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eco friendly measures help save you money.

LOTS of us are now more aware of the value of our money - and what we can do to help others. We're starting to ask more about the materials, the history of our goods and where it was made instead of just going on looks, quality and price. Barker and Stonehouse has recently launched the Trees4Trees initiative which is a scheme in Indonesia which replaces trees that are cut down. And that got me thinking about how we can make our homes a more eco friendly place. How many of us think of the impact on the environment as we do simple tasks like turning the lights on and decorating? But by each of us making just a few changes we can make a really big difference and save money too. It would also seem that with spring underway and the warmer weather just round the corner now is the time to go about making these changes. Start by turning your heating down or off when you don't need it - like during the day when you are out and on a night when you're sleeping. Also make sure that you don't have the heating on in rooms that you don't use. When decorating, there are a number of companies offering environmentally friendly paints. One of my favourites is the Greenshop - www.greenshop.co.uk All of its natural and eco paints are breathable, and can be used on top of existing paints - they offer a colour matching service too. An idea that many people have started to adopt now after numerous campaigns is to replace any existing light bulbs with eco-friendly ones. These come in a range of sizes so you should be able to find some to fit - visit www.ecofriendlylightbulbs.co.uk - for a wide range. From the site you can also work out how much you could save through their energy saving calculator. Although the bulbs may seem more expensive to buy they will last much longer and will save you money through the reduced energy usage. The Billingham-based Energy Saving Trust, which can offer help and advice, says eco-friendly bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary ones. Find out more by logging on to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk Finally don't forget to opt for some stunning ethically sourced furniture from Barker and Stonehouse. If you want something traditional then the Flagstone or Frontier ranges are ideal choices. * If you would like some more interiors tips, visit www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk and sign up to the online mailing list to keep up-to-date with events and trends. Also check out Stylepup - the new online social media site from Barker and Stonehouse - filled with great trends, tips and competitions.

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BRIGHTEN IT UP: Add a new lamp to brighten your room, to use an energy saving bulb, above ECO FRIENDLY: Traditional furniture from Barker and Stonehouse; the Flagstone range, above, and Frontier dining range, left. And if you're decorating, greenshop.co.uk offers a great range of eco friendly paints, below
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2009
Words:505
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