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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogMaking your home eco-friendly doesn't need to be an expensive or time-consuming chore. In fact, most families only need to make a few small changes around their house in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. Here is a look at five simple steps that you can take today to lower energy bills and potentially remove some toxins within your own home. Switch to Plant-Based Cleaners There is a long list of unhealthy chemicals sitting under the kitchen sink in most homes. Some of these common cleaners are effective when it comes to removing grime, but they are often quite toxic and can be replaced with much safer products. Next time any of your cleaners are running low, consider switching over to alternatives such as vinegar-based cleaners. Create a Compost Station Within many homes, food scraps make up nearly 50 percent of all waste. Instead of letting this go to the landfill, creating a simple compost station is a great way to put leftover scraps to work. A compost station can turn practically any organic material into nutrient-rich compost for a garden or to improve the health of your lawn during the spring. Air Seal Your Home Whenever a home is not sealed properly, homeowners are going to be looking at higher energy bills and lower air quality. A simple way to start air sealing a home is to use gaskets and seals from companies like Phoenix Specialty for ducts and vents. Other areas that may need to be sealed include gaps around doors and old pipes leading into or out of the home. Give Up Bottled Water There are few items that have become as problematic for our environment as plastic water bottles. These products are especially difficult to recycle and some even contaminate water with chemicals such as BPAs. Buying a dozen BPA-free bottles, filling them with water, and putting them in the fridge will ensure that your family has constant access to refreshing water without the need for creating more waste. Stop Dumping and Donate Almost anything that is used in a home can either be recycled or donated, and taking a little extra time to separate your trash could make quite a difference at a local dump. Some items throughout the home that are easy to donate include clothing, electronics, toys, and old kitchenware. Homes now consume around 40 percent of all energy within the United States, and families that take the time to make their home more eco-friendly can help make a difference while saving some extra money.