EcoChi is built on a solid foundation of three basic, tried and true ingredients: feng shui, green and sustainable living, and environmental psychology. When decreasing your carbon footprint you are making lifestyle choices that involve participating in an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The EcoChi system creates ecological integrity by helping us to make healthier choices, protect the environment and sustain its resources for future generations.

10 EcoChi Green Tips for the Kitchen

1. Replace your sink faucet and with a low flow faucet. Some have water saving features that use 30% less water!

2. Plastic is toxic for our planet and takes up to 500 years to decompose. Install a water filter system for your cooking and drinking water and avoid drinking from plastic bottles whenever possible.

3. Use LOW VOC or NO VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds which are toxic gasses that are emitted and released into the air by a wide range of products, including paints, lacquers, adhesives and carpets.

4. Tiles made of recycled glass are fabulous for the kitchen. There are wonderful styles and a variety of patterns and beautiful colors available. Be sure the adhesives used are formaldehyde free, low emitting *GREEN SEAL certified.

5. Love a clean kitchen? Look for cleaning products that have *GREEN SEAL certification. Natural cleansers may contain white vinegar and even parsley!

6. Buy local produce or grow your own to reduce your carbon footprint. Grow an herb garden on your kitchen window sill. The leaves naturally purify the air through their tiny filters; they smell good and taste great.

7. Water is a precious resource so fix all leaks and update your kitchen plumbing. When purchasing a new dishwasher choose one that is **Energy Star rated.

8. Use solar shades on your kitchen windows so you can control temperature in the room. On hot days it will keep the room cooler so you will need less air conditioning. Pull them up for full sun in the colder seasons and use less heat.

9. The right lighting design in the kitchen is very important. Update your fixtures to include compact florescent light bulbs. Just changing the six incandescent bulbs that you use most often will and save you over $100 a year on your energy bills.

10. Use **Energy Star kitchen appliances to cut down on energy consumption and save money on your energy bills too!

*Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment by identifying and promoting green products and services. They develop (life cycle-based) sustainability standards for products, services and companies and offer third-party certification for those that meet the criteria in the standard.

**Energy Star is a federal program that labels household products that have met energy-efficient standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

About the Author

Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner, Creator of EcoChi® and Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience. For more about Green Tips and Debra Duneier visit www.ecochi.com and follow her on twitter @EcoChiTips.

*Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*