Town & Country: Eco-Advice


Town & Country (July 2009)
Title - ECO Advice
Page: 51
Author: Sara Bliss

If you're interested in living a greener life at home without giving up your current digs, consider hiring one of a new and fast-growing breed of environmental advisers called eco-consultants. Such experts make house calls and counsel you on steps to take; when a client is ready to act, they recommend specific eco-smart products and local providers to do everything from installing solar panels to putting in a tankless water heater. Moves like these aren't just smart; they can also save you money - a concern in these tumultuous times.

For those new to the concept of sustainable living, Green Irene (, now in forty-six states, is a perfect first step. A ninety-minute consultation ($99) addresses eleven areas, including air quality, lighting and waste management.

Urbanites might prefer a local service that specializes in the needs of city dwellers, like New York City's Deep Green Living; a two-hour home visit ($500) teaches clients how to recycle with less hassle, adopt sustainable energy sources, conserve water, reduce their dependence on cars and choose toxin-free products for home cleaning, skin care and more.

Anyone looking to cut costs will benefit from the aptly named, nationwide firm Green and Save ( Founder Charlie Szoradi promises that "within the first hour we can save a client at least $500 annually." His "return on investment" charts track savings on many basic eco-upgrades. A two-hour visit (about $295) covers 100 areas. Some recommendations pay off right away (investing $115 in a programmable thermostat can save you as much as $80 a year), while others, like replacing single-pane-windows with Energy Star-rated versions that decrease solar-heat transfer, take longer to deliver.

But such changes make perfect sense at a time when living responsibly, both financially and environmentally, benefits everyone.

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