Bob Vila’s 50 Shades of Green

While our 50 Shades may not be as sexy as the blockbuster novel, these green tips for the home promise gratifying results and earth-friendly fulfillment. 


Green Tips for the Home - No VOC Paint

Choose zero-VOC paints for DIY projects. Benjamin Moore’s Natura line, Behr Premium Plus, Sherwin-Williams’ Harmony line, and Yolo Colorhouse are just a handful of the brands we trust.


Green Tips for the Home - Milk Paint

And don’t forget old-fashioned (and all-natural) milk paint, which “decorators” have been using to spruce up interiors since the Colonial era;


Green Tips for the Home - Shower Responsibly

Don’t turn on the shower until you’re actually ready to get in and shower.


Green Tips for the Home - Watering Plants
Photo: homeguides.sfgate.come

Water your plants and lawn in the early morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.


Green Tips for the Home - Phone Books

Millions of unsolicited phone books land on consumer’s doorsteps each year. If you don’t want a copy, opt out by logging on to


Green Tips for the Home - Cell Phones

And while we’re on phones. Remember to recycle old cell phones, Blackberries, and rechargeable batteries. Visit and enter your address to find free drop-off sites in your area.


Green Tips for the Home - Unplug Electronics

Another thing: unplug your phone, iPod, and laptop chargers when not in use. They all use electricity even when they’re not charging. Ditto for idle coffeemakers, toasters, microwave ovens, and hair dryers.


Green Tips for the Home - Energy Tax Incentives

Check out to see if your utility company encourages energy conservation through appliance purchasing assistance programs, energy rebates, and tax incentives.


Green Tips for the Home - Moisture Sensor

Love your lawn? Consider Toro’s Xtra Smart Soil Moisture Sensor, an innovative new gizmo that wirelessly communicates with most in-ground sprinkler systems about whether or not your grass needs watering. If moisture is adequate, sprinklers stay off, saving water—and money. To learn more, click here.


Green Tips for the Home - Water Saving Nozzle

And speaking of saving water: More than 12 gallons travel through a regular garden hose per minute. Consider buying an H2O-conserving hose attachment.  It’ll allow you to turn water on and off as you work in the garden and adjust the flow and volume according to the job at hand.


Bob Vila’s “50 Shades of Green” continues here.