How to stay 'green' during the holidays - East Valley Tribune: Living Green

How to stay 'green' during the holidays

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Posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 2:06 pm | Updated: 11:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

So you’ve made the environmentally conscious choice to be green this year ... but with the holidays just around the corner, how will this decision impact your entertaining?

Maintaining discipline can be difficult during the ”season of indulgence.” Just as many diets might go out the window; so may your environmental self-discipline. However, maintaining a green focus during the holidays doesn’t have to mean bland food and brown, recycled napkins. Organic food can be delicious -- special enough to serve at parties -- and sustainable table linens can be glamorous. Green choices can actually enhance your guests’ experience in your home; rather than inhibit it.

“Green products are far from plain and unattractive. The ‘green movement’ has been embraced by the architecture and design community -- so there is an abundance of smartly styled, design-forward items that are also eco-friendly,” says Judy Riley, vice president of design at Moen Incorporated.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you plan this year’s holiday party, starting with the two rooms your guests are sure to see -- the kitchen and the powder room. Some changes are quick and simple; while others have a longer-term impact that you can enjoy long after your guests are gone.

A Gorgeous, Green Kitchen

It’s a fact -- whether you’re entertaining two guests or 20 -- the one spot they’ll most likely congregate is the kitchen. And fortunately, making a green impact in this room is easy.

If you need to purchase a new table and chairs to accommodate a large dinner party, look for second-hand tables and refurbished chairs with character. And if you’re looking for a “green” kitchen remodel, Riley suggests:

* Installing cabinetry or built-ins made with certifiable, eco-friendly wood (meaning they were not made from rain forest materials or endangered woods).

* Using Zodiaq quartz counters, which are more eco-friendly than granite and are available in a palette of beautiful colors.

* Installing bamboo wood flooring, which provides the natural beauty of wood while also being environmentally friendly.

* If you’re setting up the bar for guests, a Moen AquaSuite filtering faucet in the kitchen will provide filtered water at your sink -- virtually eliminating the need for bottled water.

The Perfect Powder Room

After the kitchen, the next most-visited room at your dinner party is the powder room, or guest half-bath. To add a green flair here, Riley recommends:

* Enhancing the mood of your soiree with candles -- not only do they soften the lighting and add a festive flair; but they also are electricity-free.

* Incorporating ceramic tile in floors, countertops and walls. Some ceramic tiles are made from recycled products, such as discarded bottle glass.

* Installing electronic faucets or faucets certified to meet WaterSense criteria to conserve water. The hands-free Destiny electronic powder room faucet from ShowHouse by Moen features a sleek, minimalist design and a distinctly-styled spout that produces a sheeting water flow -- providing water only when it is needed.

Another earth-friendly option, Moen’s new Rothbury bath faucet, allows water to flow at an optimized 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), versus traditional aerators that flow at 2.2 gpm. This faucet, certified to meet WaterSense criteria, not only reduces water usage by up to 32 percent, but it also is extremely stylish and available in a number of on-trend finishes.

Earth-Friendly Entertaining

Once your decorating is complete, it’s time to add a few, final green touches to your event:

* Invite an acoustic guitarist to play at the party -- not only will it give your event a more intimate feel, it will also conserve energy.

* Buy beverages in aluminum cans and glass bottles that can be recycled; and create a ”festive” reminder for guests to dispose of these items in a recycling bin.

Finally, remember that every little bit counts -- and by showing your guests a glamorous -- and green -- experience, you can empower them to follow in your eco-conscious footsteps.

For more information on Moen’s eco-friendly faucets or to request a Moen sustainability brochure, visit www.moen.com or call (800) BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).

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