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A Greener Summer Guest Room

greener guest roomGuest rooms come in all different shapes and sizes but they aren’t always set up with the environment in mind. This may not matter to family and friends visiting from out of town because they are only passing through. However if you have a lot of guests visiting over the course of the warmer months implementing a few green upgrades to the guest room may tip the scales so it’s working more with the environment than against.

That being the case with the summer vacation season fast approaching consider some of the following tips for a greener guest room:

  1. CFLs: Change all incandescent light bulbs in the guest room (and adjacent bathroom if there is one) to compact florescent lights (CFLs). These energy saving bulbs will use up to 80% less power meaning if a guest leaves a light on it won’t show much on the electric bill.

    2.  Drafts: Guests arriving over the summer are sure to use the air conditioning on warm nights, especially in humid regions like Fort Lauderdale. For this reason its important to make sure the system is working efficiently and not draining unnecessary power. This means fixing any drafts around windows and doors and cleaning or replacing filters.

    3.  Ceiling fan: If you have the option of adding a ceiling fan in the guest room go for it. Ceiling fans provide a breezy relief from the heat and not only save substantial energy in the process but will lower the electric bill. While they aren’t difficult to install  you may need to hire a handyman but you’ll enjoy every minute of the wind from above.

    4.  Curtains: Sometimes efficient cooling means using other methods such as simply blocking the sun from entering a room. That being the case make sure windows in the guest room have proper shades and curtains. This may help cut down on using the central air or fan altogether.

    5.  Powerstrips: Guests usually carry several electronic devices when on the road which means they also need a few chargers. However, when chargers and other electronics are plugged in and left idol they can still draw juice from the wall. Providing a power strip with an on/off button helps turn everything off with the flip of a switch.

    6.  Internet: Having internet service and if possible a spare iPad or tablet available for guests to take around would replace the need for local travel guides, phone books, and other similar items which usually cause clutter and eventually get thrown out. This would also cut down on printing out typical information like directions that guests may want to carry around.

    7.  Snacks: Guests sometimes like to have a snack in the middle of the night but may not want to raid the kitchen, even if they are family. That being the case leave some organic snacks or fruit in the guest room to tide them over till the morning.

    8.  Reusables: Whether it’s just a few snacks you leave or have a small fridge with other food, if there’s a chance guests may need a fork or spoon make sure reusable tableware is available.

    9.  Cleansers: Sometimes the host isn't always around to clean up a mess so keep some eco-friendly cleansers and extra towels in an easy to reach place in the guest room.

    10.  Recycle bins: Finally, even though guests are only living with you temporarily place a small bin somewhere in room for recycling. Chances are they will accumulate a number of paper, glass, or plastic items from touring or simply being out all day so give them a place to put them so they don't’ just go to a local landfill.

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Jakob Barry is a green living journalist for Networx.com. Networx.com helps homeowners save time, money and frustration by connecting them with home improvement professionals. From plumbers and roofers to concrete contractors, Networx simplifies the process of locating a reliable professional.

**Photo from Flickr**.