could you save every year with an eco-friendly, energy-efficient home? Let’s start with the kitchen. Some standard refrigerators can burn through as much as $300 in electricity every year – more if you live with someone who often opens the door and stands there pondering the contents for several minutes before deciding “there’s nothing to eat.” Three hundred bucks might not sound like a lot, but it’s heaps more than the $62 per year estimated operating cost of the LG LFX31935 fridge. The Energy Star-certified refrigerator uses about 578 kWh (kilowatts per hour), as opposed to older models that can burn around 1,400 kWh.

Air conditioners suck – electricity, that is. Because of cracks around windows and door frames, the air inside your home must be perpetually replenished. You can reduce the amount of work your AC does – and the number on your energy bill – by tamping down the pollutants inside your home. A great way to do that is via a whole-home air purification system. Another option is salt crystal lamps, which reportedly release negative ions into the atmosphere to neutralize electro-magnetic pollutants from computers and cell phones, plus eliminate chemical and smoke smells. “When I brought them into my home, I started seeing the benefits right away. My husband and my dog stopped snoring that night,” says Lily Neff, owner of Himalayas Salt Lamps in Mesa. “To me, it’s like feeding oxygen [to] your environment.”

Salt crystal lamps Himalayan salt lamps purportedly help remove impurities from the air while providing a soft glow and fetching natural accents. $27-$250, depending on lamp size and design.

Himalayas Salt Lamps & More
240 W. Main St., Mesa
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  IQ Air Perfect 16 This whole-house air purification system is installed next to (and works with) your home’s air conditioning unit. Micro-fiber filter technology reduces allergens, dust, smoke and bacteria, and improves indoor air quality by as much as 95 percent within an hour of installation, according to the manufacturer. $2,695  
8342 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
Toto Eco Soiree toilet Made from vitreous china, this toilet uses just 1.28 gallons of water per flush (federal energy standards require no more than 1.6 gallons per flush). Available with SanaGloss ceramic glaze to prevent debris and mold from sticking to the surface. Starts at $980.

Central Arizona Supply
16431 N. 90th St., Scottsdale
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  Mad For Wood Local artist Luz Madrid’s refurbished furniture – made from 100 percent recycled, reclaimed wood – is both shabby chic and environmentally friendly. $75-$550, depending on the piece. Available at local shops Qcumberz and Everything Goes.